What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting Science:
Intermittent fasting helps in lowering insulin levels in the body. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar glucose that our body uses as a source of energy. If the body doesn’t use it then it stores it in fat cells or as fat. When the human body is on fast, its insulin level gets down and these fat cells release stored glucose that provides energy. So, the science behind intermittent fasting is to lower insulin levels to the extent that body fats start releasing stored sugar for energy and thus burn body fats.
How to Do Intermittent Fasting?
There are different methods to do intermittent fasting and one can choose a method that suits them. The following methods are commonly used to do intermittent fasting:
Intermittent Fasting 16/8:
This is the most famous type of intermittent fasting. In 16/8 intermittent fasting, One needs to do fast for 16 hours and then eat normally for 8 hours. He/She can take up to all-day calories in these hours with 2-3 meals. This fasting can be done daily or on alternate days or a couple of days a week.
Intermittent Fasting 12/12:
If someone can’t cope with 16/8 intermittent fasting then he/she can do 12/12 ‘IF’. In this fasting, one needs to fast for 12 hours and eat normally on the other 12 hours. Again, this intermittent fasting can be done daily or on alternate days or on a few days per week. When the body gets used to it then one can increase the number of fasting hours and days per week.
Intermittent Fasting 14/10:
In this method, when the body gets used to 12/12 intermittent fasting then one can increase two more hours of the fasting period and can eat 10 hours as normal.
Intermittent Fasting 5:2:
In this fasting, one can eat normally for 5 days a week and can have fast for 2 days a week. In these two days of fasting, one can eat but not more than 600 calories. Fasting for 2 days can be hard, so, many people go for the above three methods.
Eat-Stop-Eat Intermittent Fasting:
In eat-stop-eat intermittent fasting, one can fast for the whole day and then eat as normal. This method is recommended to do once or twice a week.
Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting:
Bulletproof fasting is similar to 16/8 intermittent fasting, the only difference is the bulletproof coffee. For this fasting, one can drink bulletproof coffee in the morning and not more than that. In order to know how to make bulletproof coffee and what is it actually, check the post, ‘Bulletproof coffee: Everything You Want to Know’.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits:
Intermittent fasting has multifarious benefits on health. Have a look at its benefits below:
- Intermittent fasting helps in weight loss and one can lose weight without even doing exercise.
- It can protect from developing Type 2 diabetes.
- It boosts body energy levels.
- Intermittent fasting can repair damaged cells.
- It can help in lowering the bad cholesterol level.
- Intermittent fasting is good for the nervous system and can protect from neurodegenerative diseases.
- It boosts brain health and makes memory better.
- It reduces body inflammation.
- It can also help in lowering blood pressure.
- Intermittent fasting can protect from developing cancer.
Intermittent Fasting Food List:
For losing weight, it’s better to avoid carbohydrates in the eating period of intermittent fasting. Eat the following foods when on IF.
- Eat a high fibre diet like fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.
- Eat foods high in protein like fish, meat, and nuts, etc
One can drink water during fasting to keep themselves hydrated. Intermittent fasting can help to lose weight without exercise but it’s advisable to add some exercise or activities when one gets used to it for better results. Children with type 1 diabetes or those having diabetes, pregnant woman or trying to conceive or on breastfeeding, and people having certain chronic diseases shouldn’t do intermittent fasting. Always ask the doctor if one has certain medical conditions before doing intermittent fasting.
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