Intermittent fasting or IF has in recent years become a wellness buzzword. Practised by many celebrities such as Gisele Bündchen, Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson and husband and wife, Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky, IF has been adopted by more and more people as a seemingly easy way to promote weight loss.
Metabolic switching, the philosophy behind intermittent fasting, believes that when hours without food are prolonged, the body, after burning the calories of the last meal, will start burning fat. “Scientific evidence shows that intermittent fasting can induce the body’s capacity to repair cells by removing waste products and toxins,” explains Dianne Hernandez, senior nutritionist of the Baron Method. “Recent research articles also say that when conducted at a particular period, IF can drop the body’s insulin level, eventually triggering the body’s burning capacity. Weight loss is expected to happen soon after. Other studies suggest that it can also slow down ageing by delaying the DNA degradation, while simultaneously stimulating DNA repair.”
The appeal of IF is its accessibility; most people can easily adopt a daily fasting window by including the six to eight hours at night when they are asleep and adding more time before and after. “The most common method in following intermittent fasting is 16/8, a fasting window of 16 hours and an eating window of eight,” says Hernandez. “Some people, however, push it further to 18/6.”
Businessman and wellness and fitness enthusiast, Bernard Fäh, discovered IF four years ago when he was practising a ketogenic diet. “I was losing weight and muscle while on Keto. I didn’t mind losing the weight, but I was losing strength, muscle and size as well,” he shares. “I wanted a diet that had fewer restrictions but would help me get leaner and still keep my strength up.” Fäh is on a 17/7 method, fasting from 8pm to 12pm. “My feeding window is from 12pm to 7pm,” he says. “I eat whole foods as much as possible during this time. My workouts are done at a fasted state which has its benefits as well. Since then, I have been able to get leaner, stronger and dare I say better looking,” he laughs.