|My Breakfast yesterday|
Does this mean that if you don't implement some IF'ing into your lifestyle you're screwed? No. Plenty of people don't make a habit of it and do just fine. I personally use it because I think it has some serious potential upside for health and longevity and little, or no, downside. If you think you might want to give this technique a try, there are a number of different ways to go about it. I'm going to list a few methods, but I don't think any one way is better than the rest. Ultimately, the best method is the one that is the most comfortable and sustainable for you personally.
Random IF'ing. Going without food whenever you feel like it. Skipping a meal here and there. Skipping food for a whole day now and then. Mixing it up. Our genes are probably wired up for this method as a result of our ancestors eating habits. And as fortune would have it, random fasting probably fits right in with most people's unpredictable, hectic schedules.
Daily IF'ing. Having an 'eating window' each day. A 16 hour fast followed by a 8 hour window is popular. I'd say anywhere from a 16 to 20 hour fast each day would be ideal. If you're more active, lean toward the 16 hours, if not so much, 18 to 20 might work better for you. There are even some people who like to eat only one large meal every 24 hours.
|My Breakfast today|
Monthly IF'ing. Fasting for a 36 to 48 hour period once a month.
There are many more ways to try this stuff. For instance, you could do Daily IF'ing during the week and then eat three squares on the weekends. Or you could do the Random option while also incorporating Monthly IF'ing. I do want to mention here that with Intermittent Fasting, I'm not talking about going 72 hours or more without food. I would call that straight up Fasting. Perhaps this type of long Fasting serves a purpose in some situations, but I don't think it's anything you would want to do on a regular basis.
I've personally been doing the Daily IF'ing protocol for over two years now. I eat two large meals a day, starting my eating window at noon and finishing my evening meal between 6:30 and 7. If I'm out with friends and end up eating later, or for some reason I need to have lunch at 11:30 ... I don't sweat it. I just resume my regular timing the next day. Giving up breakfast has been a wonderful thing for me. As Forest Gump said 'It's one less thing I have to worry about'. It's that simple.
|My Breakfast tomorrow|
So let me sum it up. Intermittent Fasting is a powerful tool you can use to improve your overall health. It's gives your body a chance to recharge your immune system and clear out some of the junk in your cells. You can do it daily, sparingly, or not at all. It's works well for some people and is just too much trouble for others. And it won't sap your energy or shrink your muscles.
As with anything new, if you try Intermittent Fasting for the first time, you can expect your body to encounter a learning curve. When I first ditched breakfast, I was hungry when lunch rolled around. This happened for a week or so, but faded quickly. I think hunger is something most people don't truly experience very often ... usually they eat just because 'it's time'. Anyways, have fun with it and remember it's just a tool. A very powerful tool.