I get a lot of questions about intermittent fasting, or IF’ing. It’s the idea that you skip eating for periods of time. For example, eating for 8 hours total during the day, and not eating for the other 16 hours. That would be an 8:16 IF. Others are more restrictive, leaving only a few hours a day to eat.
The funny thing is, we all IF. When you are sleeping, it is quite difficult to eat. I joke that i’m a 16:8 IF’er. I eat for 16 hours and sleep 8.
The idea of fasting isn’t a recent invention. It goes back probably beyond recorded history. Many religions practice fasting.
Even Plato discussed fasting. It apparently helped him party harder at toga parties and still have time to think.
Fasting has been touted for weight loss, cancer prevention, and just about anything else you can google. In reality, it is just a way for calorie control. It keeps boundaries on endless snacking, and makes you think a bit more about meal planning. For some people, I like it to a degree. I have many clients who do great on a lunch and dinner only schedule. Some people skip dinner, by having a bigger breakfast and hearty lunch. It can work, but only when it naturally lines up with your preferred eating schedule. Don’t try and force something because you heard it was good for weight loss.
Where I think it can have a bigger benefit is after significant weight loss. If you are trying to lean out a bit more, skipping 1 to 3 meals a week may help with getting into an energy deficit without going crazy. Skipping lunch a few times will leave you a bit hungry, but you can have an early dinner to make up for it. Again, nothing necessary here, just another tool that when used responsibly, can work.