Intermittent Fasting- How it works?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them.

Intermittent Fasting- How it works?
Should you do Intermittent Fasting?

Just read this article till the end and you will get a clear cut answer as I go through the advantages and disadvantages of intermittent fasting.

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#1 Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting is not a diet but a dieting pattern in which there is a window where you can eat and there is a window where you have to fast. Now, there are a lot of versions of intermittent fasting but the most common and the practiced one is the 16-8 method. In this method, you have to keep a fast for 16 hours where ideally you should not consume anything except water. But then you are allowed to have green tea and black coffee without sugar. And then comes the 8 hour window where you have to eat. Now, in these 8 hours you have to finish yourbreakfast, lunch and dinner. Now, you are free to choose the 8 hour window. It could be from 9 AM to 5 PM in the evening. Or it could be 12 Noon to 8 PM in the night or 2 PM to 10 PM at night. So, it is totally upto you as per your convenience.

#2 How does intermittent fasting work?

Actually, Intermittent fasting acts as a shock for your body. When you do intermittent fasting, there are a lot of hormonal changes in the body which help you effectively lose body fat. Now, before we discuss what actually we should eat in intermittent fasting.

let’s talk about it’s advantages and disadvantages.

#3 Advantages of Intermittent Fasting.

First is that, it drops the insulin level. Let’s understand it this way. When you are fasting for about 16 hours, there is nothing inside your body. So, your body starts utilising your fat cells for energy. So, this is how you start reducing your fat. Second is that IF is known to increase your human growth hormone by as much as 5 times. Now, there are a lot of advantages of a high Human Growth Hormone. The most important of all is that it increases your metabolism. And the higher metabolism you will have, the faster will be your fat loss process. Now, when you are fasting in IF, your body tends to increase the cellular repair processes. For example, the removal of the waste from the cells is increased. Then studies in animals have shown that the IF increases the lifespan. There have been a lot of studies done on various organisms especially rats and each study has shown a successful increase in lifespan. But the sad part is that there have been no studies done of humans as yet. However, the scientists feel that the humans would also get the same benefit. Now, because there are a lot of positive hormonal changes which are taking place in IF like decrease in insulin and increase in HGH, studies have shown that it has long term health benefits. So, it can keep you away from diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. Most importantly, in IF you are eating in an 8 hour window. So, there are more chances of you to stay in calorie deficit. Now, if you are looking to cut some fat from your body the most important thing that you should do is stay on calorie deficit. This is where IF is very useful. So you can easily go below your maintenance calories and lose a lot of weight. Now we have discussed the advantages that how great IF is.

#5 Disadvantages of Intermittent Fasting.

First of all you have to keep a fast for 16 hours. Are you prepared for it? Because there are a group of people who find it very difficult to get adapt to it. And then there are a group of people who say it takes hardly 2-3 days to get used to it. So this depends on you. Now, because you are allowed to have blackcoffee in your fasting period, people tend to go overboard with it. This in the long run can be harmful. One major problem which people generally face in IF is that they get obsessed with food. All those 16 hours of fasting period, somepeople tend to think about food all the time. Now, another side effect of IF could be lack of sleep. Now, this could be because of high intake of black coffee or hunger. Now overeating is also one problem which people generally face in IF. You have to understand one thing that in that 8 hours of window you have to stay in calorie deficit. Just because you had a 16 hours of fast, it does not give you a license to eat as much as you can in that 8 hour window. I would suggest you to track your macros for at least a few days. After some days you will get an idea and then you would know that you are staying in calorie deficit. Also, it is better to keep tracking your weight regularly. Then some people may also face fatigue or lower energy levels. But all these disadvantages depend upon person to person. There are people who say that IF has completely changed their life.

#6 How you should eat in Intermittent Fasting.

My suggesting to you is that break your fast with fruits. Then in the 8 hour window, have 3-4 meals. Keep your meals high in protein, well balanced with complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Please do not take the liberty of eating unhealthy food in that 8 hour window. Because you can eat unhealthy food and still stay in calorie deficit but it will impact your health in the long run.

Now, my last word is that IF is a completely safe way of eating. Now, if you are able to practice it for long term. Long term is important here. Then go for it. Because there is no point in doing IF for 2 weeks. Your weight will drop and then you come back to the same position. So do what you enjoy and what best fits in your lifestyle and preferences.

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