Good news for weight loss watchers. Instead of cutting back calories every day you can shed pounds following the ongoing trend of Intermittent Fasting. It is a powerful weight loss approach which is becoming highly popular over the past few years. Following it, you can lose weight and improve your health with a simpler lifestyle.
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What exactly is Intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a diet regimen which includes fasting for a few days followed by eating on other days. The root of this concept has basically emerged from traditional fasting which is used for health and spiritual benefits in earlier days. This type of fasting promotes the change of body composition (fat and cholesterol) and improves the factors linked to a disease. In addition, it also has powerful effects on the body and brain and also helps to live longer.
Moreover, a low-calorie diet for the long term can cause many physiological changes which therefore causes calorie restriction and prevents weight loss. Through Intermittent fasting, this issue can be resolved as a low-calorie level for a brief interval followed by normal eating to prevent these body adaptations.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
The concept works following the common method of fasting on alternate days or for whole days with specific time intervals or within some time frame.
- Alternate Days Fasting—No food restriction on few days along with a meal on some days fulfills nearly 25% of the daily calorie requirements.
- Full day fasting or 5:2 diet—Every week either fasting for 1-2 day or fulfilling 25% of calorie needs.
- Restrictedfeeding—Setting a meal plan within a time frame for fasting such as eating in the morning time and fasting the rest of the day.
Working on these plans makes you avoid food for some hours or a few days and eating food the other times. It can be up to 24 or 36 hours or the 5:2 Fast Diet following which you get only about one-fourth of your regular calories intake.
How It Affects Your Body
When you fast then various things happen in your body.
- The body cells start repairing and remove dysfunctional proteins that are build up inside cells.
- Changes in Gene expression cause protection against disease.
- The level of HGH (growth hormone) increases which aid for fat loss.
- Level of insulin drops which makes stored body fat more accessible.
All these changes feature the health benefits of intermittent fasting.
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting has immense benefits for weight control and overall health.
Some of the important health benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Weight loss: It helps to lose belly fat and shed off excess pounds.
- Insulin resistance: It reduces insulin resistance which results in lowering blood sugar and protect against diabetes.
- Inflammation: It causes a reduction in markers of inflammation.
- Heart health: Intermittent fasting promotes heart health by reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol and prevent cardiac diseases.
- Prevents Cancer
- Boost Brain health
- Anti-aging: It can extend lifespan and helps you to live longer.
- Makes Life Simple: Healthy eating is good for overall well-being. Following Intermittent fasting makes things easier for you as there is not much planning needed for cooking the meals. Thus, fasting improves your health and simplifies your life as well.
A word of Caution
Intermittent fasting causes hunger and sometimes you may feel weak too. This temporary change needs to be adopted by the body for accepting a new meal schedule. If you have any medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before trying it.
1. Good Weight Loss Tool
If you are on a weight loss regime, then intermittent fasting is best for you. Through eating a few meals it leads to reduced calorie intake. Furthermore, it changes hormone levels to promote weight loss.
Though it lowers insulin and increases growth hormone levels but increases secretion of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine. All these changes in hormones enhance your metabolic rate too.
Thus, by eating less and burning more calories, intermittent fasting proves to be a very powerful weight loss tool.
2. What To Eat and What not to!
Though you can have any food when you are not fasting but it is always recommended to include healthy foods in your diet and avoid junk or processed foods. On the other hand, while fasting doesn’t have any type of food.
Though it’s not easy to reduce calorie intake completely for a few days so it is good to plan a balanced meal on your feast days.
3. Does It Really Work?
Many studies have shown benefits such as short term weight loss which resulted in doing the intermittent fasting for several weeks.
However, till how long the weight loss will be it is not yet clear.
4. Is Intermittent Fasting Always Good?
Well, you might be thinking what if you have or suffering from any medical condition? research shows that this type of fasting reduces asthma symptoms and improved the usage of insulin in the body. Still, it is always recommended to talk to your doctor before you try intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting recommends eating 500-600 calories on fasting days may work for a few people. It proved to be medically safe and easier than not having at all on fasting days. Make sure to drink lots of water on your fasting days to prevent dehydration. Also, try to have a healthy diet on days when you don’t fast.
To be noted here that this diet is not recommended for children, pregnant women or those having diabetes.
Intermittent fasting is more effective than the other weight loss methods is still not clear. However, some people show a considerable change and show better compliance following this regimen.
Needless to say, intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile. Fasting does not affect if you are healthy and fit but if not then it might cause complications in your body. So, try to follow this method of fasting only if you are free from all the medical conditions.
Just get going and reap the benefits of this trendy Intermittent fasting to shed off those excess pounds of your body.