What is IF? 12/12, 8/16, 5:2….(it’s not a maths class!)

What is IF? 12/12, 8/16, 5:2….(it’s not a maths class!)

This post is all about Intermittent Fasting. What it is, all the different ways you can do it and the possible health benefits.
[Medical Disclaimer: this pattern of eating may not be suitable for everyone.
Please review with your medical practitioner before embarking on a change in your intake is advised. People who should NOT fast include pregnant and breastfeeding women, people under the age of 18y, underweight people and people with anorexia.]

Intermittent Fasting is essentially giving your digestive system and body a break from the work of digestion. Did you know it takes 10% of your daily energy to digest the food you eat? So by having a break from grazing or even three meals a day, a common benefit from intermittent fasting is increased energy!

So how might it look if you are Intermittent Fasting? Well there are lots of different ways to do this.

  • A great place to start is the 12/12 routine where there is a 12 hour window of fasting, for example 7pm to 7am. Aim for your last meal to be 3 hours before you lie down to sleep.
  • For a bit more of a stretch between meals you could increase the fasting window to 14 or 16 hours, with a 10 or 8 hour feeding window, respectively. Personally, I prefer to do these days while I’m at work rather than at home, and the time passes by quickly. Before I know it, 12.30pm rolls around and it’s lunchtime and my first meal of the day.
  • So what’s 5:2 you may ask? This is based on normal dietary intake on 5 days a week with reduced intake (around a third of normal) on 2 days a week as presented by Dr Michael Mosley.

There are multiple purported benefits for our bodies from fasting. Some of these include:

  • Mental clarity and concentration
  • Weight loss
  • Lowering of blood insulin and glucose levels
  • Increased energy
  • Improved fat burning
  • Cellular cleansing (potential). The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2016 was awarded for this discovery

What do you do during the fasting period when you’re awake?

  • Stay hydrated
  • Drinking black tea or coffee is fine (adding milk or sugar requires digestion and breaks the fast)
  • Stay busy
  • Don’t overeat after the fasting period has ended

So over to you – have you ever fasted before? Fasting (not starvation) as a dietary intervention has been practiced since ancient times. I encourage you to consider this health strategy that can save you time and money!

Remember medical review prior to changing your intake is recommended.