Intermittent Fasting - A know how
No more thinking what to eat
In Intermittent fasting, we follow cycles of fasting and eating. If we observe our daily eating pattern we see that we do follow this in our daily life. There is a gap of at least 9-10 hours between our dinner and breakfast the next day. It is this concept that is being used with a difference wherein the period of fasting is increased to 16 hours to 48 hours.
The best part is that it does not restrict any food item rather it is focused on the period of eating.
What happens to our body when we fast?
Our body needs energy for its physical and physiological functions. This energy is readily available in the form of glucose which is stored in our liver and muscles. During fasting, the body utilizes the glucose stored in the liver. After about 8 hours the last reserves of glucose are used. After this body starts utilizing the fats reserves of the body. Hence the number of calories body burns increases. This is where fasting helps in losing weight. Besides this fasting also help in improving sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
It is this concept which is being used in Intermittent Fasting. It is recommended that we fast for at least 16 hours in it. Beginners can start with 12hours gap and further increase the gap.
How do we follow Intermittent Fasting?
Before we know the methods it is important to know that there is no restriction on what you eat.
There are several ways suggested to follow the IF.
I) the 16:8 method – in this fast is observed for 16 hours. During the fasting period we can have water or other drinks which do not have calories.
II) 5:2 Diet- here fast is kept for 48 hours where calories intake should not be more than 500- 600 calories.
III) Eat-stop- eat- it should be done for 24 hours once or twice a week. In this e.g. you start fasting after having dinner and breaking the fast the next day at dinner.
IV) fasting alternate days
V) The warrior diet – fasting for the whole day and eating a huge meal in night.
VI) Spontaneous meal skipping – according to our convenience we can skip a meal of the day thus restricting our calorie intake.
Is IF really beneficial?
Each and very individual is different and their body may react to IF differently. Like the fad diets are not for everyone similar is the case with IF.
Researches have shown that IF do help people in losing weight in short term but their long term effect have not been proved. Since we are restricting our calorie intake thus it helps in losing weight.
Are there any side effects?
There are many side effects associated with IF. Beginners may find it difficult to control their hunger. It may also lead to overeating in the eating window. Dehydration may follow which could ultimately lead to irritable behavior, mood swings etc. People who are on any medication, ladies who are trying to conceive or are pregnant should not try it.
To conclude now you have fair knowledge of Intermittent Fasting and whether you will be able to follow it or not. If you are already into diet and exercise do give it a chance.