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The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent fasting (IF) is becoming a famous health and fitness trend around the world.

People are adopting it to improve their lifestyle by simplifying it; also, it is beneficial to lose your weight healthily. Research shows us that the intermittent fasting has a strong and powerful impact on your mind and body, and you might live longer.

The Beginners Guide

What is IF?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is the pattern of eating cycles between fasting and eating. It does not decide what foods to consume but rather when to eat them.

Most importantly, without going on a crazy diet or eating your calories down to nothing, it is a great way to get lean. In reality, you’ll try to keep your calories the same most of the time when you start intermittent fasting. Besides, while getting lean, Intermittent fasting is a great way to keep your muscles mass on.

So, most people usually go for intermittent fasting for fat loss. Most probably, this would be a healthy way for taking off your unnecessary weight and still stay healthy because it just needs a little behavioural chang

Dinner today. Going for overnight intermittent fasting. | Flickr

e. It is such a meaningful act that will definitely make a difference.

Intermittent fasting is not an unusual and fascinating thing, but part of healthy daily life. Maybe it is the oldest and most efficient diet technique. But somehow its intensity was lacking, and its therapeutic ability was not overlooking on time.

Intermittent Fasting Schedules

Intermittent fasting appears to offer flexibility in many ways. You can fast for as long or as short as you want, but it may take medical supervision to fasts longer than a few days. Here are a few ways to schedule your intermittent fasts.

Short Fasts (less than 24 hours)

16:8

The style of doing intermittent fasting requires 16 hours of daily fasting. This is also often referred to as an eating ‘window ‘ for 8 hours. You are consuming all your meals within 8 hours and for the remaining 16 hours, you fast. This is generally done daily.

20:4

This way of intermittent fasting suggests you 4 hour of eating window and the remaining 20 hours of fast. Usually, it involves eating one meal within this period or having two small meals.

Long Fasts (More than 24 Hours)

24 Hours

The way of intermittent fasting is quite long. It requires to schedule your meal as dinner to dinner or lunch to lunch. Means, if you had dinner last night, you have to skip today’s breakfast and lunch and only consume dinner today. Same goes to lunch. If you take lunch on day 1, then you must skip dinner and breakfast of Day 2. You are only allowed to have Lunch of Day 2.

5:2

5:2 is the most exciting way to schedule your intermittent fast. It means you can have your meals five days a week, but you must have to skip two days. However, these two fasting days won’t restrict you to not consume any meal at all. You can still have 500 calories food a day. You can eat 500 calories in a single meal or splitting calories in little snacks. Your choice.

Intermittent Fasting (IF) for Weight Loss

Basically, Intermittent fasting is merely allowing the body to use its energy that the body has already stored, like by burning off extra body fat. It is vital to know that this is natural and that humans have evolved to fast for shorter periods or days-without adverse health effects. Body fat is primarily the energy stored away from the food. If you’re not eating, the body just “eats” its own fat for energy.

Life is all about maintaining balance. The good as well as the bad. The same formula goes for eating and fasting. After all, fasting considers as the flip side of eating. So, when you are not eating, you are actually fasting.

When we eat, more food energy we intake. Our body uses some of that energy immediately, whereas stores the rest for later use. Insulin plays a vital role in storing the food energy. When we eat, insulin rises and helps the excess energy to store in two different ways. That is glycogen and body fat.

When we don’t eat (intermittent fasting), the process goes in reverse. Insulin level decreases, signalling the body to start burning stored energy as no more food comes in. Blood glucose is dropping, so the body now has to take glucose out of storage to burn for energy.

 

Safety

Intermittent fasting is not suitable for you if you are underweight or have any eating disorders in your medical history. Also, you should avoid if you are a pregnant women or breastfeeding because you need extra nutrients for your child. Yet, if you are still trying to adopt this lifestyle, We suggest you to consult any health professional first for your own health and safety reasons.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

There are so many benefits of IF apart from giving you a healthy lifestyle and boost your mental health as well.

The most prominent benefit of Intermittent fasting is weight and body fat loss. Othe benefits may include:

  • It increases fat burning
  • Reduces Sugar levels and blood insulin
  • Improves mental concentration and helps you focus
  • Possibly reduces inflammation
  • Possibly increases energy
  • Possibly increases growth hormones
  • Possible long lifespan
  • It makes your day simple and organise
  • May reduce the risk of cancer
  • It is much easier than dieting

 

Intermittent fasting is for you to make your life more healthy and exciting. Don’t do it as a burden or necessity for weight loss or for any other benefit to have. When you’re fasting and you find yourself in any unusual condition, please don’t make it hard for yourself and be comfortable with your health. Besides benefits, it also has side effects which you should not avoid if you experience any. Like constipation, headaches, dizziness, heartburn, etc. in these cases, refer to any health professional for better guidance.

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