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Intermittent fasting (IF) has taken the health world by storm. One of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends, its benefits include weight loss, improved health and simpler lifestyles. Learn more about intermittent fasting, or IF, and whether it’s right for you.

The Difference Between IF and Other Diets

When fasting, your body adjusts its hormone levels to access stored body fat. Growth hormone levels may increase, insulin sensitivity may improve while insulin levels drop, cells may be repaired more quickly, and gene longevity and disease protection may increase. Short-term fasting could increase your metabolism between 3 and 14%. Additionally, it shows signs of potentially reducing inflammation, improving heart health, preventing cancer and boosting brain health. Many people tend to participate in unsustainable fad diets or extreme weight loss practices, which leads to dehydration, weakness, fatigue, nausea and inadequate nutrition intake.

What Can You Eat While Intermittent Fasting?

Even though intermittent fasting restricts the window of when you can eat, it’s also important to be conscious of what’s being eaten during that time. Though you’re able to eat “normally” during feeding times, it doesn’t mean you can snack on whatever you want. If your eating window is packed with high calorie, fried and processed junk food, it may be safe to assume you won’t be losing weight or experiencing the benefits. Outside of the window, you should really only consume water, black coffee or tea, or perhaps diluted apple cider vinegar. Consuming foods that have any caloric value will technically break the fast, so some participants stick to water or tea. Once you’re ready to break the fast, eat easily digested foods with low sugar and fat. Though intermittent fasting does have great benefits, people react to food restrictions differently. Be conscious of your body’s reaction to fasting and talk to your doctor or a nutrition professional if intermittent fasting starts presenting unusual symptoms. Read our accompanying resource for more information on intermittent fasting, who can do IF safely, and how to do it safely.
Intermittent Fasting

Kara Kash, RD, LDN, is a registered dietitian at Factor— a premium weekly meal delivery service that fuses world-class culinary dishes with the latest in nutrition science to produce fully prepared meals that are as delicious as they are nutritious.

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