What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an ancient practice of dietary intervention or a way of eating pattern which if done right is helpful in weight loss, elimination of type-2 diabetes and energy retention among many things. As easy as it may sound, if not done correctly, it might lead to starvation and inflammation of the stomach wall. This method is mostly adopted in order to lose weight, although it has many other benefits. It is very important to consult with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting.
How it Works
Superficially speaking, it is very evident that if a person does not eat for long hours, the body will strip off stored energy in order to perform the vital functions of the body. Insulin, the main anabolic hormone is responsible for controlling metabolism. When we eat and some hours post eating, the insulin level is high. Conversely, when we enter the fasting phase, about 8-12 hours post your meal; insulin level is low, which makes it ideal to burn fat.
In order for intermittent fasting to actually work, your meal intervals need to be in check. Even if you do not change the quantity of food you are eating in a day, intermittent fasting will help you burn fat.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
- Your concentration is increased as a result of this.
- Losing weight is probably one of the most important benefits of intermittent
- This could potentially bring down the risks of cancer.
- Type-2 diabetes is proven to be lowered.
- Your insulin level and blood sugar level will also reduce as a result of fasting.
- Cholesterol is also kept in check.
- It reduced stomach wall inflammation.
- Intermittent fasting if done right is the key to a healthier and longer life.
So, fasting has its advantages over dieting as it is easier to follow and has more benefits to it.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
- Daily – One that is practiced on a daily basis as per one’s convenience. For example you can skip breakfast but eat a larger lunch and dinner, or skip breakfast and lunch and eat a very, very large dinner.
- Weekly – Fasting done once per week. Eat nothing at all for one day in the week, drinking only water or zero calorie beverages then rest of the week eat your normal amount.
- Alternate – Fasting every other day. A popular alternate IF method is the 5:2 diet, where 5 days of the week you are to eat at or slightly above your maintenance calories, and 2 days where you eat 1/4 of your daily maintenance (usually 500 calories for women, 600 calories for men) as 1 meal.
Intermittent fasting is beneficial in many ways and cuts down the risks of many chronic illnesses. What is important is to learn how to do it properly. If fasting turns into starvation, the results will do more harm than good. It is very important to know if your body is responding well to this or whether your physical condition allows you to practice it in the first place. But once you start doing intermittent fasting, you will realize how easy and effective it is!