Intermittent Fasting- A Boon for Weight Loss. Here is Everything You Need to Know!


Intermittent Fasting is an
incredibly famous health and fitness trend where you alternate between periods
of eating and fasting. Like we naturally “fast” every night while sleeping,
intermittent fasting is merely extending that process a little longer. 

The most popular method of
this type of fasting is known as 16/8. Here, in 24 hours, you fast for 16 and
eat in the rest 8. No food is allowed during the fast period, although you can
have non-caloric beverages like water, tea, or coffee. Other methods include:

Eat-stop-eat: It
involves fasting once or twice a week for 24 hours.The 5:2 diet: It
allows you to consume 500-600 calories for two non-consecutive days and normally
eating the rest of the week.

Hunger is the most common
side effect of this diet routine. You might feel weak and less energetic than
usual. It can be temporary because it takes time for your body to adjust to it.

Intermittent fasting is
not for everyone;
if you are underweight
or have a history of medications, you should not fast without consulting a
health professional first. If you are diabetic or have problems related to
blood sugar regulation, this is not for you. 

Benefits from Intermittent Fasting 

It is found in research that
people who fast, reported feeling better and having more energy. Many studies
have shown that this type of fasting has powerful effects on your brain and
body and also may help you live longer. It helps you lose weight by making you
eat fewer and burn more calories.

Apart from weight loss, it
helps reduce insulin resistance and improves heart and brain health. All that
been said, intermittent fasting has a good safety profile. If you are healthy
overall, then there is absolutely nothing wrong or dangerous about this method.

Myths regarding
Intermittent Fasting 

1. You are going to lose
weight no matter what

Intermittent Fasting does not
always make you lose weight. The duration of your fast will not matter if you
eat food full of calories like pizza, burger, etc. after the fast. It goes
hand-in-hand with a healthy diet.

2. Fasting will slacken
your metabolism

In lieu of slowing down your
metabolism rate, it accelerates the release of adrenaline which increases your
metabolism and induces lipolysis i.e, fat burning. This method was used by our
ancestors. It gave them the energy to gather food during famines, inclement
weather, and caloric scarcity. If fasting slowed down metabolism, our ancestors
would have been fatigued and fat, but instead, they are lean and energetic.

Also, eating in regular
intervals to boost metabolism is another myth which leads to fat storage and
slow metabolism in the long run. Low-calorie diets slow down metabolism, and
this technique does the opposite of it; you cannot equate fasting with a
low-calorie diet.  

3. Fasting induces
hunger 

Fasting does not trigger
hunger or overeating, eating does, especially modern-day food items which are
full of sugar and specifically designed to be addictive. You have to start
eating right first, only then intermittent fasting or any kind of fasting will
help you. When your glucose and insulin levels start to equalise, only then
will your body be prepared for the intermittent fasting.

With a substandard diet, and
you begin to fast, you are going to feel terrible and might not even try it
again. Your hormones are not habituated to tread effortlessly through a fast.
Therefore, a proper diet is necessary to start any sort of fasting. 

4. Intermittent Fasting is
the best option for weight loss 

This type of fasting is an
exercise for restriction of calories at the most basic level. Research and
studies have shown that this technique has not proven to work better than other
weight-loss strategies. 

5.It is not possible to
work out while you are fasting

It is a very commonly
believed myth that it is not possible to work out while you are fasting. It is
a good thing to work out on an empty stomach in the morning. It allows you to
burn the fat that is already stored in your body and not from the calories
consumed. You can then eat breakfast to replenish your body.  

6. Eating a big breakfast
is vital as it is the most important meal for the day

Although, consuming breakfast
fuels your day, it is not necessarily the truth. One must eat what works for
your body. It is not essential to eat a heavy breakfast. You can always go for
a light breakfast and a substantial amount for lunch, especially if you have
been working out in the morning. It is all about how your body works. You can
choose whatever meal you want, to be the biggest meal of the day; it should
depend on your body and lifestyle. 

7. Intermittent Fasting
works because the body does not digest food at night

It is a huge misconception on
how this technique works. Our bodies digest food no matter what the time is.
Even if you eat at 3 a.m, your body will digest it. It is a matter of
allocating time to your body to focus on other metabolic processes rather than
digestion.  

How to start intermittent fasting

The easiest way of
intermittent fasting is choosing the 16/8 method, where you fast for 16 hours,
including the time you are spending asleep. It makes the process easy as you
will be sleeping for most of it. Experts suggest that
you should finish all your meals in the early evening because metabolism slows
down after that. However, it is also feasible to avoid food 2-3 hours before
bedtime. You choose one of
these 8 hours windows – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 8
p.m. You can use these time frames to eat meals and snacks according to your
convenience.  Eating now and then
is particularly essential to balance sugar level peaks and dips, and to avoid
extra hunger. If you feel good and
think it is easy to fast, you can advance your level by fasting for 24 hours,
once or twice a week. 

Type of meals to consume
while you are at it 

Even though
intermittent fasting does not say what foods to eat, you should follow a
healthy diet and limit or avoid junk and fatty food items. If you consume
unhealthy food, it will result in weight gain and diseases. Focus on a balanced
diet which would include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and
healthy fats (from olives, coconut, fish, avocado etc.). Having a diet
containing a considerable amount of fibre keeps you feeling full and satisfied
for longer. Drinking lots of
water is especially important if you are fasting as it helps in satiating
hunger because people often mistake thirst with hunger. It is necessary to
consume fluids to avoid dehydration.

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