Intermittent Fasting: Benefits and How to do it

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you are in a loop of eating and fasting. Intermittent fasting is of many types, like the 16/8 and 5:2 methods. Research shows that it can have a strong impact on the body and the brain.

There are a lot of researches performed on the fat rats of intermittent fasting (IF) which resulted in the loss of weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and improved blood sugar. And the research performed on humans showed safe and effective results.

It is difficult for many people to fast. But the research says that knowing the timing of when to fast is essential for a growing body. It can make it a more realistic and effective way for weight loss and also prevent diabetes.

Benefits of fasting

  • Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body- Oxidative stress leads to aging and chronic diseases. IT has unstable molecules known as free radicals that react with proteins and DNA and destroy them. Intermittent Fasting increases the body’s ability to resist oxidative stress and helps in fighting against inflammation.
  • It can be beneficial for health- Intermittent Fasting improves the risk factors that can cause heart disease like blood pressure, bad cholesterol, blood sugar level, inflammatory markers, and blood triglycerides.
  • Produces cellular repair processes- Fasting initiates autophagy, a waste removal process. Autophagy protects against diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It prevents cancer- Cancer is the unconfined growth of the cells. Intermittent Fasting reduces the chances of acquiring cancer.
  • It benefits the brain- Intermittent Fasting improves the metabolic system that is important for a healthy brain. It helps in reducing inflammation, blood sugar levels, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. Studies show that intermittent fasting in rats may grow new nerve cells that benefit brain functioning. It increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a brain hormone.

How to do Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is now a health trend that results in weight loss improved metabolic system, and may even extend lifespan. Different eating patterns of intermittent fasting are effective, but it is important to know which method suits the individual best.

Here are 6 ways to do intermittent fasting

The 16/8 method

This method comprises fasting for 14-16 hours every day and limiting your eating window to 8-10 hours. You can add up to two, three, or meals in that eating window. It is known as Leangains protocol. This method is simple. It includes not eating anything post-dinner and skip breakfast.

The 5:2 diet method

This method comprises eating normally for 5 days of the week and in the rest 2 days limit the diet to 500-600 calories. It is also known as a fast diet. Women are recommended to consume 500 calories and 600 for men.

Eat stop eat

Eat stop eat method comprises fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. Fasting from the first dinner to the next day dinner is estimated as 24-hour fasting. This method is considerably popular for a few years now.

Alternate-day fasting

Alternate-day fasting comprises fasting every other day. You can follow this method in different ways. Some methods suggest consuming 500 calories on fasting days. Research shows that intermittent fasting uses alternate day-fasting that results in health benefits. Full fasting is not recommended for beginners, it could be extreme because people may sleep hungry many times in a week which is healthy and pleasant, and does not give expected results in long run.

The Warrior diet

The warrior diet comprises eating a little number of raw fruits and vegetables in the day and one full meal at night. That means you will fast the whole day and have a proper meal at night in the four-hour eating window. The warrior diet is a popular diet that involves a method of intermittent fasting. This diet resembles the paleo diet that includes the consumption of whole, unprocessed foods.

Spontaneous meal skipping

It is not necessary to follow the strict pattern of intermittent fasting to get its benefits. Alternatively, you can skip your meals from time to time, like you can skip the meal if you are not feeling hungry or you do not have time to cook for yourself. People do not need to eat every few hours. Our bodies are designed to handle hunger for a long period, so you can skip a meal or two from time to time. Therefore, if you are not hungry, you skip a meal and eat healthy the rest of the day on time and not unnecessarily.

Summary

Intermittent Fasting is a way of fasting in a pattern between the loop of eating and fasting. It has a strong impact on the body and brain. There are a lot of benefits of fasting out of which are- it reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, beneficial for health, produces cellular repair processes, prevents cancer, and benefits the brain. People might get confused between the two, fasting and intermittent fasting. Here are 6 ways of intermittent fasting- the 16/8 method, 5:2 diet method, eat stop eat, alternate-day fasting, the warrior diet, and spontaneous meal skipping.

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