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People have been fasting to lose weight, but what if you come to know that the longer you fast, the longer you can live! The idea may, however, sound difficult to stomach, but indeed intermittent fasting could be the key to longevity as it has a long list of benefits too. However, before moving ahead, it is important to have a better idea of intermittent fasting and intermittent fasting benefits.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Did you know, the practice of ‘intermittent fasting’ has become very popular in recent times! In simple terms, intermittent fasting is a popular method to confine calorie intake, which in turn helps to defend against various diseases. In short, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term that covers various types of fasting schedules, where calorie intake is restricted in whole or in part, either a couple of days a week, every other day, or on a daily basis, or you might be allowed to only drink water, in the case of water fasting.
Types Of Intermittent Fasting
Amazingly, given the popularity, various different types of intermittent fasting have been designed. All of them can be effective, but which one fits or suits best depends on the individual. The most popular methods of intermittent fasting include:
1. The 16/8 Method: People who practice this form of intermittent fasting choose an 8-hour window to eat and a 16-hour window to fast every day.
The most common schedule involves eating from 12-8 p.m. or 1-9 p.m. then fasting from 8 or 9 p.m. until 12 or 1 p.m. the next day. Within that 8-hour eating window, people typically have meals at 12/1 p.m. (whenever they break the fast), 4 p.m., and 8 p.m.
This method has been nicknamed the “just skip breakfast” plan. Many folks who are not breakfast people do it without even realizing it!
2. Alternate Day Fasting (ADF): This type of intermittent fasting is characterized by continuously alternating a “feed day” with a “fast day.” The “fast day” includes calorie restriction to 25% of what you need, so about 500 calories total on those days (the equivalent of a green smoothie and a piece of avo toast).
3. Eat Stop Eat: It involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week, typically from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
4. Calorie Restriction 1-3 days per week: This is a 5:2 plan, where you eat normally for 5 days and restrict calories for 2 days every week.
Will Intermittent Fasting Work For You?
Well, the answer to this differs according to different people. Research studies demonstrate that fasting works well for men, while for women mixed type of results are observed. As fasting helps limit calories by having fewer hours to eat, the problem is that women tend to experience more unwanted side effects from fasting, especially with a prolonged fasting period due to their hormonal environment.
Intermittent Fasting; Therapeutic Health Benefits
The popularity of intermittent fasting is gaining the attention of health gurus and nutrition researchers. This ultimately has led to a handful of clinical human trials, testing its long-term sustainability and the potential benefits found in studies. Let us study these benefits.
- Weight loss: Intermittent fasting helps in weight loss by lowering insulin levels. During a period of fasting, it is possible that decreasing insulin levels causes cells to release their glucose stores as energy. When you repeat this process regularly, this leads to weight loss.
- Lowers Type 2 diabetes: This type of fasting also has benefits for diabetes prevention, as it leads to weight loss in individuals who need to lose weight and potentially influences other factors linked to an increase in diabetes.
- Improves heart health: Research studies have found that intermittent fasting improves overall aspects of cardiovascular health as the fasting helps with weight loss and lowering of blood pressure.
- Reduces the risk of cancer: Series of studies demonstrate that intermittent fasting can delay the onset of tumors and reduce the risk of cancer. Conversely, no studies have been recognized which have found a link between intermittent fasting and cancer in humans.
- Reduces inflammation: Studies show that twelve-hour period of fasting helps to reduce inflammation, thereby potentially contributing to disease prevention.
Also, read about: Tips To Keep Your Heart Healthy
Are There Any Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting?
Current studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help you to combat a host of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
In other words, if you do want to try intermittent fasting, proceed with caution. Here’s what you need to know before you start:
- You will feel hungry: Once you follow this diet, you may notice your stomach getting upset during fasting periods, especially if you love to eat constantly. But during fasting, try to avoid smelling, or even thinking about food, which can trigger the release of gastric acid into your stomach and make you feel hungry.
- You might get dehydrated: Intermittent fasting is associated with dehydration. Always stay hydrated and remember to pay special attention to your body’s thirst signals during fasting periods.
- You might feel tired: As you fast, your body begins to run on a smaller amount of energy than usual. It further boosts stress levels; it may also disrupt you, making you feel tired and irritated.
- You might feel irritated and lack focus: The biochemistry of the body due to fasting affects your overall mood as well. Due to less nutrient consumption, neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are affected. This may lead to anxiety and depression.
Tips And Tricks To follow Fasting
There are no tips as such to be followed, but yes you can follow the below mentioned things:
- Try to relax
- Listen to your body during workouts
- Try to stay busy during your working schedule
Intermittent Fasting, Essentials To Follow
- Avoid sugars and refined grains. Instead, eat fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (a sensible, plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet).
- Let your body burn fat between meals.
- Try to be active throughout your day.
- Consider a simple form of intermittent fasting. Limit the hours of the day when you eat, and for best effect, make it earlier in the day (between 7 am to 3 pm, or even 10 am to 6 pm, but definitely not in the evening before bed).
- Avoid snacking or eating at nighttime.
Thus, intermittent fasting can be beneficial for many people, but unfortunately, it is not for everyone.
It is not recommended for pregnant women, very young children, seniors, and people with gallbladder issues. However, yes, the fasting benefits in metabolism and will definitely help you live a longer and healthier life.
For more information and free personalized guidance, talk to Credihealth Medical Experts today.