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Fasting diets have been around for thousands of years but they are becoming increasingly popular in modern times. In this new age, intermittent fasting is the latest and greatest weight loss trend.
Hailed by many people on various websites & social media, it’s being touted as the secret to dropping pounds and keeping them off.
People are now using it as a hack to “hack” their weight loss, accelerate results, and feel better.
But what exactly is intermittent fasting?
Don’t be alarmed: Intermittent fasting, or “IF,” as it is commonly known, isn’t a cult or a fad diet. It’s simply the practice of eating all of your meals within a specific time period each day—usually six, eight, or 12 hours—and abstaining from food for the remaining hours.
Several different versions of IF exist. One of the most popular involves daily 16-hour fasts. This method, called the 16:8 diet, requires you to forego food every day for 16 hours, then eat all your calories within an 8-hour window.
For example, you’ve completed a 16-hour fast if you finish dinner at 6 p.m. and don’t eat again until 10 a.m. the next day.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to IF (intermittent fasting). You can fast for 12 hours, 16 hours or even 20 hours a day, depending on what works best for you.
You may be wondering how skipping meals can be helpful for weight loss and overall health. But there are several ways fasting can help you achieve your goals, including boosting metabolism and burning fat.
How do I try the Intermittent Fasting?
There are several different types of intermittent fasting that you can opt for, including:
The Leangains technique, often known as the 16/8 method, requires missing breakfast and limiting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Post this, you fast for 16 hours.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This requires fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week, such as not eating dinner from today until the next day.
The 5:2 diet: With this method, you can only intake only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, however eat normally (your regular food) the other 5 days.
Many people consider the 16/8 strategy to be the easiest, long-term, and simple to follow. It’s also the most popular.
Here’s how intermittent fasting works:
To understand how this works, we must first know the difference between fed & fasted state of our body:
The fed state is when your body digests and absorbs meals. While your body digests and absorbs the meal you just ate, you will remain in the same state for three to five hours. Because your insulin levels are high when you’re in a fed state, it’s difficult for your body to burn fat.
Because you are fasted, it is much easier for your body to burn fat when your insulin levels are low.
Fasting causes your body to burn fat that was previously unavailable while you were on a regular diet.
Because we don’t enter the fasting state until 12 hours after our previous meal, our bodies are rarely in this fat-burning stage.
Is intermittent fasting really effective?
Weight loss can be achieved by combining intermittent fasting with calorie restriction. It is very effective at helping people eat fewer calories and lose weight. But there are many other health benefits that you may also get when you fast intermittently:
• Your insulin sensitivity improves
• Your blood sugar levels drop
• The growth hormone increases as much as 5-fold, which makes you feel youthful and energetic.
• Fasten insulin levels to help your body function more effectively
• Stored body fat are more accessible with lower insulin level. This means your body can easily burn fat for energy, potentially leading to weight loss.
Who can try Intermittent fasting?
If you have tried various other diets and haven’t seen any results, then intermittent fasting might be the solution for you.
Intermittent fasting is just a tool that helps you harness your body’s natural metabolic functions in order to get your weight loss goals back on track.
You don’t have to give up the foods you love or make drastic changes to your lifestyle; simply change when you eat!
By setting aside a window of time where you do not eat, your body will be able to access fat stores that it cannot reach during normal feeding times. It will also help to control blood-sugar levels and improve insulin resistance, leading to increased energy, better moods and a leaner physique.
Intermittent fasting is strictly prohibited if you are under any medication, pregnant or currently breastfeeding. Plus, it never hurts to consult with your doctor before making these huge lifestyle changes.
Intermittent fasting can be a great addition to your overall health and fitness goals, but don’t go crazy with it. If it doesn’t fit everything else you’re doing and it doesn’t feel natural, then it probably isn’t right for you.
Q. Have you tried intermittent fasting?
I can’t stay empty stomach for that long!!