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What is intermittent fasting ?
Intermittent fasting has become a healthy lifestyle trend nowadays. It is a time period between your eating and fasting. There are different types of intermittent fasting methods. You can plan your fasting cycle on a daily basis or in alternative days, depending on your body’s metabolism. This is not all about being slim but to be fitted internally to improve your metabolism and strengthen immunity. Many research shows that it can cause your weight loss or fat loss and you get slimmer gradually.
On the other hand, if you see, we all do intermittent fasting in our sleeping hours at night. The body goes on the fasting phase at that time, you just have to extend slightly longer hours for your intermittent fasting. You can make it nearly 14 to 16 hours.
There are three types of intermittent fasting
- daily-time restricted feeding
- periodic fasting
- alternate fasting
- Daily-time-restricted means you can only eat a certain number of hours in each day by skipping meals.
- Periodic fasting is mainly consecutive fasting of more than 24 hours.
- Alternate fasting involves no calories consumed. Eat one day, fast the next day.
Explanation of intermittent fasting in easy way
When you can keep 14 to 16 hours fasting, you can do this by skipping your breakfast. Then eat your meal at noon and take your last meal by 8 pm. So, technically you are 16 hours of the fasting period. This is not actually so tough to do, in fact, you will feel more energetic during the fasting time. Initially, you may face a little bit of difficulty, but by the time your body will get used to this process. You can drink water, green tea, coffee, and coconut water during this fasting time.
Somehow we do this fasting with religious belief also. Our body is also well equipped to handle fasting hours. During fasting hours your blood sugar and insulin level go down. Many people do this intermittent fasting to lose their weight. While others do this for their health benefits. Intermittent fasting can help you to live longer.
Some research says that intermittent fasting protect you against heart diseases, type2diabetes, cancer etc. It also improves your brain health and memory.
But, Have some side effects also. You may feel little headache and weak initially till your next meal. As your body adopts this pattern, you will feel light and relaxed. At least 10 to 12 weeks you need to follow the pattern to get visible result.
The best pattern is as mentioned earlier about the ratio between fasting of 16:8. Like 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours is permitted to eat. Say that if your diner meal is at 8pm then your next meal will be by 12 noon on next day. This way the body use it’s stored fats and convert it into energy. Intermittent fasting allows you flexibility. You can fast for long or short hours that depends on you. But fasting longer than few days may require medical supervision.
Who should not fast
You should not do intermittent fasting if you are:
- Under 16 years old. Because you need extra nutrition to grow.
- Breast-feeding mothers or pregnant ladies. Because they need complete nutrition for the physical and mental growth of the baby and also complete care for the mother.
- An underweight person who has an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa (BMI<18.5)
The side effect
Hunger is the most common side effect in intermittent fasting. This is due to low-carb and keto diet. Constipation is a normal response to eating less. This is not a concern and does not require any treatment unless you feel bloating or any discomfort. Headache is common and it also disappears after a few times. You can take some little extra salt with your meal to avoid headaches.
Other side effects are like dizziness, heartburn and muscle cramp.
Top tips for intermittent fasting
- Drink plenty of water
- Drink tea and coffee
- Don’t over crave after fasting
- Give one month time to yourself to check if the fasting pattern you have adopt is good for you.
Here is youtube video explaining what is intermittent Fasting: