Intermittent fasting An Ultimate guide for beginners
In this day and age, anything with the slight potential to help you lose weight is overwhelmingly accepted.
A phenomenon recently caught everyone’s attention is Intermittent fasting.
Although it isn’t any form of diet where you are measuring what you eat, how you eat, etc. but it is a pattern of diet to follow in your daily life.
It involves alternate cycles of fasting and eating. The entire day or week is spilled in a way that you have eating and fast periods for an extended period of time.
Fasting isn’t a new concept to us. People all over the world have been practicing fasting especially with religious sentiments people such as Christians, Muslims, and Hindus, everyone has been following the concept of fasting.
Hence, fasting isn’t depriving your body with body, it is about when to eat rather than what to eat.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is easy to follow an eating pattern where you have a cycle of eating and fasting. Although fasting might scare you, intermittent fasting doesn’t instruct you on what kind of food to eat rather it emphasizes when you should eat.
There are different types of intermittent fasting methods which we will go in-depth later in the article.
We already fast in a way that, every night when we sleep, we are kind of fasting.
Intermittent fasting is an extension to already fasting you have been doing in the night.
For e.g. you can do intermittent fasting, by skipping breakfast and eat your first meal at noon and last meal at 8 pm. So you are eating in a window of 12 noon till 8 pm in the evening which makes it 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating window.
This is the most popular method of intermittent fasting.
If you happen to start intermittent fasting initial days can make you feel it is not for you but it is a good form of dieting pattern it is because we as humans are naturally inclined to fasting. Only that we are doing it for a longer period of time.
You can eat whatever you want in the eating window while when you are fasting no food whatsoever is allowed with an exception of no-calorie beverages such as water, tea or coffee. Taking supplements is allowed while fasting but they shouldn’t have any calories.
Intermittent fasting For Weight Loss
Humans have always known the concept of fasting through their respective religion and everyone at least once in their life have fasted for some reason. Earlier in an age where less of food available, fasting was done out of necessity.
While with religious perspective- Islam follows Ramadan while Hindus do it almost every other day in the name of God is fast. Hence, it is not unnatural about fasting and our bodies are well-aware about the concept of fasting.
When we don’t eat at all i.e. the period of fasting, our body depends on internal resources available of the body. When we fast, our blood sugar levels decrease significantly as well as there is a steep increase in human growth hormone.
It is a great way to lose weight as it is a simple and effective way to control your calorie intake and burn fat. With weight loss, intermittent fasting has some amazing health benefits.
According to research, it can help protect you against diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s diseases, type-II diabetes, etc. and can potentially make you live longer.
People tend to shift towards intermittent fasting due to its easy and simple approach as you have to prepare fewer meals, so less of time in the kitchen, less meal prep, and less cleaning indeed.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
Intermittent fasting is trending from past few years with different combinations to suit your daily life. There are several different types of intermittent fasting, the most popular ones are
As discussed, you fast from the previous night and extend it till next day noon and eat from 12 noon and eat your last meal at 8 PM. This is the most adopted method as it suits almost everyone’s lifestyle.
Eat Stop Eat
This can be little too harsh as you don’t get to eat anything one dinner to dinner of next night (a 24 hours fast). Hence it is recommended only once or twice a week.
5 days are regular eating schedule while 2 two days you eat about only 500-600 calories worth of food. Also, those two days shouldn’t be consecutive.
Of these three methods, the 16/8 method is easy, because it takes a natural course in your daily life.
This is great for people who don’t have time for morning breakfast and doesn’t feel hungry till noon then can eat their first meal at noon and last meal at 8 PM.
How Does Fasting Help Your Body Mechanism?
When you are on intermittent fasting, many things happen on cellular and molecular levels. For e.g. our body adjusts hormone levels to incorporate stored body fat more usable.
With all these things happening on a cellular level, there is a change in the expression of genes as the function of the gene is related to protection against disease and prolong longevity.
Along with that levels of growth hormone increases as much as 5 folds. This has great benefits for fat loss and muscle gain. Insulin sensitivity improves and insulin level is dropped drastically. Lower the insulin level, stored fat is more accessible.
These are bodily changes on cellular levels, gene expression and hormone levels are altogether responsible for health benefits of intermittent fasting.