Fasting is an old-age tradition, practiced in our culture since ages. Religious practices of intermittent fasting exist in our society in its different forms. People have been fantasizing about weight loss, since the old days, the only thing that has changed is their approach towards it. The idea of intermittent fasting propagated via a TV documentary “Eat Fast, Live Longer”, tailed by the book: “The Fast Diet”, followed by journalist Kate Harrison’s book “The 5:2 Diet”.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting –also called as intermittent energy restriction or intermittent calorie restriction. Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern, different than normal fasting. It allows the person to consume a certain amount of calorie intake. It does not restrict the type of food one eats, instead it gives a specific time frame for the person who has a fast to follow through it. It is a practical, efficient and sustainable cure for diabetes and weight loss.
Every person is adapted to a different lifestyle and subsequently there are different methods to achieve Intermittent Fasting, according to one’s convenience, comfort and lifestyle.
The popular schedules to get the best of Intermittent Fasting are as follow:
1. THE 5:2 Diet:
This diet allows you to have a normal diet for 5days and the rest 2 non-consecutive days of the week are the days you fast, anyhow you can consume around 500 – 600 calories on fasting days.
In this method, you are on a complete fast for one or two days of a week, your fasting days must be non-consecutive. It restricts all types of food on fasting days. You’d be empty stomach in your office, at your school or home. You’d need a lot of conviction to do this one diet.
This is a scheduled pattern confining you to a time frame of 6-8 hours, in which you are allowed to eat. While you are on a complete fast for the remaining 14 – 16 hours. This can be regulated everyday or a few times in a week.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
To get a clear concept of it, we must first understand the difference among the fed state, Transition phase and fasting state of our body.
When you are on your normal calorie intake with no restrictions, that is the fed state. During the fed state, your body digests and absorbs food. So, talking logic, the fed state begins when you take your first meal and ends until your last meal is digested and absorbed, which takes around 3-5 hours. During the fed state – insulin levels are very high and our body is unable to burn fats.
Post absorptive state is called the transition phase. It lasts for 8-12 hours until one enters from the fed state to fasting state.
In the fasting state fats are mobilized and can be burnt with ease, which is why people lose fats in their body, with just scheduling the time, irrespective of calorie intake and exercise. As within the fasting state, you can notice a significant drop of insulin.
Other than dropping of Insulin, Intermittent Fasting brings in a few changes in our body, precisely: increases Human Growth Hormone, initiation of cellular repair and gene expression as well.
Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss:
The food we eat is first broken into molecules, then carbohydrates are converted into sugar, which is used by cells to provide energy. When the sugar remains unused by the cell, it is stored as fats. Sugar enters our cells only with the help of insulin. During the fasting phase, insulin level drops down, and stored sugar is used to facilitate energy. In addition to it, fasting changes hormone level and causes loss of weight by changing both the sides of calorie equation, along with increasing rate of metabolism.
How To Follow It?
Any diet can be quite scary at the beginning, but with time the body accepts and adapts to it. The thought of a 24-hour fast itself is a bold statement, so if you want to go ahead with Intermittent fasting, the best beginning step is with a bulletproof intermittent fasting. It is a modified version of 16/8 fasting with coffee to begin your day with. Food intake of around 500-600 calories must be consumed within the 6-hour window while rest 18 hours are fasting hours.
Will It Work For Me?
Intermittent fast is difficult to incorporate in the schedule. It will impact your social life because if you have dinner at 7 pm with your friends but your fasting schedule says you should’ve eaten by 6, this will be an issue.
It is noted that breaking fast is associated with eating large portions in an uncontrolled manner. The irregularity of eating and that too in large portions can cause acid reflux.
Women who are already slim and live an active lifestyle can possibly encounter hormonal imbalance when they fast. These women should only fast for a couple days at most in a week. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid intermittent fasting. People with diseases and restricted diets should avoid intermittent fasting. The prominent diseases which are hazardous with fasting are diabetes, hypoglycemia or weight fluctuation issues, anorexia etc. The people who’ve prescription and need to eat before medication should avoid intermittent fasting.