Nowadays we see that people are taking care of their health and are also working hard to achieve fitness. To achieve fitness, you need to take a proper diet and do the exercise. Some people want to lose weight and some people want to gain weight. This means that everyone’s objective is to look good and fit. Diet plans and exercise patterns are available for everyone to choose from. It depends on the kind of physique they are trying to achieve. If your goal is primarily to lose weight, then intermittent fasting for weight loss is something you should try.
- What is intermittent fasting?
- How does intermittent fasting works?
- Does your body go into starvation mode in intermittent fasting?
- Benefits of intermittent fasting
- How to do intermittent fasting?
- Things to remember on intermittent fasting
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a very popular health and fitness trend. It involves the cycle between eating patterns and the duration of eating. It does not tell you what to eat but it tells when and how you should eat. This fasting has many health benefits and has been used since long time.
How does intermittent fasting works?
In intermittent fasting, you fluctuate between periods of eating and fasting. This may mean eating during eight hours and fasting for the other 16 hours of the day, fasting one day a week or limiting food intake to 500 calories during the fasting period. This is the way where your body uses stored fats and starts breaking down them to get energy.
You enter the fast 8-10 hours after your last meal. After 12 to 14 hours your body starts breaking down fat to get energy as the glucose present in the body decreases. All this in turn causes fat and weight loss gradually.
Does your body go into starvation mode in intermittent fasting?
It is always thought that fasting and starvation are the same thing, but this is not true. Fasting means giving up food, it is done in moderation. It is a process performed for a controlled period after which adequate nutrition is supplied to the body.
Starvation, on the other hand, is nutritional deficiency where essential vitamins and micronutrients are not in our routine. Starvation is something that one is forced to do and it is something that a person does not want to go through.
Intermittent fasting should not be compared to starvation. It does not ask you to starve yourself but it promotes the practice of fasting for a controlled period of time after which you will have to provide proper nutrition to your body.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
Studies show that people who have had intermittent fasting have not only lost weight, but have also shown improvement in their metabolic functions and health. Here are the benefits of intermittent fasting.
- Weight loss
- Helps you live longer
- Increases metabolism
- Improve glucose tolerance
- Boost brain functioning
- Improve heart functioning
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Increases healing and recovery speed
- Reduces oxidative stress
It is also said that intermittent fasting controls the development of diseases and disorders, which in turn increases your chances of staying healthy. Therefore, if intermittent fasting is done properly it can have many health benefits.
How to do intermittent fasting?
Here are 6 effective ways to follow the intermittent fasting:
1. The 16:8 method
This is a one-time restricted fast, done to gain better health or lose weight. 16:8, on diet, you do not eat anything for 16 hours each day and only drink beverages like water, coffee and tea. The remaining eight hours are when you eat all your food and snacks.
If you finish your last meal at 8 pm and fast till 12 noon the next day, you fast for about 16 hours. This can be simple to do. Make your last meal, skip your dinner, sleep and skip your breakfast the next day.
During your eating period of 8 hours, it is important that you eat only healthy foods and stay within your calorie limit. Eat 2 to 3 healthy and balanced meals. It is advised that a low carb diet should be taken during intermittent fasting.
You can drink water, black coffee and non-calorie drinks. However, it does not include zero calorie diet soda.
2. The 5:2 diet
5: 2 diet, also known as “fast diet”. It is currently the most popular intermittent fasting diet. This is called a 5: 2 diet because five days a week are normal eating days, while the other two days have limited calories in your diet, which is 500-600 per day. This does not mean that you can eat everything you want. Since you are going to fast for those 2 days, it means that in those 5 days you only have to take restricted calories.
3. Eat stop eat method
This method involves a full 24-hour fast for 1 or 2 days a week and eating moderately balanced calorie-rich meals on days in which you are not fasting for the week. This can be very difficult to do. For this, you have to fast from one dinner to the next. For example, if you have eaten your last meal at 8 pm, you will have your next meal at 8 pm the next day.
You can also fast from lunch to breakfast or breakfast the next day. To do that 24-hour fast, do whatever suits you. You do not have to take any kind of solid, semi-solid or liquid food for those 24 hours. Except for just water or zero calorie drinks.
Now the point of this method is that many people cannot stay for a long period of 24 hours. This can be tedious and difficult for some people but it is not impossible. If you really want to lose weight then this can be done.
4. The warrior diet
People who are following this diet do not eat anything for 20 hours per day, then eat their desired food at night. During the 20-hour fasting period, people on the diet are suggested to consume small amounts of dairy products, boiled eggs and raw fruits and vegetables as well as non-calorie fluids.
5. Alternate day fasting
In Alternate fasting you do the fasting every other day. There are several different versions of this method. Some of them allow about 500 calories during the fasting days. This can be followed by either by not eating anything or only eating a few hundred calories. A full fast every other day can seem rather extreme, so it’s not recommended for beginners. With this method, you will be going to bed very hungry several times per week, which is not very pleasant and probably unsustainable in the long term.
6. Spontaneous Meal Skipping: According to your convenience
In This fasting, you don’t need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to get some of its benefits. You can skip meals whenever you want like if you don’t feel hungry or you don’t want eat. Thus, if you are not hungry one day or don’t have any option to eat, you can skip one or two meals.
Things to remember on intermittent fasting
There are many benefits of intermittent fasting if you do it correctly. Therefore, from the above mentioned fasts, you should do the fast which is beneficial for your body and at the same time it should not be harmful for your body.
Here are some things you should absolutely make sure-
- Do not drink any artificial sweet drink or zero calorie soda.
- You have to make healthy and good food choices.
- Take a low carb diet.
- Eat a calorie controlled amount.
- Do not eat junk and processed food.
- Pregnant and lactating women should not fast because it can have a negative effect on the child.
- If you have a chronic disease or are under any medication, it would be good to ask your doctor before making plans to go on a fast.
- Stay hydrated during fasting. During your eating period, eat foods rich in nutrients. Also, get plenty of rest.
You can break your fast immediately if you feel that your body can no longer take it. See your doctor before making any major changes in your nutrition and diet. If you are considering intermittent fasting and think that it will help you to be healthy, always seek the opinion of your doctor, this will make things more clear and better for you.
We have seen that intermittent fasting is becoming very popular and many people have been able to achieve their fitness goals with it. This is a successful method only when it is done correctly. Regular fasting improves appetite control and also helps you choose the right food for a healthy lifestyle.
Intermittent fasting requires some time so that you can adopt it. It will also take some time to show the result. It is important for you to see how your body reacts to changes in your diet and which method is suitable for you.