Intermittent Fasting is one of the healthiest choices to manage weight, prevent diabetes, and has overall positive effects on the body. It is the most popular in the world of health and fitness that helps in balancing diet and nutrition most effectively. Many studies have supported Intermittent Fasting as the most sustainable way of losing weight and thus improving lifestyles. Intermittent Fasting (IF) is safe and effective from other forms of diet. Extra calories and an unhealthy lifestyle can give an adverse effect on health with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other health ailments. Therefore, in the last few years, Intermittent Fasting has gained popularity and has been trending on social media.
Here How’s it Works…
Intermittent Fasting usually focuses on when you eat and what you eat under specific intervals. These specific intervals are defined as patterns or cycles of fasting and eating. Intermittent Fasting isn’t just about restricting yourself from eating or starving. Although it’s more about cutting down excess calories and detoxifying your body most naturally.
Our bodies make several changes to make their stored energy accessible when we don’t eat for a certain interval. Once it exhausts all the energy stores, it starts burning down body fat. Scientific studies support those two metabolic changes that happen in our body when we fast. Firstly, the lower the level of insulin while fasting facilitates Fat burning thus helping in weight loss. Moreover, our nervous system sends norepinephrine to fat cells to break and burn down fat to produce energy.
More studies have reported that cutting down calories by 30 to 40 percent helps to regulate blood sugar control and increases lifespan. The test has been conducted on mice by scientists and they found out that reducing calories helped mice to live a longer and healthier life.
Methods of Intermittent Fasting
Well, there are several methods of fasting plans, listing down 3 popular methods. Before choosing any of these methods it’s always best to consult a health expert, nutritionist, or dietician.
- The ratio of 16:8 Method– It’s also known as the Leangains diet, it usually involves skipping breakfast and allows an eating window for 8 hours a day while fasting for 16 hours. It might take several days to figure out the right eating and fasting windows depending upon the individual lifestyle, gender, age, and activity level. While following the 16:8 ratio method, it’s important to regulate the level of carbs, fats, and protein intake. However, this type of Intermittent Fasting is ideal for long-lasting results.
- Eat-Stop-Eat Method– It’s also known as the ratio of 24:0, it involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. It’s complete fasting for the whole 24 hours, without eating, and only permitted to have water, tea, green tea, and other calorie-free drink during this period. Individuals following this diet can resume normal eating for the rest of the week. Although following an Eat-Stop-Eat diet is not easy as it may cause extreme health conditions, such as fatigue, headaches, irritability, hunger, and low energy. Moderation is the key to following what you eat as it reduces total calorie intake without limiting the choice of food.
- Twice a week 5:2 Method– This version of the diet method involves consuming 500 to 600 calories for two non-consecutive days while eating normally for the rest of five days. The study research was done on 102 obese women and found that restricting calories for two days a week led to some weight loss among them. The 5:2 method also helped to reduce the insulin level among the participant in the study research. This type of diet focus on high fiber and high protein food which helps to keep up the energy level while fasting. Twice a week 5:2 method helps to maintain a healthy and normal diet.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Intermittent Fasting helps to improve concentration and boosts memory power.
- It helps to keep the heart healthy by improving blood pressure.
- It helps to maintain a healthy weight while maintaining muscle mass.
- It prevents obesity and helps to control diabetes as it improves the sensitivity of insulin.
- It helps to repair tissue health and hence reductions in markers of inflammation
- Intermittent fasting may extend longevity.
Few Tips to Maximize the Effects of Intermittent Fasting
- The key is to stay hydrated throughout the day by consuming a lot of water, green tea, herbal tea, and other low-calorie drinks.
- Avoid foods that are made up of sugar and refined grains. Have lots of green veggies, whole grains, high fiber, protein, and fruits.
- Sleep and Stress often disrupt the appetite and weight as it increases hunger and craving for unhealthy food. Improve your sleeping schedule to get the best results from Intermittent Fasting.
- Relax your body with light yoga and meditation and avoid any high-power exercise or physical activity on a fasting day.
- A well-balanced diet is like nutrient-dense food that contains a high level of fiber, protein, and vitamins that fulfill the deficiencies and contribute to overall health.
- Avoid snacking during late hours.
Intermittent fasting is all about improving your lifestyle and bringing small changes in your daily habit of eating and sleeping can make a big change.