What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern that alternates periods of fasting with periods of eating.
It does not dictate what foods you should eat, but when you should eat them. In this sense, it is not a diet in the conventional sense but it is actually an eating pattern.
Common methods of intermittent fasting involve fasting daily for 16 hours or fasting for 24 hours, twice a week. Fasting has been known and practiced throughout human evolution. The ancient hunter-gatherers had no supermarkets, refrigerators, or food available all year round. Sometimes they couldn't find anything to eat. As a result, humans have learnt to be able to function without food for long periods of time.
Methods of Intermittent Fasting
These are the most popular methods:
Method 16/8 - Also called Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and limiting the daily feeding period to 8 hours, for example from 1 pm to 9 pm. So you fast for 16 hours in between.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This method involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example, not eating from dinner one day to dinner the next day.
Diet 5: 2: with these methods, only 500-600 calories are consumed in two non-consecutive days of the week, but the other five days are normally eaten. By reducing calorie intake, all of these methods should lead to weight loss as long as you don't compensate for it by eating a lot more during meal times.
Many people see the 16/8 method as the simplest, the most sustainable, and the easiest to follow. It is also the most popular.
Safety and Side Effects
Hunger is the main side effect of any fasting, not just Intermittent.
You may also feel weak or dizzy, and your brain may not work as well as before.
This isn't permanent, as it may take just a while for your body to adjust to the new eating schedule . If you have any medical condition, and you want to go into intermittent kindly consult a doctor before trying intermittent fasting.
This is especially important if:
- Do you have diabetes?
- You have trouble regulating your blood sugar level.
- You have low blood pressure.
- Take medication.
- I am underweight.
- Having a history of eating disorders.
- I am a lady who is giving in an effort trying to conceive.
- I am a woman with a history of amenorrhoea.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
That said, intermittent fasting has an exceptional safety profile. There is nothing dangerous in not eating for a while if you are generally healthy and well-fed.Health benefits of intermittent fasting
Here are the Top Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Insulin Resistance: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, lower blood sugar by 3-6%, and lower insulin levels by 20-31%, which should protect against type 2 diabetes
Inflammation: studies show reductions in inflammation markers, a key factor in many chronic diseases
Heart Health: Intermittent Fasting May Lower "Bad" cholesterol
Cancer: Animal Studies Suggest Intermittent Fasting May Prevent Cancer
Brain Health: Intermittent fasting increases the brain hormone BDNF and can help the growth of new nerve cells. It can also protect against Alzheimer's disease.
Anti-aging - Intermittent fasting can extend the lifespan of rats. Studies have shown that fasting rats lived 36 to 83%
How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight
Weight loss is a major reason people try intermittent fasting. intermittent fasting can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake when you eat little Additionally, intermittent fasting alters hormone levels to facilitate weight loss. In addition to reducing insulin and increasing growth hormone levels, it increases the release of the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine (norepinephrine). Due to these changes in hormones, short-term fasting can increase the metabolic rate by 3.6% to 14%. By helping you eat little and shed more calories, intermittent fasting causes weight loss by changing both sides of the calorie equation.
Intermittent fasting amounts to little muscle loss than the normal method of continuous calorie restriction.However, keep in mind that the main reason for your success is that intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories overall. If you binge and eat large amounts during feeding periods, you may not lose weight at all.