Losing weight has become more difficult nowadays as compared to old times. In the past, people used to walk and hence were more physically active and less sedentary.
Nowadays we have 24/7, non-stop entertainment with a single click. We can talk to other people for hours and hours, watch our favorite shows and keep binge eating for countless hours.
In the old times, people had to physically visit each other’s houses. The television used to get off at 11 pm, and they stopped eating earlier because they used to go to bed early.
Now we wake up late at night, watch our favorite movies and shows, and do not have enough time for exercise or workouts. However, to ensure your health, you should take out time for physical activity.
Many people want to lose weight. To stay healthy, you must shed those extra pounds if you are overweight or obese. For losing weight, experts advise doing intermittent fasting as it can do magic to your body.
In intermittent fasting, you eat for some time and fast for a set period of time. Many people have been able to lose weight with it. In this article, we will tell you what intermittent fasting is, its types, and its benefits.
Along with losing weight, it is also beneficial for your cardiovascular system, diabetes, hypertension, and other health conditions.
Table of Contents
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating plan in which you can eat a certain number of calories in a designated time. And after that, you have to fast. However, you can drink water during the fasting period. Basically, it focuses on when you eat more instead of what you eat.
For every person, the results of intermittent fasting may vary. Nowadays, the risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes has risen. According to experts, intermittent fasting can help reverse this trend.
What Are The Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting?
There are various ways to do intermittent fasting. You can choose according to what suits you the best. The types of intermittent fasting can be described as:
Fast for 12 Hours
It is the easiest form of intermittent fasting, most commonly for beginners. In it, you eat for 12 hours and fast for another 12 hours. You can include your sleeping time in this window.
For example, if you have had your dinner at 8 pm, you will be able to have your breakfast the next day at 8 am, after a twelve hours break. In the meanwhile, if you sleep for eight hours, most of your time will be spent during sleep. It is an easy-to-follow plan. If you are a beginner at intermittent fasting, you can try this for weight loss.
Fasting for 16 hours
This type of intermittent fasting is also known as the 16:8 or Leangains diet. It means, with this type of fasting, men are allowed to eat for eight hours and have to fast for the remaining 16 hours, whereas women have to fast for fourteen hours and can eat the remaining eight hours.
It can be beneficial for those who have tried doing fast for 12 hours. They can do that, and it is not showing any results now. It is better that you first do 12 hours of intermittent fasting and then switch to 16:8.
With 16:8 intermittent fasting, you may have to skip breakfast. For example, if you have had dinner at 8 pm, you can not have breakfast in the morning- the next day. You will have to wait till noon to eat something.
Fasting for 2 Days a Week
5:2 diet means that you eat normally five days a week and the remaining two days to eat a very low-calorie diet or almost fast. During the two fasting days, generally, men can consume 600 calories in a day, and women can consume 500 calories.
There should be a non-fasting day between the two fasting days. Many people select two days like Monday and Thursday as low-calorie intake days. And eat normally for the remaining days.
According to the research, this kind of diet helps reduce insulin secretion and increase insulin sensitivity among the participants. However, until now, not a lot of research has been done on this kind of intermittent fasting.
Alternate Day Fasting
The alternate-day intermittent fasting differs from person to person. Some people fast for the whole one day and then have a non-fasting day, whereas some people eat a very low calories diet- up to 500 calories on the fasting day, followed by a normal eating day.
This type of fasting is quite extreme and may not be suitable for all people, especially those having certain health conditions. You may feel very low and lethargic when not eating for such a long time. Moreover, you should only try doing this kind of fasting when you have followed other intermittent fasting patterns.
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Along with weight loss, there are various benefits of intermittent fasting, that can be described as:
According to the experts, intermittent fasting can help boost memory.
Intermittent fasting can help lower blood pressure and resting heart rate. It also lowers weight, which in turn promotes heart health. Moreover, it can also play a role in keeping the levels of bad cholesterol low.
Men who fast for 16 hours have been shown to lose more fat while maintaining muscle mass.
Reduces the Chances of Diabetes
Intermittent fasting can help in increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing the incidence of diabetes.
Intermittent fasting can help reduce oxidative stress, which in turn can help reduce inflammation. It also lowers the production of free radicals in the body that cause damage to the DNA.
When we fast for a long time, our body undergoes autophagy – a waste removal process. Therefore intermittent fasting can help clean your body. It also lowers the risk of cancer and neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Intermittent fasting is not all magic. Whatever you eat still makes a difference. Therefore you should opt for healthy eating even on non-fasting days. You also need to count the calories. Moreover, you can eat normally on non-fasting days, but do not overeat as it may not make much difference.
To see the best result of intermittent fasting for weight loss, you need to be consistent and patient. Without it, you can not reach anywhere. Give your body enough time to adapt to it. Be gentle to your body.
If you have any health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, hypertension, or any other health condition, you should consult with your nutritionist first.