Dubbed as one of the most popular eating patterns on the planet right now, it’s actually been around for thousands of years
Our ancient ancestors were intermittent fasters, based on the hunter-gatherer nature of how food was accessed.
They adopted the feasting and fasting model by necessity rather than choice.
Many religions at times also promote intermittent fasting, for example at Lent.
Fasting has grown in popularity to help people lose unwanted pounds and improve health.
Instead of grazing all day, people choose to have a certain ‘eating window’. Wellbeing brand Cinch FAST 30 is ahead of the game in bringing this approach to Northern Ireland.
It has created the Cinch Fast 30 programme — an easy-to-manage and fully supported online plan that introduces the concept of intermittent fasting for weight loss and improvements in health.
The programme is an online 30-day course which helps you to understand the concept of intermittent fasting and introduces it into your lifestyle for weight loss and to provide a health boost. Since its launch, the Fast 30 programme has helped over 600 women in Northern Ireland, the Republic and the US take back control of their lifestyle.
It can help you lose weight
Intermittent fasting can be a great way to help people lose and manage their weight.
Fasting creates a calorie deficit, meaning your body has fewer calories than it needs to maintain its current weight.
However, that’s not the only reason why it helps you shed the pounds.
Studies have also shown that it can also increase human growth hormone production, which burns fat.
Additionally, it can help to stabilise insulin levels, allowing the body to burn fat for fuel.
These benefits make weight loss much easier.
It can improve your health
Hundreds of animal studies and scores of human clinical trials have shown that intermittent fasting can lead to improvements in conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurological disorders.
It is anti-ageing
Intermittent fasting is thought to trigger a process in your body called autophagy.
This is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells, according to Dr Priya Khorana, founder and CEO of Lifestyle Nutrition Consulting Co.
‘Auto’ means self and ‘phagy’ means eat, so, the literal meaning of autophagy is ‘self-eating’.
It is known to slow ageing by cleaning up and recycling damaged components of the cell.
It is fully flexible and puts you in charge of your own eating window
There are many intermittent fasting protocols and it is up to each individual to find a schedule that suits their lifestyle.
Two popular schedules consist of eating for eight hours a day and then fasting for 16 hours. This is known as a 16:8 protocol.
Others enjoy fasting for longer. For example, eating for six hours a day and then fasting 18 hours. This is known as a 18:6.
You don’t need to count calories
Anyone who has tried to follow a complicated diet where you count calories, macros, and eat low-fat or low-carb foods will know how difficult it can be to maintain.
Since intermittent fasting is more about when you eat rather than what you eat, most people find it easier do. Cinch Fast 30 encourages people to count the goodness in food rather than weighing or measuring foods or calorie counting.
It has found those who participate in the programme achieve the greatest success when they eliminate the highly-processed products and fill up on foods as close to their natural state as possible. However, like anything, if you go crazy and eat the wrong foods during your eating window, it is possible that you will not get the desired weight loss or health benefits you are seeking. Intermittent fasting gives you back the control and makes you much more mindful of the food you consume in your eating window. This allows you to make the right choice to nourish your body.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids when fasting
When you are fasting, it is really important to ensure that you stay as well hydrated as possible. Water is perfect and you may also consider drinking black unflavoured tea and coffee, as well as herbal teas.
Caffeine in morning and afternoon — and avoid artificial sweeteners
While drinking too much caffeine can make you jittery, a little caffeine can help to maintain your fast. When you’re fasting, it is vital that you only drink black tea and coffee with no sweeteners or milk added.
You don’t need to skip breakfast
If breakfast is your favourite meal of the day, you can adjust your eating window to ensure you include this meal.
Many people find great success in opening their eating window at 9am each day and closing it at 5pm.
Other challengers like to eat between 12pm and 8pm. This allows them to eat lunch and dinner in their eating window.
It is easier with support
Like anything in life, when you have the support of an individual or group of people, it is much easier to stick to.
Intermittent fasting is a simple concept, however, that does not mean it is easy to do.
Around 90% of our daily actions are habitual, so if you are used to grazing all day every day, eating in a certain window may be difficult.
Cinch Fast 30 has a support network on WhatsApp and a closed Facebook group to give you 24/7 access to people who are also giving intermittent fasting a go.
There is one-to-one coaching which will give you your own personal guide to help keep you on track.
It is not for everyone
Intermittent fasting is generally considered safe.
However, anyone with an underlying health condition or taking certain medications should check with their health professional before embarking on this eating pattern.
It is not recommended for those under the age of 18, those over 70, people who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
People with a history of eating disorders or who have type 1 diabetes should also not attempt intermittent fasting.
Before embarking on an intermittent fasting programme, or before making any other drastic changes to your diet, it is always recommended that you consult with your doctor to help you get started safely.
If you are interested in trying the Cinch Fast 30 programme, visit cinchfast30.com. As with any new eating plan, please consult your doctor if making significant changes to your diet