A very popular and latest diet trend that helps lose weight. In addition, it also improves health and fitness. Intermittent Fasting involves eating patterns based on your routine. It has a specific set of hours for fasting and a few hours to eat.
Therefore, it naturally cuts down the number of meals consumed for a day. Moreover, when taken at prescribed times, it promotes a healthy routine which is effective for weight loss.
What is intermittent fasting ?
Intermittent fasting focuses on eating time, calorie intake and fasting periods. It sets a specific time for eating and fasting for specific hours.
Fasting had been done in many religions including Islam and Christianity. Notable benefits of fasting when being practiced gives advent to diet plans involving the regime.
It has numerous benefits in addition to weight loss. In addition, it promotes heart and brain health, releases body toxins and rejuvenates body cells and tissues. A starving person can use excess and stored glucose in the body. This balances sugar levels and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Keeping the benefits in accordance, the various methods of intermittent fasting had been introduced to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Popular methods for Intermittent Fasting.
Type 1: Eat-Stop-Eat
Eat stop eat can be followed twice or thrice a week. It involves a fasting period of 20-24 hours, that’s almost an entire day. It can be done on alternate days of a week. One day you can eat normally, then fast and the next day again eat normally.
The method involves long hours of fasting so should be done less, especially in start. Studies have shown that doing it once a week can cause a 10% calorie deficit.
In the fasting hours, only liquid drinks that are low in calories are allowed. For example, black coffee, green and herbal teas, and detox water are permitted. Plenty of water should be consumed to stay hydrated and energetic.
Type 2: The 16/8 method
The 16/8 method segregates a 24 hour day into 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating. The time frame can be selected by a person based on their routine.
However, the set should be of active hours. So, whatever is eaten should be digested also. Afternoon time is preferable. For example 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. when a person is busy at work. They can use the energy from food and avoid fat accumulation.
Type 3: The 5:2 Diet
The 5:2 ratio is for the number of calories compared with the days. It sets a figure of around 500 calories to be taken for 2 days with normal intake for the rest of the days. This method forces a person to do a balanced and low-calorie diet, and cut off the calorie intake to make them very less. Moreover, it makes us get used to a healthy and energetic intake. This helps reduce weight and improves overall body health.
Health Benefits of Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is primarily done for weight loss. Therefore, it gives visible results for people who carry it well and the diet suits them. On an average it can help you reduce around 1 kg a week. As a result, 4 kgs a month gives an overall good progress.
Heart and brain health
Fats, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and triglycerides are greatly reduced following the diet. Therefore, it promotes heart health, and avoids most cardiac issues that are a result of irregular patterns of these body molecules.
BDNF secretion is raised. It is a brain hormone. Therefore, mental disorders like anxiety and stress encounter less. It stops inflammation and keeps safe from stroke and other neurological disorders.
Insulin resistance and diabetes
The fasting hours use stored glucose in the body and reduces insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar level is reduced by almost 5%. This reduces the risk factor for diabetes 2.
Improving the lifestyle and increasing safety from common health related diseases keeps a person active and energetic. In addition, it also increases their life-span.
Drawbacks of Intermittent fasting
Long hours of fasting or consuming less food can be harmful for many people. It should be avoided by people having,
- Low-blood pressure levels,
- Blood sugar fluctuations,
- On Medications,
- Pregnant and Lactating women,
- Growing Kids,
- Elderly who needs more energy,
- People doing harsh work,
- People involved in active sports
The new trend of fasting has different methods. Therefore, suitable methods should be adopted by people who can gain the benefits. Diet plans might be easy to follow, but very difficult to maintain.
Firstly, intermittent fasting has varied choices that are flexible for people to adopt. It requires giving specific hours and days to follow the routine and eat normally for the rest. However, care should be taken to avoid fattening and unhealthy meals. Particularly in non-fasting days and eating window time as well to gain the advantage of the diet.
Secondly and most importantly, specific people with related illnesses and problems as mentioned should not perform the diet. Moreover, a normal healthy person should also prolong the diet practice if its effective enough and suits them well. To sum up, people going well with the regime can adopt it as a lifestyle.