The Case for Intermittent Fasting When You’re at Home

Posted: Jun 25 in Healthy Eating Menu by

Intermittent fasting is thought of primarily as an aid for weight loss. If you’ve tried it, perhaps you’ve lost weight.

Intermittent fasting is the voluntary restriction of food over a given time period. There are a lot of ways to do it: eating only every other day, eating normally for five days a week and fasting on the other two, fasting for 16 hours a day and only eating during an eight-hour window, and more.

While it might simply be a method to limit calorie intake that people can stick to, there is quite a bit of research that suggests there are other benefits, such as improved insulin sensitivity, better cardiovascular health, and lower blood sugar levels.

If you’re thinking of trying intermittent fasting, a good time to experiment with it might be when you’re staying at home more. Here are some reasons why.

It provides a schedule

When you work away from home or go to school in person, your eating schedule is mostly dictated by your work or school schedule. You eat before and after, maybe, and take a lunch break in the middle of the day.

If you’re working one hundred percent from home, there is much less of a schedule. Without a routine and with the fridge and pantry nearby, unwanted weight gain could be a legitimate risk. Intermittent fasting would provide some structure by becoming the new eating schedule.

Think about this, too: If you sleep eight hours a night, you’re already fasting for one-third of your day. If you don’t eat after dinner and fast until lunch the next day, you’d be on the 16-8 daily fast that’s fairly common.

Even if weight loss isn’t the goal, maybe the structure that intermittent fasting provides could at least help you avoid weight gain.

It could help with self-discipline

If you’re going to attempt, say, a 24-hour fast, there will be some discipline involved. Most people will experience hunger while attempting a fast that long. To maintain the fast, you’ll have to resist the temptation when your stomach is rumbling and your kitchen is calling out to you.

Maybe you couldn’t do it every other day, like those who use the alternate-day approach, but if you could manage a 24-hour fast or two per week, you’d force yourself into some self-discipline.

If heightened self-discipline can develop into a habit, it might have a positive effect on other aspects of your more-homebound life. Self-discipline might not only help you avoid snacks even on your non-fasting days, but it could also help you avoid other distractions while working from home, such as the internet or TV. Maybe some self-discipline would help you be more patient with those sharing the house with you or get you out of the chair for some exercise every day.

There might be less temptation

True, working exclusively from home puts you in close proximity to your kitchen all day, every day. But being at home might help someone who’s fasting avoid other temptations.

For example, how often have you broken your diet or ate something unplanned because a co-worker brought in donuts or someone celebrated a birthday with cake in the office? How many impromptu after-work happy hours have you attended and consumed extra calories at? Also, without a commute to work every day, it’s a lot easier to avoid the drive-thru you’d pass by every day or skip the mocha cappuccino that’s calling your name.

If you’ve considered a fasting approach to eating, a time in your life with fewer co-workers and commutes could make it easier to try.

Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone, and while there are plenty of studies that show its potential benefits, it’s also spawned what can be described as fad diets. But if you’ve thought about trying it for weight loss or maintenance, there’s a case to be made for giving it a go while you’re working from home or staying home more overall.

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