From Molly Kimball, RD:
If you haven't heard of intermittent fasting, chances are you will soon. Studies are coming out daily on the health benefits of fasting. One recommended technique is fasting for 18 hours each day, from the final meal of the day until the first meal the following day. The last meal should be at least 3 hours before bedtime.
This can sound crazy, I know. But it is easier than you think!
There are different ways to do fasting, some popular methods are 16/8 and 12/12. 16/8 means you fast 16 hours of the day and eat for 8 hours. You could have your first meal around 11am and your last meal around 7pm, or whatever works best for your schedule.
Here are my top 8 reasons to try intermittent fasting:
1. Alzheimer's prevention, multiple lifestyle factors can help prevent and/or slow the early stages of Alzheimer's, an extended "fasting period" is one of those factors.
2. Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes by improving blood sugar and insulin levels
3. Slowed growth of cancer cells in cancer patients
4. Improved energy, mental clarity, and concentration
5. Decreased inflammation and enhancement of the body's resistance to oxidative stress
6. Improved cholesterol levels
7. Lower blood pressure
8. Increased metabolic rate - reportedly as much as 10% higher
WHAT AM I "ALLOWED" TO CONSUME?
During the fasting period make sure to keep hydrated and drink plenty of water, sparkling water, fruit teas, green teas, coffee, chicken broth or vegetable broth.
CAN I EXERCISE?
Continue with your regular exercise program, but listen to your body. Some people report that they feel more energy, strength and power during their workouts while doing this fast; others feel more sluggish. Aim to incorporate a type of physical activity daily, but adapt as needed for energy levels.
If you want to find out more about intermittent fasting and how you can include it in your lifestyle, click here.
As always, it's best to consult your doctor or dietician before making any major changes to your diet. This may work for some people and not others. It's best to do research and see if this is something that would benefit you. Eating right, getting exercise and listening to your body is always key to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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