Submitted by Julie McGrath

Intermittent fasting is one of the fastest growing health trends right now. The popular trend has promised to clear brain fog, regulate digestive systems, and even help you shed a few pounds. So, what exactly is it and how does it work?

Intermittent fasting involves creating a cycle or “window” of periods of time that you eat and periods of time that you do not eat. Simple enough right? 

The most common methods of fasting are called 16/8 or 5/2. This means you fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window. The 16 hours sound scary, I know, but consider some of that you will be sleeping. Alternatively, you can try the 5/2 method and fast for 2 days, with about 500 calories intake each day, and eat normally during the five other days of the week. 

The point of all of this is to give your digestive system a rest. Think about how much mindless snacking we do, especially during quarantine! 

Intermittent fasting does not regulate what types of food you eat but the focus becomes more on when you eat. The key component to this is to not overdo it during your eating windows. Simply eat as you normally would. You will become more mindful of what you are putting in your body during that window and your body will thank you.

Julie McGrath is an illustrator and college instructor from Boston, MA, living in Pensacola, FL.