Before we go deep into a ton of research done on incredibly promising intermittent fasting (IF) its health benefits like lose weight, controls blood pressure, cholesterol, and improves blood sugar. Let’s understand what “INTERMITTENT FASTING” actually is?
Table of Content
- WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
- WHY INTERMITTENT FASTING?
- TYPES OF INTERMITTENT FASTING?
- WHY 16:8 IS SO POPULAR METHOD?
- HOW INTERMITTENT FASTING BECOMES A POPULAR TREND?
- HOW TO DO INTERMITTENT FASTING?
- INTERMITTENT FASTING WEIGHT LOSS METHODS?
- BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
- IS THERE SIDE EFFECTS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING?
- WHO SHOULD NOT DO IT?
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting, also known as intermittent energy restriction. IF is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Intermittent fasting (IF) is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends.
IF doesn’t define which foods to consume, nor when to consume them. In this respect, it is not a conventional diet but an eating pattern that is more properly defined. Popular intermittent fasting practices include 16-hour or 24-hour fasting, twice a week, every day.
Fasting became a ritual in the evolution of humanity. Old hunter traders had no stores, refrigerators or provisions during the year. Perhaps little to consume could be found. As a consequence, humans have adapted to work for long stretches without food. Fasting is mostly performed for social or moral purposes, like Catholicism, Christianity, Judaism & Buddhism. Fasting from time to time is more common than consuming 3-4 (or more) meals a day.
Why Intermittent fasting?
Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain and may even help you live longer. People are using it to lose weight, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles.
Well, it’s a fantastic way, particularly, to get lean without a insane diet or cutting your calories down to nothing. Indeed, when you begin intermittent fasting, you try mainly to keep your calories the same. In addition, intermittent fasting is a good way to keep your muscles on while leaning. (majority of people eat bigger meals during a shorter time frame.)
With all that said, the main reason people try intermittent fasting is to lose fat. We’ll talk about how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss in a moment. Perhaps most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies we have for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting — all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods.
These are the most popular ones:
- 16/8 method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
- 5:2 diet: With this methods, you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
By reducing your calorie intake, all of these methods should cause weight loss as long as you don’t compensate by eating much more during the eating periods.
Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It’s also the most popular.
Why 16:8 is so popular method?
16/8 intermittent fasting is a popular fasting method because it is very easy to follow, flexible and sustainable in the long term. It’s also convenient, as it can cut down on the amount of time and money you need to spend on cooking and preparing food each week.
How IF becomes a popular trend?
Intermittent Fasting as a weight loss method has been around for years in different ways but was widely popularized in 2012 by BBC television journalist Dr. Michael Mosley’s TV series Eat Easy, Live Longer and The Quick Diet, followed by journalist Kate Harrison ‘s book The 5:2 Diet based on her own experience, and subsequently by Dr. Jason Fung ‘s 2016 bestseller The Obesity Code. When stories of its efficacy proliferated, IF produced a steady positive buzz.
Fung effectively blends a wealth of science, clinical experience, and sound diet advice, and also tackles the collaborating socio-economic forces to make us fat. He’s very obvious we should consume more fruits and vegetables, fiber, good protein , and fats, and avoid sugar, refined grains, fried foods, and stop snacking for God’s sake.
How To Do It?
The best approach to adopt the 16:8 diet is to pick a 16-hour fasting cycle for the period a person spends sleeping.
Many researchers suggest stopping food intake early in the evening, because after this time metabolism slows down. This is not feasible to all, though.
Some people may not be able to eat up their dinner until 7 p.m. Or at a later date. Even so, it is best to avoid 2–3 hours of food before bedtime.
People may choose one of the following 8-hour eating windows:
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- noon to 8 p.m.
Humans will consume their meals and snacks at appropriate times during this timeline. Daily feeding is necessary to avoid rises and drops in blood sugar and to avoid extreme hunger.
Many individuals can need to try to determine the right mealtime and feeding windows for their Lifestyles.
Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Methods?
They first need to consider the difference between the fed state and the fasted state to consider how intermittent fasting contributes to fat loss.
When it digests and absorbs food your body is in a fed state. Usually, after you start eating the fed state starts and lasts three to five hours while your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. It is very difficult for your body to burn fat while you are in the fed state, since your insulin levels are high.
The body goes into what is known as the post-absorptive state after that period of time, which is just a fancy way of saying that the body is not eating a meal. Following your last meal, which is when you reach the fasted period, the post – absorptive state lasts for 8 to 12 hours. Burning fat in the fasted state is much better for your body, since your insulin levels are small.
If you’re in a fasted state your body will burn inaccessible fat during the fed state. Since we are not entering the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it is unusual for our bodies to be in this state of fat burning. That is one of the reasons that many people who begin intermittent fasting lose weight without adjusting what they eat, how often they sleep, or how much they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a state of fat burning which you rarely do during a regular eating schedule.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
There have been several reports on extended fasting in animals as well as in humans.
Such findings have proven that it can provide important benefits to the body and brain for weight loss and wellbeing. That will also make you carry on living longer.
Here are the most significant Health Benefits of intermittent fasting:
Weight loss: Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and fat in your belly, without consciously limiting calories.
Resistance to insulin: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, decrease blood sugar by 3–6 per cent, and fast insulin levels by 20–31 per cent, which should protect against type 2 diabetes.
Inflammation: Many reports indicate reductions in inflammation levels, which are the primary cause of many chronic conditions.
Cardiac health: intermittent fasting can reduce “poor” LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance — all cardiac risk factors.
Cancer: Experiments performed on livestock show that prolonged fasting may reduce cancer.
Brain health: intermittent fasting improves BDNF ‘s brain hormone, which may help fresh nerve cells expand. This may even guard from the condition of Alzheimer’s.
Anti-ageing: In rats, intermittent fasting can extend lifespan. Studies have shown that fasted rats live longer than 36–83 per cent.
Is there any Side Effects?
You’re ready to give it a try, then you need to be aware of some not-so-awesome side effects that you’ll likely experience in the beginning.
The hormone ghrelin is responsible for making humans feel hungry. This usually increases at morning, lunch , and dinner time and is partly controlled by food consumption. When you start fasting for the first time, ghrelin rates will begin to increase and you will remain hungry. Days three through five may feel the worst, but a time will come when you reach the start of your eating window and you’re not even hungry!
If I asked you that you couldn’t consume watermelon again and again, odds are, what you’d like to do is eat a slice of watermelon. Through intermittent fasting, you ‘re going through very long stretches without food. And odds are, you ‘re just going to be willing to talk of food. That’s where the cravings come in. You’ll probably notice that you’re more inclined to crave candy and/or fried carbs since you’re going to have to feed.
Headaches can often be triggered by rising blood sugar rates, and tension hormones produced by the brain during fasting. The body should get accustomed to this new eating routine over time so aim to remain as stress-free as possible.
The body is no longer having the steady supply of food you used to get from feeding all day long, so anticipate the first few weeks to feel a little slow. Attempt to make the day as comfortable as possible, so that you can expend as little time as necessary. You might want to offer a break to your workouts, or even do light exercises like walking or yoga. Gaining extra sleep can help, too.
It is true to feel hungry and it sucks. Stephanie notes that when the blood sugar levels decrease when you’re struggling with the other side effects of IF, including cravings and poor strength, you should tend to be a bit cranky. By eliminating scenarios and events that could get you more upset and concentrating on doing activities that make you happier you can live with this.
HeartBurn, Bloating and Constipation
Your stomach produces acid to help digest your food so you may experience heartburn when you’re not eating (this side effect isn’t as common as the others). It may vary from slight annoyance to full-on agony, to burping all day. This side effect will be healed by time, so just keep drinking tea, prop yourself up when you sleep, and when you do eat, avoid greasy, spicy foods that could make your heartburn worse.
Hot fingertips and toes are relatively normal when fasting, but for a good cause! If you quick, the supply of blood to your fat stores decreases. Called blood supply to adipose tissue, this helps transfer fat through the tissues, where it can be burned as a heat.
At the beginning of the IF process , people continue to over-eat, either because they thought calories don’t count (they do!) or that they’re so nervous about food that they over-eat everything. Planing the menus in advance will hold quantities in order.
Who should not do it?
If you have a medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.
This is particularly important if you:
- Have diabetes.
- Have problems with blood sugar regulation.
- Have low blood pressure.
- Take medications.
- Are underweight.
- Have a history of eating disorders.
- Are a woman who is trying to conceive.
- Are a woman with a history of amenorrhea.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
All that being said, intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile. There is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while if you’re healthy and well-nourished overall.
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