What are Intermittent Fasting and things to remember regarding it?

Intermittent fasting is a very famous form of dieting that is adopted by several actors, fitness gurus and models. It is currently very famous in the health community. The main agenda of intermittent fasting is less about what to eat and more about when to eat.

The most common types of intermittent fasting:

  • 16/8 methods- Also known as Leangains Protocol. This method involves fasting for 16 hours and keeping the eating window open for 8 hours. The period within which people following this diet mostly eat is 1 pm to 9 pm. This is the most beneficial and commonly practised.
  • The 5:2 method- In this method of intermittent fasting, the individual consumes only 500-600 calories in two consecutive days of the weeks.
  • 24 hours fasting- In this method, the individual fasts for complete 24 hours twice a week, not consecutively.

Let us review the benefits of Intermittent Fasting.

  • Weight loss– The most obvious benefit of fasting is weight loss. With the reduced calories, a significant fall of fat by 7-8% is seen among the people within 3-24 weeks.
  • Heart health.- intermittent fasting is predicted to protect the heart by reducing bad cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar.
  • Protection against Alzheimer’s disease– although this is another assumption, it could be true that intermittent fasting can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It also increases BDNF brain hormone and stimulates the development of new nerve cells.
  • Insulin resistance– reduction of insulin resistance is a very common result of intermittent fasting. This results in 3-6% reduction in blood sugar.

Although intermittent fasting is mainly about when you are eating it is also secondarily about what you are eating.

  • Remember the eating window is not a freedom to eat whatever you want. It is, in fact, important to make sure what you are eating is easily digestible.
  • Avoid junk or deep-fried food. That is an absolute no-no. In fact, never eat fast food after fasting. Homemade light food is the real deal. (Oats is a very good meal to break your fast).
  • Choose hydrated and fresh food (preferably fruits and vegetables). Salad with tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce or fruit salad with citric fruits is a good start after fasting(without dressing).
  • Drink enough water. 3-5litres of clean water is a must to detoxify and keep you hydrated.
  • Avoid carbohydrates and sugar. Some health gurus believe saturated sugar and carbohydrates is a bigger enemy than fats. After your body has starved for long if sugary food is poured into it, it is nothing less than poison. Slowly, little by little incorporate them to your diet instead
  • Eat-in close intervals than in a bulk– Overburdening your body is absolutely a disaster, especially after fasting. Eat-in regular intervals and choose several healthy snacks over a heavy meal.

Those snacks might include,

  1. Nuts (walnuts, peanuts, cashew)
  2. Seeds (flax, soy)
  3. Fruit juices and healthy smoothies (banana, kale)
  • Include every food group, Never skip on your share of protein, calcium and minerals. Skipping an entire food group will eventually cause deficiency. Slowly incorporate the carbohydrates into the routine.
  • Avoid packaged food. Another food to avoid would be preservative loaded packaged foods. It will have harmful artificial flavouring, colour, sugar and preservatives that you do not want in your starving body.

If you are well aware of what to do and what no to do during intermittent fasting, then it is the perfect way to be your best self physically without actually hitting the gym. But not following it correctly is irresponsible, harmful and must be avoided at all costs because it can cost lives eventually if not properly handled.

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