Intermittent Fasting: Madness or the Key to Weight Loss?

Fasting. It is a word that frightens many, owing to the myth that humans require three or more meals a day, every day. Most people do not fast on a regular basis, except for reasons of faith or belief. Ramzan springs to mind. However, fasting, if done right, potentially holds the key to healthy weight loss.

Intermittent fasting is a diet which consists of periods of fasting followed by food intake within a set time. The usual method is the 16/8 method, which entails fasting for 16 hours, followed by an eight hour eating period. There are more extreme variations, with fasting periods of up to two days. Within this eating period, depending on your fitness goals, you can intake your daily calories, a caloric deficit if you want to lose weight.

What most people fail to understand is that the human body has evolved to handle long periods of fasting without adversely affecting health. This is a result of our ancestors in the Neolithic era having to undergo sustained periods of low or no food intake before they can gather enough for a proper meal. Only after the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago did we adopt the pattern of regularly eating three meals a day.

Excerpted from The Week

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