WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Intermittent fasting is a growing fitness trend. It refers to meal schedules that revolve around fasting periods and eating periods.
It does not refer to the diet but to the timing of meals and how much is to be consumed. Intermittent fasting benefits have proven it to be beneficial for health and generally the lifestyle of a person. It can help with weight loss but does not necessarily have to be done for that purpose.
It is possible to use intermittent fasting to lose weight because you are limiting your calorie intake for the day. Intermittent fasting hours may vary depending on which method you are choosing.
There are different methods of intermittent fasting. The cycle can include fasting for 16 hours or 24 hours as many times you want in a week.
Intermittent fasting is also practiced in different religions for spiritual religions such as in Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity. Muslims fast every day for a whole month starting their fast from dawn and ending it at sunset.
METHODS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
Intermittent fasting 16/8 method:
This intermittent fasting method refers to fasting for 16 hours a day and the eating period is for the rest 8 hours of the day. The breakfast is usually skipped in this method. This is the most popular method because it is easier to follow.
Intermittent fasting 5:2 diet method :
This method refers to only taking foods with 500-600 calories for two non-consecutive days of a week. This method is done to regulate body functions and helps in weight loss by reducing calories.
Intermittent fasting 24 hours method:
In this method, you fast for 24 hours a day twice a week. This is a much more rigorous method of intermittent fasting because it lasts for 24 hours. That is why it is only done once or twice a week.
INTERMITTENT FASTING BENEFITS
Intermittent fasting for weight loss is a commonly chosen method because you restrict your calorie intake. Intermittent fasting promotes weight loss because when we fast there are changes in our hormone levels. Growth hormone levels are increased and insulin is lowered due to which a fat-burning hormone. This helps with losing belly fat during intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting benefits include reducing insulin resistance in one’s body by lowering blood sugar. This can help protect against type 2 diabetes which is becoming very common nowadays.
It has been shown through research that intermittent fasting helps with reducing inflammation in your body parts. This may be in your belly area if you have fat or inflammation there.
Cancer & Heart Diseases:
Studies show that intermittent fasting regularly can help prevent cancer. It produces growth hormones and regulates bodily functions so you are at a lower risk of dangerous diseases such as cancer or heart diseases. Intermittent fasting benefits include lowering cholesterol which can prevent heart diseases.
Intermittent fasting benefits also include increasing your lifespan. This has been tested on rats. Intermittent fasting helps regulate your hormone levels and protects you from catching diseases.
One of the most important intermittent fasting benefits is that a person’s lifestyle is improved. It is harder to limit your diet every day so people can adopt intermittent fasting to have healthy eating habits. An intermittent fasting schedule also helps make things easier because you do not have to plan or cook your meals all day. People have busy lifestyles where they have to work 9-5 jobs can adopt intermittent fasting to lose weight if they cannot find the time to exercise.
Even though there are many intermittent fasting benefits, there can also be some negative side effects of fasting. A person can feel weak and energy-less if they have just started fasting.
It may take time for their bodies to adjust to the fasting schedule. However, if someone has underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, low blood pressure, eating disorders, pregnancy, or are underweight they can suffer because of fasting. It is important to consult a doctor about your intermittent fasting schedule if you have any underlying medical condition.
Intermittent fasting for women can be different as compared to women due to their menstrual cycle and if they are pregnant. Some women have reported that there are changes in their menstrual cycle when they fast.
Therefore, women must also consult a doctor if fasting changes their menstrual cycle or hormones. As a whole, there are no dangerous side effects of fasting and it is proven to be very safe.
However, not everyone needs to try intermittent fasting to develop a healthy lifestyle. Proper sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet can be enough for most people to have a balanced lifestyle.
Everyone’s body is not suited for intermittent fasting so you must choose the lifestyle which suits you best. Intermittent fasting is overall a good way of balancing your diet and can help improve your lifestyle.