- Are you struggling to fit into your jeans? No time to hit the gym and sweat it out? Are you tired of trying different diet plans that do not suit you?
- In recent times, everyone has become conscious of their weight, and the use of many different diets has been on the rise. Intermittent fasting is one such diet that seems to be very effective. The name is a giveaway – you have to alternate between eating and fasting.
How to follow intermittent fasting?
There are multiple ways to follow this diet. Few of the commonly followed methods are:
- Eat-Stop-Eat: Skip eating for the entire day once or twice a week.
- The 16/8 Method: Eat in an 8-hour bracket and fast for 16 hours, for example, eat between 12 pm to 8 pm only and fast from 8 pm to 12 pm.
- The 5:2 Method: Eat 500-600 calories on two days and normally on the remaining days of the week.
As long as you don’t reward yourself by overeating during the non-fasting period, this diet will help you lose weight.
Why is intermittent fasting successful?
- This pattern of eating was followed by our hunter-gatherer ancestors, where there would be periods of starvation, followed by a period of eating. One of the reasons this diet is successful is because our body is accustomed to this pattern of eating since the beginning. Only in recent history have we had an abundance of food. However, we are now headed back to where we first began, completing the circle of life.
- The reason this diet works is simple. When food is not consumed, our insulin levels fall, causing the cells to release the glucose they have stored. When our insulin levels stay low for long periods of time, like in fasting, we start burning fat. In intermittent fasting, this process is repeated over and over again, facilitating weight loss. An added advantage is the fact that we consume fewer calories overall.
How does intermittent fasting help?
Intermittent fasting has many benefits as follows:
- Helps in losing excess body fat: As the body uses up the fat stored in the body to produce energy, we slowly lose weight. Thus, we not only look thinner, but also get healthier as this is a gradual process.
- Balances insulin levels: When we eat food rich in carbohydrates, our insulin levels rise rapidly. Insulin helps in breakdown of the excess food and stores it instead of using it up. Then the insulin levels fall. This rapid rise and fall of insulin levels over long periods can be harmful and may lead to diabetes. A huge advantage of intermittent fasting in this aspect is that it regulates the levels of insulin and keeps the body in a constant fat-burning state.
- Optimizes the ‘human growth hormone’: The human growth hormone helps in burning the stored calories. Studies show that human growth hormone levels become double or triple just two-three days after fasting, boosting the metabolism manifold.
- Reduces hunger pangs: All your hunger pangs and cravings through the day, although not eliminated, will definitely reduce with intermittent fasting. This is probably due to the balanced insulin levels. You will also feel more energetic through the entire day.
Is intermittent fasting for everyone?
- Intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone. If you eat small meals every few hours, you will find this diet very challenging to follow. If you have certain conditions, intermittent fasting is not for you. For example, a person with diabetes who is on insulin injections may find it difficult to follow intermittent fasting. Also, depriving yourself of food for very long periods may lead to overeating when you eat in the non-fasting period.
Do not follow the diet if you have any of the following conditions:
- Eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia
- Are on medications that should be taken with food
- Still in the growing phase
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Today, one of the major hurdles in losing weight is doing so in a healthy manner. Intermittent fasting is fast becoming the method of choice for losing weight. The pros of intermittent fasting seem to outweigh the cons greatly. To find out more information and to know if this diet is suitable for you, visit www.healthassure.in today. You can download the app to get in touch with our expert nutritionists and dieticians to help plan your diet and see the difference in yourself.
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