A Guide To Intermittent Fasting: Beginners Should Follow
Intermittent fasting has become a trend in recent years or we can say a new approach to maintain a healthy weight. Although, fasting has been an ancient practice in many religions and cultures across the globe.
But Intermittent fasting is something new and puts a twist on the ancient practice. People who are not aware of the actual criteria are practicing in their own way. But according to healthcare professionals, it is important to practice intermittent fasting in the correct way to make most of it and lower the health risks associated with it.
16/8 is one of the most popular ways of intermittent fasting. Proponents claim that it is the easiest, convenient, and sustainable way to lose weight. But intermittent fasting is more than just losing weight – an effective way to eat healthily, help slow aging, lower cardiovascular risk, and improve sleep quality.
Before we tell you more about intermittent fasting, you should know what intermittent fasting means so that you can follow the diet plan accordingly and take advantage of it.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Before starting Intermittent fasting, it is important to know intermittent fasting meaning. Intermittent fasting is a broad term that can be applied to many different fasting styles. This is a type of dieting that gained lots of attention in the last few years since studies have shown its positive effects on weight loss and reduce the risk of several diseases, which may be chronic or acute. Basically, it is the period of voluntary abstinence from food and drink. People choose the type of intermittent fasting according to their suitability.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
Several patterns of Intermittent fasting exist and every method is effective. Only you have to figure out which one works best. Here are 6 popular ways of intermittent fasting, choose your style, and go for it.
- 16/8- The most popular approach of intermittent fasting is 16/8 that includes 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating a day.
- Alternate-day fasting- Another version of intermittent fasting is Alternate-day fasting (ADF). That means an alternate 24-hours period of fasting (eat few calories) with days of waiting freely.
- 5:2- Third approach to maintain overall health is 5:2 which limits fasting just for two days a week with 500 calories.
- The Warrior Diet- It involves eating a small number of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and one large meal at night.
- Spontaneous Meal Skipping- Another option is to skip a meal from time to time, which means if you’re not hungry or not in the mood to cook you can simply skip your meal.
- Eat-stop-eat- It involves 24 hours strictly fast twice a week.
These are popular ways to do intermittent fast fasting. Let’s know the benefits associated with it.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
The practice of intermittent fasting has powerful benefits for your body and brain. Here are 10 intermittent fasting benefits that one can reap by following any one of the intermittent fasting styles.
- Changes the Function of Cells Genes and Hormones
When you don’t eat for a while, several changes happen in your body. Your body initiates an important cellular repair process and changes hormone levels. The significant changes that occur during intermittent fasting are insulin level, gene expression, the function of cells, and hormone.
- Help You To Loss Weight and Belly Fat
Intermittent fasting restricts you from eating unnecessarily thus it helps to reduce weight and belly fat.
- Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Anything that can reduce insulin levels helps to lower the sugar level and protect against type 2 diabetes. Interestingly intermittent fasting has been shown a major benefit of insulin resistance.
- Reduce Oxidant Stress and Inflammation in the Body
Oxidant stress is one of the major steps towards aging and many chronic diseases. Intermittent fasting may enhance the body’s resistance to oxidative stress.
- Beneficial for Heart Health
Heart disease is currently the world’s major concern and several health risks such as heart attack, heart failure are linked with it. Intermittent fasting has shown various positive results in improving health and controlling the risk factors.
- Induces Various Cellular Repair Process
When we fast, we lead to autophagy, the process of waste removal.
- Help Prevent Cancer
Intermittent fasting has been known for various health benefits and one among them is preventing cancer.
- Improve Brain Health
What is good for the body is often good for the brain as well. Intermittent fasting improves various metabolic features that are good for brain health such as reducing inflammation, oxidative stress, reduction in blood sugar level, etc.
- Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
A study shows that intermittent fasting may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or reduce its severity.
- Helping You Live Longer
When intermittent fasting helps you to improve overall health it leads you to a healthy lifestyle. It extends the lifespan with the same speed as it reduces the risk of developing severe diseases.
Downsides of Intermittent Fasting
Probably you’re starting the Intermittent fasting for the hype, right? But when you set your stopwatch to calculate the time for not eating, keep in mind that it isn’t for everybody. You may cause more harm than actually being good for you in certain cases.
The first downside of being restricted from food is a stressor to the body. When you go without food, your body’s patience level ends and it may lead to various severe diseases. Also, continuously putting your body under stress is very taxing to your nervous system.
When You Don’t Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting should be completely avoided if you are experiencing the following symptoms.
- Cold hands and feet
- Low body temperature
- Unsound sleep and irregular sleep
- Difficulty in waking up in the morning
- Difficulty in sleeping at night
- Poor immune system
- Dry skin
- Low blood sugar
- Brain fog/chronic fatigue
When you start following the intermittent fasting diet plan, it may support your overall health. However, taking a healthy diet during your eating period and drinking calorie-free beverages, taking water or unsweetened teas or coffees is important to make most of it and reduce the risks associated with it.
Moreover, it is best to talk to your doctor before initiating fasting, especially if you are aged or underlying health conditions.