What is intermittent fasting?

Woman in sage green top holding glass bowl with yoghurt, Purition Strawberry and fresh strawberries

Intermittent fasting may be a new term to some when it comes to health and fitness. What was once a trend has soon become a popular lifestyle choice. If you're keen to learn more about what intermittent fasting is all about, you’ve come to the right place.

Put simply, intermittent fasting is a diet or lifestyle choice where you put your body through elongated periods of fasting (not eating). After a time, and with the right food consumption, you may see noticeable weight loss results through intermittent fasting due to how your body reacts.

Types of intermittent fasting

The three most common types of intermittent fasting are as follows:

  • 16/8 method – This method is arguably the most popular. It involves fasting for 16 hours a day. You then eat within the 8 hour window that remains. 
  • 5:2 diet – Another popular choice, this diet involves reducing calorie consumption to 500/600 calories a day 2 days of the week. You consume a normal amount of calories as you usually would on the remaining 5 days.
  • Water fasting – Water fasting is a type of diet where you cannot consume anything besides water. Most water fasts last between 24 and 72 hours. You should not follow a water fast for longer than this without medical supervision.

What happens when you fast?

  • When you fast, you narrow your body’s window of digestion. In a fasting state, there is no food for your body to use as energy and your body pulls from fat stores for that all-important energy to get you through the day.  
  • By finding another energy source, intermittent fasting extends the amount of time your body is using body fat for energy instead of the food you eat. Your body accustoms to this new regime over time, and this sees you burn more body fat.
  • Your metabolism increases when we fast, as our body needs to find alternative resources for energy to burn to keep us going. What’s more, by narrowing your eating window, you will generally find you eat less food to get you through the day. 

As your body is burning your body fat as opposed to the calories consumed after a meal, you may see that you gradually lose weight. But remember – this only becomes realistically achievable when you follow a healthy balanced diet, minimising processed foods and sugar.

Side effects of intermittent fasting

If you are new to intermittent fasting, you may expect the following:

  • Feeling of hunger 
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling irritable
  • Feeling dehydrated (make sure you keep drinking!)

The above are to be expected. Afterall, you are taking on a completely new regime that your body isn’t used to. Our body essentially is reacting to this change. For this reason, to start to see any results from Intermittent Fasting, you will likely need to stick it out for a few weeks at the very least. Fluctuating on and off isn’t a good idea either, as, for your body will struggle to become accustomed to the new regime. 

Can fasting work?

There has to be proof in the pudding for so many people to be talking about intermittent fasting. Due to the chemical process and our body’s reaction, fasting does work, however it’s important to be mindful that it works for you. After a few weeks, if you are feeling low in energy, irritable and are not enjoying it, then don’t do it! There are plenty of options when it comes to how you consume food to make it work for you. 

The most important thing to remember when following an intermittent fasting regime is to watch what you are eating within the eating windows. The argument behind intermittent fasting literally goes out of the window otherwise! A fasting diet does not mean you can eat whatever you want. You will not see noticeable results if you spend your time eating processed foods that are high in sugars, calories, and unhealthy fats. It is still important to maintain a healthy balanced diet. 

The best foods to eat while intermittent fasting

  • Vegetables
  • Beans 
  • Fruits/berries
  • Nuts
  • Protein
  • Seafood
  • Whole grains
  • Healthy fats
Infographic of glass showing Purition's whole food ingredients

How to enjoy Purition while intermittent fasting

With high levels of protein, full of seeds and nuts, Purition is delicious and nutritious small meal to break up the day or break your fast, whatever time that may be. With 16g of protein with every 40g serving, Purition ticks a lot of boxes and can provide you with that all important nutrition without filling up on food.

To make it that bit easier, we’ve picked some of our favourite recipes below that you can enjoy within your eating windows.

Check out our guide to breakfast smoothies, or check out these recipes below: 

If you’re looking for some healthy recipes to get you inspired for dinner, then we’ve got you covered, too! Here are a few of our favourites that can work well when intermittent fasting. 

Gluten free

High in protein

High fibre

Low sugar

Low carb keto meal

Made in the UK

Can meal replacement shakes work with intermittent fasting?

Watch out for meal replacement shakes if you are intermittent fasting. If you opt to have a meal replacement shake, you’ll also likely be consuming artificial flavourings and smoothies loaded with sugar, preservatives and synthetics. 

If you want to find a plant-based alternative to supplement your breakfast or other meal, why not try Purition? We’re different from the rest in the simple fact that our products are made with real ingredients. Purition products differ from meal replacement shakes in that they are nutrient dense, high in protein, and don’t compromise on taste, either. You can check out our samples here to find out what Purition are all about. 

Intermittent fasting tips

If you do decide to intermittent fast, Purition have a few pointers below:

  • Restrict eating to 8 hours in the day for 16/8
  • For 5:2 eat nothing or 1/4 of your normal daily intake two non-consecutive days of the week, every week
  • Take regular exercise (as much as comfortably possible)
  • Drink plenty of water 1.5 – 2 litres per day
  • Eating slowly (so less likely to overeat)
  • Aim to leave at least 3 hours after eating before bed
  • Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep

The takeaway

Intermittent fasting can certainly work for you if it is implemented alongside a healthy balanced diet, where you are disciplined with what you eat. Guaranteed, this is the best way to see results. 

Purition aim to provide the best information so you can find a diet regime that works for you and your lifestyle. If you think intermittent fasting is for you, why not give it a go? 


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