What is Intermittent Fasting?

September 24, 2021

You’ve probably heard of fasting — not eating for prolonged periods of time on purpose. But what exactly is intermittent fasting? Is it a diet? An eating pattern? A short-term hack, or a long-term lifestyle?

Gone are the days when health enthusiasts would cautiously eat a heavy breakfast and gradually taper down the quantity of the following meals by consuming a light lunch and an even lighter dinner. Currently, people are happily practicing cyclic fasts or taking to intermittent fasting to turn into a healthier version of themselves. Read on to know more about intermittent fasting and how it can help you to attain good health.

There are a variety of approaches to Intermittent fasting, and many studies backing the multitude of benefits to your health and overall wellness.

From fasting for just a few hours each day to skipping meals for two days a week, intermittent fasting can be an easy way to simultaneously improve your health and achieve your weight loss goals.

These frequent and repeated periods of fasting when complemented with mindful eating may enhance your health and even treat several illnesses.

The most popular pattern of fasting is the 16/8 hourly method. In this method, you fast for 16 hours every day and consume food only during the remaining eight hours. It usually involves not eating anything post-dinner meal and then skipping breakfast meal the next day.

Now, let’s talk about the health benefits offered by this fasting. There have been various studies, which associate this fasting with:

• Improved gut microbiome and health (1)

• Assist in weight loss and preventing obesity (3)

• Reduced oxidative stress (1)

• Counteract age-related disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer (1)

• Improves insulin sensitization and prevents diabetes (3)

• Prevent and treat neurodegenerative disorders (6)

• Paves the way for healthy aging and longevity (2)

• Improves overall metabolic health (3)

An interesting thing about this type of fasting is that there is no particular fasting regimen that works for all.  Each individual would have to tailor and mold their fasting diet according to one’s needs. Its best to experiment and find the one that works best based on your individual needs.

To get the most benefits from intermittent fasting, make sure to focus on filling your diet with healthy whole foods during the hours that you do eat to squeeze as much nutrients as possible into your day.

Precautions:

Intermittent fasting may not be ideal for everyone and some people may actually want to avoid it all together. If you experience any one of these issues, you may want to reconsider fasting.

• Impairs proper functioning of the thyroid gland

• Low blood sugar

• Gallstone disease

To sum it all up, an intermittent fasting schedule helps to control the number of calories you consume by offering long hauls of timely fasting. If done correctly and coupled with a balanced diet, an intermittent fasting program may help you to significantly improve your health and lead a disciplined life

References

1.        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32330491/

2.        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27810402/

3.        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32700827/

4.        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29700718/

5.        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28715993/

6.        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16899414/

7.        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32060194/




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