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What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting has become some sort of a craze in these last few years, and well, I’ve given in. I’m always looking for new ways to be lazy healthy and this kind of fit the bill. By being lazy healthy, I mean still basically eating everything I love, but cutting out some stuff I don’t need. It’s hard to be healthy when eating you’re surrounded by so many tastier options than salad at the dining halls. So, when I kept getting ads from this app called Fastic I decided to do a little bit of my own fasting research. Many describe intermittent fasting not as a diet, but as an eating pattern that has many positive benefits. I’m going to go through the basic days that I have had so far while partaking in the fast, and some benefits that I have read about intermittent fasting. 

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I just started this about a week ago, and have been doing one of the most common fasting patterns, that being the 16:8 fasting pattern, which sounds a lot scarier than it is. What this means for me is once I am done with dinner, usually around 6:30-7:00, I fast until about 10:30-11:00 the next morning, which would be 16 hours. Once my 16 hours are up, I have eight hours to eat. You can set your time frame to really start at any hour of the day, but I find this time frame to fit in the best with my schedule. I would be honest and tell you if I felt tired or run-down by taking in lesser calories, but I really don't. It definitely has been difficult not to snack after my fasting period starts, but I have been finding ways to fill my time so I’m not tempted. I tend to wait until I feel digested enough after dinner, then go to the gym, and have a cup of green tea (you are able to drink tea, coffee, and water) during my fasting period, after the gym. It also sucks those mornings I have early classes and have to get through one with my stomach noticeably growling, but it’s not the end of the world. I know this probably makes me sound like some sort of dedicated health guru, but trust me I’m not. I already broke the fast once (Friday night...oops) but I am really trying to stick to it throughout the week.  

As for the benefits of intermittent fasting, I have not noticed many yet for myself, but I have only been doing it for a little over a week. Obviously, when I started the fast I did some of my own research to make sure it was healthy for my schedule and whatnot, and there seemed to be more pros than cons. Obviously, there is a reduction in your daily calorie intake because you are either eating fewer meals, or eating fewer snacks, so either way, you will consume fewer calories. You also tend to burn more calories, because the intermittent fasting triggers the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine. Also during fasting, your insulin levels drop, which makes stored body-fat more accessible. There are also benefits related to anti-aging, brain health, prevention of cancer, heart health, and so much more.

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 If you are interested in fasting, I definitely urge you to read about some of the benefits fasting has to offer. I am just a beginner, so I really don’t know all the ins and outs, but there seem to be so many benefits. Who knows, maybe I’ll love it! If you are interested in learning more, here's the website where I got most of my information from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide