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With warm weather around the corner, focusing on overall health and fitness is inevitable for many of us. Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular in recent years, and the popularity and interest it invokes still remains true.  This method may help you consume fewer calories, lose weight, and reap overall health benefits as well.

The difference in intermittent fasting and other general weight loss endeavors is that it focuses on times to eat by incorporating regular short-term fasts into your routine.  Instead of solely focusing on what to eat, the key word is “when“. Unlike most diets, intermittent fasting does not involve tracking calories. In fact, there are no requirements about what foods to eat or avoid, making it more of a lifestyle than a diet.

While there are different methods to the intermittent fasting madness, let’s decode three of the main ones.  The following are options that seem to be the most successful regardless of age or end goal.

5:2 Diet
This option outlines for women to eat less than 500 calories for two non-consecutive days a week.  With the 5:2 diet, you don’t need to eat certain foods.  All you must focus on is limiting how much you eat during certain periods of time (in this case, the 2 days chosen at will).

16:8 Diet
This approach focuses more on pacing by the hour as opposed to days of the week.  You only eat during eight hours of the day and you have free reign during that given time slot. Many choose to stop their eating by 6pm or 7pm at the latest.  That way, you’re sleeping for part of your fast instead of sitting around, thinking about the food you’re not eating for a good part of the day.

24-Hour Fast
Some people also refer to this schedule as complete alternate day fasting.  This is likely the most difficult one to enforce for obvious reasons.  While a bit extreme, for the all-or-nothing personality it can yield quite successful results!

Again, success with intermittent fasting has certainly occurred.  Based on picking and adhering to any of the three methods above, people have seen overall health improve and risk of issues such as diabetes drastically decline.  That being said, certain negative effects can occur.  Fertility, weight gain, and other hiccups can be the end result if applied to the wrong body type or gone about in the wrong way.  No extreme is good for a female’s overall health.  Therefore, intermittent fasting isn’t a hard yes or no for all women.

The cool thing about IF is that you can choose the plan that most fits your lifestyle.  As long as your path aligns with your individual health needs and originality, positive body goals can certainly be achieved.

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