Intermittent fasting is a dieting procedure in which you eat only once in a day and stay away from food for the rest of the time. The main concentration of intermittent dieting is on when you eat rather than what you eat. The fasting period in it is around 12-36 hours.
It is not a new concept as people since long have fasted for various reasons, and those days they would eat only once in a day. Intermittent fasting alternates the periods of eating with periods of not eating and has an impressive list of therapeutic benefits.
There are several options for intermittent fasting.
- Some people eat with an interval of 8 hours i.e. if they eat at 6 pm, next they would eat at 10 am.
- Some fast for 24-36 hours once or twice in a week.
- Intermittent fasting is also done by fasting every alternate day. It is though not recommended for the beginners and cannot be followed in the long term.
You can drink water, coffee, green tea to deal with hunger craving and to stay hydrated. Some people drink bone broth during intermittent fasting.
5 Ways in Which Intermittent Fasting Can Benefit our Health
Weight Loss. Intermittent fasting lowers the insulin level and aid weight loss.
- The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose to be used as energy by the cells, or it is broken down into fats to be used later.
- When a person is fasting the insulin level drops, which causes the cells to release the glucose stored in them.
- Repeating the process (intermittent fasting) regularly leads to weight loss.
- Also, intermittent fasting leads to low consumption of calories which contribute to weight loss.
- Researchers compiled data of 40 studies and concluded that intermittent fasting is actually helpful in reducing body weight(1).
- Researches also suggest intermittent fasting as an effective weight management strategy.
Research shows that intermittent fasting lower blood glucose and insulin level in the people who are at risk of diabetes 3. Researchers also suggest intermittent fasting for reducing weight and controlling diabetes, though a bit more study to prove it effective is yet to be done.
Improves Heart Health. Researches show that intermittent fasting improves the aspects of heart health. It leads to a reduction in blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and triglycerides(4). Triglycerides are the fats present in the blood which increase the risk of heart disease.
Improves Brain Health. A study was conducted on mice to observe the effects of intermittent fasting. It was found that the mice on brief intermittent fasting had better learning and memory than in the mice with easy access to food(5).
Another research done on animals showed that intermittent fasting can suppress the inflammation in the brain which is linked with various neurological conditions (6).
Reduces the Risk Of Cancer. Intermittent fasting reduces the risk of cancer. Research done indicate it could delay the onset of tumors(8).
Intermittent fasting can also decrease the risk of various biological factors which are linked with cancer such as insulin levels, inflammation, and weight gain.
The effect of intermittent fasting on cancer is still under research, a research on humans is needed to support the claim.
Intermittent fasting is similar to the traditional method of calorie reduction. Both aim and achieve good weight loss.
Choose the right time to eat and to fast depending on your daily schedule. If you feel that skipping a meal is harming the body immediately stop and feed it.
Continue this diet schedule only if you feel it is working wonders for you both mentally and physically
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