What is Intermittent Fasting?
‘Intermittent fasting to lose weight’ is a programme about eating, fasting and losing weight. Intermittent fasting gives you a window in which you are allowed to eat and in the remaining hours, you are simply fasting. There is no restriction on food but if the meals are healthy & clean then the results are going to be more positive which means more weight loss.
There are several different intermittent fasting patterns.
- 16 hours-8 hours
16-8 hours, in this there is an eight hours window in which you are allowed to eat and remaining sixteen hours of the day, you are simply fasting. You can customize this as per your comfort but the best and most effective timing is to stop eating 4-5 hours prior to the bedtime. This way you won’t even realise and your 16 hours will be done because out of 16 hours you will be sleeping for around 8 hours. This is the most effective ‘INTERMITTENT FASTING’ window to lose weight. ‘
- Alternate day
One day on and one day off. In this pattern, you are doing intermittent fasting every alternate day. This is more suitable for the first-timers because after every intermittent fasting day there is a normal day.
- 24 Hours
24 hours of fasting is very common in INDIA as it is related to many religious practices. In this type of fasting, you are not allowed to eat anything for 24 hours. I won’t recommend it for the beginners as it requires more patience and willpower. Beginners can start with the ALTERNATE DAY or 16hours-8hours fasting programme. 24 Hours can be done once or twice a week.
- 5:2 Diet plan
5 days of normal eating and 2 days of strict calories intake. In this plan, 2 days of eating are restricted to only 500 to 600 calories which means only two light meals are allowed in a day.
You must have got this. As the name says, You can start eating with the Sunrise and no food After Sunset. This fasting pattern is very common in Jainism & Hinduism.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
When you are fasting, your body will use the accumulated fat to produce energy because there is no readily available energy from food during the fasting period.
A detoxification process also occurs because during intermittent fasting the toxins stored in the body’s fat are dissolved and removed from the body.
- Higher Endorphin
After a few days of Intermittent fasting, the levels of Endorphins (also known as “feel-good” hormones ) will grow. Higher levels of endorphins can have a positive impact on mental well-being.
- Healing Power (the doctor that cures, sitting inside)
The healing power is an enormous, magnificent power of mother nature. But we never let it work properly because we are always eating. When we eat the healing power gets diverted and starts working on digestion. Constant eating never let it fix our body but by doing Intermittent Fasting, the Healing power gets its time to cure the diseases which are there in the body. Once the healing power starts fixing, it fixes everything, doesn’t matter how chronic the disease is.
More Study based benefits are:
- May Aid in Cancer Prevention
Cancer cells need to be fed constantly. When you are doing intermittent fasting to lose weight, the cells in the body won’t get enough food which will help in cancer prevention.
Studies have shown that whenever you do intermittent fasting the growth of “Human Growth Hormones” multiplies. Human Growth Hormones or HGH is extremely essential for our overall development and growth.
- Delay Aging and Extend Longevity
when you are doing intermittent fasting to lose weight, unintentionally you are taking good care of your organs. Healthy organs mean no diseases, long life and radiant skin.
Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting to lose weight
Intermittent fasting has no side effects. But initially, you may feel weakness, hunger, headaches. if you’re on medication, consult your doctor first since dosing schedules are often built around regular meal times.
Important Tips about Intermittent fasting to lose weight:
- No food is allowed during the fasting period.
- you can have non-caloric beverages like water, coffee, tea.
- supplements are allowed while fasting, as long as there are no calories in them.
- If you are having trouble then you can decrease the fasting time as per your body’s comfort.
Intermittent fasting is one of the most flexible, natural, systematic and easy to follow weight loss programme. Many people are not aware of Intermittent fasting for fat loss, as it is not very popular.
I am personally following the 16hours-8hours plan and I am very happy with the results.