If you are one of those constantly devoted to healthy eating, weight loss plans, clean eating, keto, paleo and all other diet fads out there, then we bet that you are no stranger to Intermittent Fasting.
Gaining popularity at exponential rates, intermittent fasting popularized by Martin Berkhan, a nutritional consultant is an eating routine that includes periods of fasting with a gap or 16-8 hours or even 12-36 hours.
According to several studies, intermittent fasting that has the caught fancy of all health freaks in all age groups alike, helps in losing weight quickly than other calorie-deficit diet plans.
Types of Intermittent Fasting:
Intermittent fasting is broadly divided into three types.
Alternate Day Fasting:
Often referred as the toughest type of intermittent fasting, this involves 24-hours of continuous fasting, followed by another 24 hours of non-fasting period. If you want to go for the moderate version of Alternate Day Fasting, you can consume around 25% of your daily calorie needs on the full fasting day.
Whole Day Fasting:
It is the common type of fasting, like religious fasting. This involves total fasting for one or two days in a week or 25% of regular calorie intake.
It is the most popular types of intermittent fasting, where one can eat only during certain number of hours in a day. It usually involves 16:8 diets which includes 16 hours of fasting period followed by 8 hours of non-fasting hours.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting:
Losing weight is one of the main benefits of following intermittent fasting. During intermittent fasting, one can consume only limited amounts of food, in fewer meals and in lesser calories. As a result, the fasting stimulates the hormones responsible for weight loss and decrease the levels of insulin. Low levels of insulin, growth hormones in right amounts will help the body in breaking down the fat and use it as a source of energy. It also increases metabolic activity and restricts calorie intake.
Prevents Type 2 Diabetes:
Obesity is one of the risk factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes. Regular intermittent fasting helps in losing up to 4 to 7% of belly fat around the waist. Belly fat is one of the main reasons behind various chronic conditions and can also affect the cardiovascular health.
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in the body are two major health conditions that are often ignored. These conditions can stimulate free radicals also known as unstable molecules and interact with protein, DNA and other important molecules causing cell damage. Intermittent fasting helps your body in developing resistance to oxidative stress and aids in fighting inflammation.
Intermittent fasting stimulates the process of ‘autophagy’ a cellular waste removal in the body. Autophagy involves breaking down the cells, flushing out unnecessary and dysfunctional components that get accumulated in the cells over a period. Stimulation of autophagy triggers metabolism and prevents diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Improves Brain Function:
Studies reveal that regular intermittent fasting stimulates metabolic activity that plays a major role in brain functioning. Besides reducing oxidative stress, building insulin resistance, lowering inflammation it also regenerates nerve function. It also increases the levels of brain hormones and protects against depression and prevents strokes.
Is Intermittent Fasting For Everyone?
There are certain restrictions applicable and intermittent fasting is not recommended for everyone. If one has a history of eating disorders, doctors advise against practicing it.
It is also not prescribed for those recovering from an injury or surgery.
If you have thyroid, talk to your doctor before choosing intermittent fasting, as it may cause nutritional imbalance and up the risk of thyroid disorders.