Intermittent Fasting is gaining popularity with health-conscious people. It easier to follow because it doesn’t restrict you to calories you’re consuming from what you can eat. As per studies, It works the best for men. Also for people who have trouble restricting themselves to a diet.
All of us have been practising fasting unconsciously. Staying hungry the whole night and eating in the morning is a type of fasting. Hence the morning meal got its name, “Break – Fast”.
Diets are easy in the contemplation, difficult in the execution. Intermittent fasting is just the opposite — it’s difficult in the contemplation but easy in the execution.
Dr Michael Eades
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
It is a cycle of staying hungry(for longer hours) and eating. For eg: dinner at 7 pm and then eating the next morning at 11 am. It works brilliantly for people with slower metabolisms and shows faster results.
Initially, your brain is not going to agree with you. It is going to throw a fit on keeping hungry. But hang in there, it will ease into the routine. If your mind and body are fatigued due to it then try fasting for 12 hours and increase by 30 minutes. Till you reach the desired 16-hour fasting goal.
Training of the mind will take some effort from you. Every time your body signal hunger – Tell it. I don’t need food – I am Food.
How does it Work:
You eat lesser meals and fewer calories. Your body is functioning in two cycles.
Eating state: When your body is ingesting and absorbing the food. This state starts right when you start eating to 3-5 hours later.
Fasting state: After the eating state comes the fasting state. The post-absorptive state when insulin levels are low and the body is burning fat.
Since our bodies don’t enter the fasting state before 12 hours of consumption. It’s rare to get to burn fat if since we are eating every few hours. This kind of fasting gets the body into a faster-burning state without changing what and how much you eat.
Colour me fascinated!
Some effective methods to do Intermittent Fasting:
1. 16/8 Method. In this method fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours( possibly 2-3 meals). In those 16 hours, one can drink, water and beverages (hot and cold). It’s like eating early dinner ( at 8 pm) and having lunch the next day ( at 1 pm);
2. The 5:2 Method. Eating 5 days a week and fasting for 2 days;
3. 24 hours fast. Once or twice a week;
4. Alternate day fasting (this is one is rather extreme);
5. The Warrior Diet. Fast during the day. Eat a huge meal at night;
6. Spontaneous skipping of meals. Every now and then. For eg: already full from the previous one. Skip a meal. Travelling and cannot find anything good to eat. Skip that meal. It is okay to do that.
Refer to this guide to Intermittent Fasting to know more.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
Let’s face it. Fasting either translates weight loss or religious rituals to us. But it goes beyond.
1. Your body initiates the cell repair process;
2. It releases less insulin into the bloodstream. Simpler words, Meaning fat burning process;
3. Helps you lose weight and belly fat. Because it boosts your metabolic rate and decreases your calorie intake;
4. Lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes;
5. Reduces Oxidative stress. ( reasons behind ageing, Parkinson’s disease, cancer etc);
6. Increased cell growth which improves brain function;
7. Helps you live longer. Using the logic of restricting calories can elongate life span;
8. Way easier than dieting;
9. Fewer hours in the kitchen as less cooking involved. ( My most favourite benefit of it all);
According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of 3-8% over 3-24 weeks. Mind-Blowing, it is.
I know people who have benefitted from fasting. But it can get extreme and intense so it is not advisable for everyone. If you want to give it a try starting with spontaneous skipping meals and see how it goes for you.
Another thing to note is, during the eating phase (mentioned above) be mindful of calories and foods consumed. You are doing this for health benefits after all. Eating things like junk food and aerated drinks are going to harm your health even when you eating 2 meals a day. No matter which method of fasting you chose, quality of food and calories still matter.
Which method of Intermittent fasting would you like to start with? I know I would go for Spontaneous Fasting.