Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a diet cycle that is a pattern of eating and fasting for a specific periods of time. The most common method of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 method that involves fasting for 16 hours and completing your required calorie intake for a window of 8 hours. The 16-hour fasting window also includes your sleeping time. For example, a person can follow an intermittent fasting pattern as – An 8-hour eating window from morning 10 a.m. to 6 p.m which would include eating your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The fasting window of 16 hours here would be post 6 p.m to the next day’s 10 a.m. During the fasting window, no food is allowed, but you can have things like water, unsweetened tea and coffee, and any other non-caloric beverages. It becomes important to consume these to avoid dehydrating the body.

Few Ways to do Intermittent fasting-

Apart from the 16:8 diet talked about above, we have a few other popular ways of doing intermittent fasting. For starters, some people like to start by following a 14:10 window as well, which is fasting for 14 hours and eating in the 10-hour window. With that, there is the 5:2 diet, where a person can eat typically for 5 days in a week and has to restrict their calorie intake to 500-600 calories for the other 2 days. You can choose days, a day or two after each other, like a Monday and Thursday. Next is the Eat Stop Eat method where you are on a fast for one or two whole days (24 hours) each week. On this one day of fast water, unsweetened tea and coffee, and any other non-caloric beverages are permitted. If you follow any of the above, make sure to eat healthy, balanced meals during the non-fasting periods.

Intermittent fasting benefits-

Intermittent fasting provides a lot of benefits. A few of them are as below –

  1. Helps in weight loss – Fasting for the specified periods and eating at a restricted time helps eat lower calories which results in a consistent weight loss over time. Fasting can help make your body convert the stored fat in your body into energy and thus help reduce weight.
  2. Reduce oxidative stress and inflammation – Oxidative stress and inflammation cause many chronic diseases. Intermittent fasting enhances the body’s resistance to stress and inflammation.
  3. Intermittent fasting can improve heart health – Studies have shown to improve numerous risk factors for heart diseases and help improve sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
  4. Intermittent fasting improves gut health – The regime of intermittent fasting helps improve our gut health. It improves our digestion and fasting gives a required break to our overworked gut, focusing the body’s energy on processes of healing other than just the food digestion.
    5.Improved mood and concentration – Intermittent fasting also helps to improve our mood and overall concentration and focus. With that, it reduces unwanted food cravings and facilitates more stable energy levels.

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