Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern that tells when to eat rather than what to eat. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week. You don’t have to be diet conscious until and unless you’re eating at the right time. It has been in trend in recent year due to its health benefits including improved metabolism, weight loss and longevity.
Fasting is often done for religious or spiritual reasons, including in Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. It has been a part of Indian culture for a very long period– even most of the festivals are based on fasting and rightly so as it does wonders to our body. Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain improving your hand-eye coordination.
Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting
The 16/8 Method involves fasting every day for 14-16 hours and restricting your daily “eating window” to 8-10 hours. Within the eating window, you can fit in 2, 3 or more meals. Also known as the Leangains protocol– in this type of fasting, You don’t have to eat anything after your dinner and skip your breakfast early morning. For example, if you finish your last meal at 9 pm and then don’t eat until 1 noon the next day, then you are technically fasting for 16 hours between meals. You can drink water, coffee and other non-caloric beverages during the fast, and this can help reduce hunger levels. But you have to keep in mind that these will only work if you’re eating healthy during your eating window. This will not work if you’re eating a lot of calories all day.
Eat Stop Eat
Eat-Stop-Eat is an intermittent fasting program with one or two 24-hour fasts per week. You have to fast from dinner one day to dinner the next day. It can be a little difficult at first as our body is not used to it but eventually it gets better. However, you don’t need to go all-in right away, starting with 14-16 hours and then moving upwards from there is fine. Keep in mind to eat properly in your eating period.
This is by far the easiest method of intermittent fasting in which a person has to eat normally for 5 days in a week and for the rest 2 days of the week it cut down his calories intake to 500-600 calories. As critics correctly point out, no studies are testing the 5:2 diet itself, but there are plenty of studies on the benefits of intermittent fasting. I would suggest you to first try the 5:2 diet and if it works for you then you can look out of other options.
Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
As mentioned above, intermittent fasting helps you in weight loss without cutting the calorie intake. It changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss. Some studies show reductions in markers of inflammation, a key driver of many chronic diseases. Intermittent fasting increases the brain hormone BDNF and may aid the growth of new nerve cells. It may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease. It aids you in improving your cardiovascular health as it lowers the cholesterol, blood sugar and insulin resistance — all risk factors for heart disease. Animal studies show that intermittent fasting prevents cancer and improves the life span of an individual.
Who Should Do Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is recommended to those who want to lose weight in a shorter time. If your primary goal is to lose the extra belly and gain some lean muscle mass I would suggest you try it for a week to see if it’s worth your time. It might look simple at first but believe it gets harder every day and If you’re underweight or have a history of eating disorders, you should not fast without consulting a health professional first.