A lot of people out there do not know what intermittent fasting is and how it works. So for those of you who are unsure of the term, let me help you out. Here is a detailed brief of everything you need to know about intermittent fasting.
Everything You Need To Know About Intermittent Fasting
#01 – What Is It?
Intermittent Fasting is currently a viral health trend around the world. IF stands for Intermittent Fasting, and it can be described as an eating pattern.
In this pattern, people usually have to switch between different periods of either fasting or eating. You have to keep on alternating between long periods of not eating or a little time of eating food. You cannot call it a diet; it is more of an eating pattern.
In an intermitting fast, nobody will specify the kind of food you are supposed to eat. Instead, they will ask you to focus on the time you are consuming them.
There is nothing crazy about this fasting schedule because on an average a human being does not consume food from his last meal in the evening to the first meal the following day. All you have to do in intermittent fasting is extend this time period.
#02 – Benefits of Following This Method
I am sure you might be thinking about the benefits of intermittent fasting, so here is a list for you:
1. Weight loss
Intermittent fasting helps in lowering down the insulin levels of your body which can result in weight loss. When you are not consuming food, your insulin level can drop massively. So when you are fasting, it is possible for the cells to release the stored glucose as energy. When you follow this routine repeatedly, you will experience a sudden loss in your weight.
2. Prevent diabetes
One of the main reasons that can cause Type 2 diabetes is obesity or excessive weight. When you follow a fixed eating pattern, it can help in reducing your weight and prevent your body from developing Type 2 diabetes.
3. Heart health
Intermittent fasting helps in lowering the levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol, blood sugar and blood triglycerides. All these are factors which can cause heart disease. Following this eating pattern can improve your heart health.
#03 – Different Schedules of Intermittent Fasting:
There are quite a few ways in which you can perform intermittent fasting; the most common ones are mentioned below:
1. The 16/8 Method
This method involves a fasting period of around 16 hours and “eating window” of only 8 hours. In these 8 hours, you can fit up to two to three meals. It is also known as “Lean gains” and can help in maintaining your muscle mass.
2. The 5:2 Method
This is not a daily fasting diet but a weekly one. Here you will have to fast for two days in a week (cutting down your calories to 500-600 in total) and normally eat the remaining five days. It is also called as “Fast Diet.”
3. 24-Hour Fast
It is also known as “Eat Stop Eat” method which involves one or two days in a week where you will have to boycott food completely. That is why it is called the 24-hour fast. You cannot eat anything solid, though coffee, water, and other beverages that do not include calories can be consumed.
4. Alternate Day Fasting
As the name suggests, this method involves fasting every other day. So you have one fasting day followed by a fed day and so on. On the fasting days, you can eat food, but that has to be a very low-calorie diet. The only focus of this diet is to ensure weight loss.
5. The Warrior Diet
The concept of this diet is quite simple. All you have to do is fast during the day and eat at night. In the day time, you are allowed to eat small amounts of fruits and vegetables followed by a huge meal at night. It is one of the most popular forms of intermittent fasting.
#04 – Who Can Try Intermittent Fasting?
It is a good option for people if:
- They are looking to reduce their calorie intake but struggling with their hunger at the same time.
- They do not get proper time to cook meals. Here, you can eat less and still achieve more.
- They like eating more at night and less during the day.
#05 – Who Should Avoid It?
Intermittent fasting involves an irregular eating pattern which is definitely not for everyone.
- If you have had a history of eating disorders or you are underweight, then it is better not to try following a diet on your own.
- Pregnant women should stay away from intermittent fasting as it can be harmful to the baby.
- People who have issues with their blood sugar level or have diabetes should not try this fasting method as they can experience fall in their energy levels.
- If you think that hunger levels and not eating properly will affect your efficiency and mood, then it is better to stay away from intermittent fasting.
You might feel like your energy levels are dropping, and feeling of weakness is overtaking but, do not worry. These are just temporary issues, and it will go away with time, as soon as your body gets used to the eating pattern.
It has been proven beneficial for a lot of people; by improving their energy levels, concentration power and helping them in weight loss. But, intermittent fasting is not something that everyone requires.
If you are still interested, you can give it a try and follow a method that fits your schedule. If you have never done something like this or fasted before, then give your body some time to adjust. If the plan works for you, then you can continue doing it.