I have talked to lots of people lately that are eating breakfast simply because they think they "have to". They aren't necessarily hungry, but have programmed a meal that early in the day because they thought breakfast was important and necessary.
My response to these people includes discussing the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting or IF is simply a term that refers to cycles of fasting and eating throughout the day. IF focuses on when you are eating, not necessarily what you are eating.
When considering IF you need to consider your lifestyle, the reasons behind whey you would be doing it and how it fits in with your current goals.
There are a few different ways to include IF into your life. Here are 2 popular ones:
1) The 16/8 method. This method restricts your eating period to only 8 hours per day. You would be fasting for the remaining 16. Usually people start later in the day around noon or 1pm.
2) The Eat-Stop-Eat method. This method involves fasting for 24 hours 1 or 2 times per week. For example you would stop eating after dinner and not eat again until dinner the next day.
For most people the 16/8 method is more manageable as it becomes something that happens everyday. It is easier to establish a routine around this.
Beyond some weight loss, there are many health benefits surrounding IF. Included in these health benefits are balancing of hormone levels, cellular repair, and insulin sensitivity. Short term fasting also helps with metabolic rate and usually allows people to manage calorie intake due to a shorter window of eating.
Now all of this being said, if you have a history of disordered eating, are underweight or are a woman, IF may not be the best choice for you.
There are many studies showing that IF can be more beneficial for men then it can be for women, so women slowly ease into IF and monitor your recovery from workouts, energy levels and most importantly your menstrual cycle.
If you plan to start IF consider these things:
1) You are allowed to drink water, coffee or tea during your fast. Milk and sugar are not recommended during your fast.
2) Be sure to get past the idea that skipping breakfast is a bad thing. Most people that just skip breakfast are not fasting, they are simply skipping a meal and making a poor choice later in the day to make up for being hungry.
3) Consider your supplements and wait until you have food in your stomach for most of them (especially fat soluble ones).
4) You can workout fasted if you want, consider what that may do for your energy levels.
If you have been considering intermittent fasting, I say go for it. You won't know if it's something beneficial for you until you try it.
For more questions feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.