You might have heard from your diet-conscious friend about Intermittent Fasting as it has become popular nowadays. It has become an effective weight loss and better health method. Typically, it is a meal plan that includes eating and fasting at regular intervals.
People all over the world use IF to:
- Loose weight
- Improve health
- Better lifestyle
Aside from other diet plans that focus on what to eat, intermittent fasting focuses on when to eat. It allows you to shed some extra pounds by burning calories with a lower risk of diabetes and heart diseases. Numerous research studies have concluded that IF has powerful effects on the body.
Keep scrolling through this beginner guide to understand what it is!
Technically, IF is a pattern of eating and fasting between regular intervals. When you follow this, you eat only during specific times of the day. It helps people to burn calories and lose weight.
Some common intermittent-fasting methods include:
- 16 hours fast
- 24 hours fast
Intermittent-Fasting does not involve tracking calories and avoidance of food. You might be wondering why people choose intermittent fasting over dieting. It is effective and convenient to reduce body weight. Also, it can save you valuable time in the kitchen as you have to prepare a few meals.
Adopt this eating pattern to lose weight and well-being!
You might have thought about adopting this eating pattern for better health. There are numerous ways of intermittent fasting that all focus on the time to eat. During fasting, you can eat little or skip eating at all.
Below are some popular Intermittent-Fasting methods:
- The 16/8 Method
- The 5:2 Diet
Fasting for 16 hours leads you to burn calories and lose weight. You can compensate for the energy loss during the eating period. Most people opt for the 16/8 method as it is simple and convenient.
All the fasting methods are based on choosing a regular time to eat and fast. After choosing the fasting method, you can choose a fasting schedule to follow. For example, you can opt for eight hour period of eating or one meal a day, two days a week.
How is it effective? During hours without food, your body uses the sugar stored in the body. With an increase in metabolism, the body starts burning fats. All this leads to a lean body and weight loss.
If you are eating three meals a day with snacks and beverages without exercising, you are deposing fats. Fat deposition leads to obesity which causes several diseases, such as diabetes and blood pressure. Intermittent fasting works when your body has digested the previous meal and started digesting the stored fats.
Intermittent Fasting is
- Time-Restricted Eating – fast less than 24 hours
- Short-Term Fasting – fasting between 24 & 36 hours
- Alternate Day Fasting – one-day eating and one-day fasting
- Long-Term Fasting – fast for more than 36 hours
Let us discuss the health benefits of Intermittent Fasting!
Besides benefiting your waistline, intermittent fasting offers several health benefits, such as:
Heart diseases have become a leading cause of death worldwide. The primary reasons behind heart problems are high blood pressure, cholesterol level, and high triglyceride concentration.
Researchers have identified that intermittent fasting can lower blood pressure by 6% and lowered cholesterol levels by 25%.
However, before adopting fasting, more scientific evidence are necessary.
Intermittent fasting may be beneficial to lower the risk of diabetes. Calories restriction has effective results on overweight obese women. A small randomized scientific study has shown reduced 29% insulin levels and 19% insulin resistance after 6-months of fasting.
Despite side effects, the reduction in insulin and insulin resistance would still likely reduce the risk of diabetes, particularly for individuals with pre-diabetes.
No doubt, intermittent fasting is a simple and effective way to lose weight. Regular short-term fast results in calories consumption and shedding pounds. It is a traditional calorie-restricted method to lose weight.
In the short term, intermittent fasting seems to aid in weight loss. However, the amount you lose will likely depend on the number of calories you consume during non-fasting periods and how long you adhere to the lifestyle.
No doubt, it is challenging for a beginner to stick to this fasting program. Whether you choose the 16/8 fasting method or the 5:2 method, be sure to follow the below tips to maintain your routine.
There are no side effects of intermittent fasting. But some specific individuals should avoid fasting or do it under careful guidance.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
- Women trying to get pregnant
- Malnourished people
- Anorexia or bulimia patients
Before starting intermittent fasting, you must speak to your doctor.