What is Intermittent fasting?
While many diets focus on what you eat, intermittent fasting is all about when you eat.
It involves eating only at specific times. Fasting for a set amount of time each day, or eating just one meal a few days a week, can help your body burn fat. Scientific evidence also points to some health benefits.
Instead of specifying which foods to eat, Intermittent fasting specifies when to eat them.
In this respect, it is more accurately described as feeding behavior rather than eating in the conventional sense.
Intermittent Fasting Plans
Common fasting methods include fasting for 16 hours a day or 24 hours twice a week.
Fasting has been practiced throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter-gatherers did not have year-round supermarkets, refrigerators, or groceries. Sometimes I couldn’t find anything to eat.
As a result, humans have evolved to survive without food for long periods of time.
There are many different types of intermittent fasting. All divide the day or week into eating and fasting periods. During fasting, you eat little or nothing.
The most common methods are:
1.The 16:8 method
Also known as the Lean gains protocol, it skips breakfast and limits eating to eight hours each day. B. 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Then he fasts for 16 hours in between.
2.The 5:2 method
With this method, you eat 500-600 calories on 2 non-consecutive days and eat normally on the remaining 5 days.
This includes fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. For example, eating nothing from one dinner to the next.
By reducing calorie intake, all of these methods should lead to weight loss unless compensated by eating more during the diet.
Many people find the 16/8 method the simplest, most sustainable, and easiest to follow. Also the most popular.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Many studies have been conducted on both animals and humans.
These studies show that it can provide powerful weight management benefits and the health of your body and brain .It may also help you live longer.
The main health benefits of intermittent fasting are:
1.Fat Weight Loss
As mentioned above, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and belly fat quickly without consciously restricting calories.
It reduces insulin resistance, lowers blood sugar levels by 3-6%, lowers fasting insulin levels by 20-31%, and prevents type 2 diabetes.
Some studies conclude that making up an eating pattern can cause a decline in the production of inflammation makers in the body which are the root cause of various diseases.
4.Good for Heart
Intermittent fasting can reduce all risk factors for heart disease, including ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
In many of the cases intermittent fasting also allows to prevent cancer.
6.Improves Brain Health
Fasting increases the brain hormone BDNF, which supports the growth of new nerve cells. Helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Read this to know more about mental health.
Various studies performed on rats have shown that intermittent fasting can help you live longer than usual.
Who Should Avoid It?
Intermittent fasting is certainly not for everyone.
If you are underweight or have a history of eating disorders, do not fast without first consulting your doctor.
In these cases it can be downright harmful.
Change your Eating Habits for Better Results
When you’re not eating, you can drink non-calorie beverages such as water, black coffee, and tea.
And “eating normally” during the meal phase does not mean going crazy. Packing a mealtime full of high-calorie junk food, oversized fried foods, and snacks is unlikely to make you lose weight or get healthier.
Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting
The main side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger.
You may also feel depressed and your brain may not function as it used to.
This may only be temporary as it takes time for your body to get used to the new eating plan.
If you have a medical condition, consult your doctor before attempting intermittent fasting.
That said, intermittent fasting has an excellent safety profile: if you’re generally healthy and well-nourished, not eating for a while isn’t dangerous.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.Is taking liquids allowed during the fasting window?
Yes. Water, coffee, tea, and other non-caloric beverages are fine. Don’t put sugar in your coffee. A small amount of milk or cream is OK.
Coffee is especially effective during fasting as it can reduce hunger.
2. Is skipping breakfast a good option ?
Yes. The problem is that most people who skip the stereotypical breakfast lead unhealthy lifestyles. This habit is perfectly healthy if you make sure you eat healthy food for the rest of the day.
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. This is just one of many lifestyle strategies that can improve your health. Proper diet, exercise and sleep are still the most important factors.