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Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting: Time-Tested Way to Stabilize Your Metabolic Health

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern characterised by alternating periods of eating and fasting. The principle is that restricting the time frame for consuming food encourages the body to use stored fat for energy.

What are the health benefits of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting can enhance metabolic health by improving insulin sensitivity, leading to better blood sugar control. It can also decrease inflammation and promote weight loss.

These effects may contribute to a lower risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other inflammatory conditions.

Intermittent fasting and metabolic flexibility

Intermittent fasting has been studied for its potential effects on metabolic flexibility, and some research suggests that it may indeed contribute to improvements in this aspect.

Metabolic flexibility is the ability of the body to adapt fuel oxidation to fuel availability, or to switch between using different fuel sources, such as carbohydrates and fats, depending on what's available or needed at the time.1

Individuals with high metabolic flexibility can efficiently switch from burning carbohydrates during fed states to burning fats during fasting states. In contrast, metabolic inflexibility, which may be brought on by factors such as obesity, diabetes, or a sedentary lifestyle, is characterized by the body's impaired ability to switch between these fuel sources.1, 2, 3

It’s important to note that metabolic flexibility can also be improved by regular physical exercise, which enhances the body's capacity to utilize various fuel sources efficiently.4, 5

Different types of intermittent fasting

Adapting to intermittent fasting is similar to adapting to exercise and can lead to cognitive, mood, and energy level improvements once the initial side effects subside.6 Intermittent fasting includes methods such as alternate-day fasting, time-restricted feeding, 24-hour fasting, and the 5:2 method. It is important to choose a method that suits one's lifestyle and health goals. 

Variations of intermittent fasting also include the 16/8 method, where one fasts for 16 hours a day and eats during an 8-hour window, or the 14/10 method with a 14-hour fast and 10-hour eating window.

The 5:2 method involves consuming 500 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week. Alternate-day fasting and 24-hour fasts are other methods, with specific guidance on calorie consumption and frequency.7

Tips for getting into intermittent fasting

It is recommended to choose an intermittent fasting method that fits one's lifestyle and health goals. For beginners, the time-restricted eating method, such as the 16/8 or 14/10 method, is often suggested. A balanced diet should be maintained on non-fasting days. It is essential to stay hydrated during fasting periods and consume a balanced diet including protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.


Consulting a healthcare professional before starting intermittent fasting is crucial to ensuring safety and suitability for individual health needs.6, 7

Let’s sum up!

Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern that alternates between periods of eating and fasting, offering health benefits such as weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation. Variations of intermittent fasting include time-restricted feeding, the 5:2 method, alternate-day fasting, and 24-hour fasting. It is recommended to adopt an approach that suits individual lifestyles, ensure a balanced diet on non-fasting days, and consult a healthcare professional before starting.


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