Time-restricted eating — also called fasting or intermittent fasting — is a time-honored tradition in many cultural practices. The method can also be used to cleanse the body, reset the metabolism, and help with weight loss. It can even help reverse or mitigate the symptoms of different health conditions. Is fasting right for you? Though some camps argue that fasting is little more than temporary starvation, research has shown the practice has numerous benefits. Proponents point out that time-restricted eating can kick-start your metabolism, give you more energy, and offer other health benefits minus the stress of counting calories or adhering to strict meal plans.

1. What is Fasting?

Fasting isn’t starving yourself, and neither is it simply refusing to eat. It’s not a diet, either. So, what is it? Fasting is refraining from drinking or eating for specific periods of time. In fact, most people fast at the end of every day, from after dinner until the morning. There’s a reason your first meal is called breakfast. Choosing to fast might be as simple as changing your eating schedule. Instead of eating the traditional three meals a day or “grazing” (eating numerous smaller meals throughout the day), fasting involves limiting food consumption to a specific window of time. Some people eat just once a day at a predetermined hour, and others may fast on predetermined days. Time-restricted fasting can help people incorporate a reduced-calorie diet over time.

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