A fitness and weight-loss trend that has swept the world in recent times is Intermittent Fasting. Endorsed by many celebrities including Hugh Jackman and Hrithik Roshan, intermittent fasting is rapidly catching on, especially because there is enough science backed evidence to show its positive effects on our body.
So, what is intermittent fasting?
As you must have learned by the name, intermittent fasting is not a type of diet. Unlike diet, instead of focusing on what to eat, here the focus is on when to eat. Intermittent fasting is essentially restricting your eating time to some fixed part of the day while fasting for the remaining part.
Intermittent fasting could be done in a lot of ways and while there is no fixed structure for it, there are some methods or techniques that are more popular than others.
- 16/8 method– In this type of intermittent fasting, you eat for 8 hours and fast for 16 hours in a day. The fasting period usually begins after dinner and lasts up to the lunch time of the following afternoon. Usually people who follow this method, have their first meal around 1 pm and their last around 9 pm in the night.
- Eat Stop Eat– This method involves fasting for 24 hours one or two days in a week. For example, you eat dinner today and fast till the dinner time tomorrow.
- The 5:2 Diet– This type of fasting is basically restricting your calorie intake to 500-600 on two days of the week, while following your regular diet on the remaining 5 days.
- Alternate day fasting– As the name suggests, this method includes fasting every alternate day. Some people limit their calories to 500-600 on fasting days, instead of going for a complete fast. This is a rigorous fasting technique and may not be suitable for everyone, especially beginners.
- The Warrior diet– This kind of fasting is when you eat little to no food during the day and have one big meal during dinner. In this fast, the best foods to consume during the day are low-carb raw fruits and veggies.
- Skipping a meal– This is the simplest type of intermittent fasting where you skip a meal whenever it’s convenient for you or when you’re not too hungry.
Intermittent fasting is contradictory to a lot of diet rules we’ve been hearing before, one of them being skipping the breakfast, which is believed to be the most important meal of the day. So, before you decide whether or not, you’d like to try intermittent fasting, you must know its advantages and the disadvantages.
Here are the pros:
- Helps you lose weight and belly fat
- Helps lower blood sugar levels
- Facilitates cellular repair processes
- Boosts production of growth hormones and muscle gain
- Reduces risks of heart diseases
Here are the cons:
- Skipping meals, especially morning breakfast can slow down your metabolism
- Induces acidity
- Can lead to extremely low blood sugar
- Can cause hormonal imbalance
- May not be suitable for all
Anytime you try your hand at some new type of diet or eating habit, do take into consideration the risks and conditions of your body. For example, if you have low blood sugar problems or are prone to acidity, then intermittent fasting may not be the best option for you. In the coming days, we will be discussing in detail the good and the bad about this fasting technique, so you will be in a better position to make informed choices about your lifestyle.
For starters, if you want to try intermittent fasting, we would ask you to take it slow, observe how your body responds and then take it from there. If you have any medical conditions, do not forget to consult your doctor before making any diet changes.