The big three areas of healthy living are diet, exercise, and sleep. One, currently popular dietary technique that integrates all 3 of these areas is intermittent fasting. So what is intermittent fasting and what are the benefits?

This is a program where you restrict your calories based on time. Fasting also does not mean total lack of food, it can just mean a reduction of food/calories taken in as in the amount or type of food (eg. only high fiber, whole foods before lunch). Also water and coffee are typically not counted in most fasting programs.

Ways Of Intermittent Fasting

1. Alternate day fast. Total fast from food 2-3 days a wk or every other day.

2. 5:2. Eat normally 5 days a week, but cut down calories to 500 (for women) or 600 (for men) 2 days a week. Typically these are set days such as Tuesday and Thursday, but it can be tailored to each individual need.

3. Time restricted eating or feeding. The best example of this is 16:8 which is where you eat, or feed, for only 8 hour a day and fast for the other 16 hours.

There is also data that shows that even fasting 5 days a month leads to health benefits. That would be about 1 day week! Also many people will build up to 16 hours fasting not just start there.

An example would be to start off fasting for 12 hours and feeding 12 hours a day for several weeks and then decreasing the feeding time by 2 hours. For the 5:2 plan you could cut down to 1500 calories on your fasting days for several weeks then to 1000 calories, and then finally to the target goal of 500-600 depending on gender.

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