How to Do Intermittent Fasting? – Tips and Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Nowadays, intermittent fasting has become a popular health trend. It is highly beneficial to improve metabolic health, cause weight loss and is also expected to extend the life span. Now the question is how to do intermittent fasting? How long to do intermittent fasting? Here is an article with all you need to know about intermittent fasting and its health benefits.
There are different ways to do intermittent fasting, and the methods vary according to the calorie allowances and the total number of fast days.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting includes partially abstaining or entirely abstaining from eating for a particular period before continuing to eat again regularly. In this type of fasting, you cycle between periods of fasting and eating.
If you plan to start intermittent fasting, you need to understand that it is a dieting pattern and not a diet. It includes making the decision to skip some meals intentionally.
It includes fasting and feasting deliberately. This fasting includes you consuming calories during a particular time and then avoiding eating food for a larger window of time. Intermittent fasting does not specify which types of food you need to eat, but rather when to eat food.
How to do Intermittent Fasting?
In intermittent fasting, different patterns of eating exist. The experience of intermittent fasting is different for different people. It varies according to the style that suits best. Every method of intermittent fasting is different, and finding out the best one depends on the individual. Now, if you are thinking about how to do intermittent fasting, below mentioned are some popular ways to do it.
This method of intermittent fasting comprises fasting every day for around 14-16 hours and then restricting the everyday eating window for 8-10 hours.
During the eating window, you can have two, three, or more meals. It is a simple fasting method which involves avoiding eating anything after dinner and then skipping breakfast.
For instance, if you complete your last meal at 8 p.m. and avoid eating until noon the next day, then you fast for around 16 hours.
If you need a heavy breakfast, then it might be difficult for you to follow this diet. In order to reduce the feelings of hunger, you can drink coffee, zero-calories beverage, and water during fast. Make sure to consume healthy foods during the eating period. In addition to this, the method will not work if you consume an excessive number of calories.
This type of intermittent fasting includes eating normally for five days and restricting the calorie intake to 500-600 for around two days every week. On the days of fasting, men should consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.
For instance, you can normally continue the eating period every day of the week while avoiding Mondays and Thursdays. The days on which you avoid meals, you can consume two meals containing 300 calories each for men and 250 for women.
Alternate-day fasting includes fasting every other day. There are different versions of this fasting. In some cases, people consume around 500 calories on the fasting day. Many people also perform full fasting every other day. However, it is extreme, so if you are a beginner, then you should avoid this one.
In this type of fasting, you might need to go to bed hungry many times every week. It is not pleasant and might not be sustainable in the long term.
Eat Stop Eat
This type of fasting includes 24-hour fasting once or twice a week. The fasting involves fasting from dinner one day to the same next day, which makes it full 24-hour fasting.
You can consume zero-calorie beverages like coffee and water during fasting. However, say no to solid foods.
If you are planning to follow this diet to lose weight, make sure to eat healthy food properly on the eating days.
The drawback of this method is that it involves full 24-hour fasting, which might not be suitable for many people. Nevertheless, you do not need to fast for a total of 24 hours from the beginning. You can start with fasting 14-15 hours a day, and they move upward from there.
Spontaneous Meal Skipping
It is not necessary to follow a properly structured intermittent fasting in order to get the potential benefits. One best option includes skipping meals from time to time, like when you are too busy to eat or cook, or you don’t feel hungry.
Hence, if you are not hungry someday, you can skip breakfast and consume a healthy lunch and dinner. Skipping one or two meals when you are good to do is also a type of intermittent fasting. However, make sure to consume healthy foods while having other meals.
This type of diet includes consuming small amounts of raw vegetables and fruits during the daytime and consuming a big meal at night. To succinctly, you fast the whole day and have a feat at night. Warrior diet is one of the most popular forms of intermittent fasting. If you are looking for an effective way to lose weight, this type of fasting is a perfect choice for you.
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Now that you know how to do intermittent fasting, the next question is, what are the benefits of intermittent fasting. Various studies present evidence that there are powerful benefits of intermittent fasting.
Apart from weight loss, there is a wide range of benefits of intermittent fasting. This diet might be a little bit difficult, but as soon as your body starts adjusting to the new way of eating, it gets easier. The prime idea of this diet is to be aware of when to eat. Below mentioned are some of the common benefits of intermittent fasting.
Changes the Function of Genes, Cells, and Hormones
When you stop eating for some time, various things happen with the body. Below mentioned are some of the changes that happen in our body.
- Insulin Levels: When we stop eating for some time, the insulin levels in our blood drop remarkably. It helps in burning fat.
- Cellular Repair: When we fast, our body induces the essential process of cellular repair, which is beneficial to eliminate waste material from our cells.
- Human Growth Hormone: Fasting helps increase the levels of growth hormone in our blood as much as 5-fold. High levels of this hormone in our body allow muscle gain and fat burning and also have a wide range of benefits.
- Gene Expression: It allows various beneficial changes in many genes and molecules associated with protection against disease.
Reduces Insulin Resistance
In recent decades, type 2 diabetes has become a common health issue. It is featured by high blood sugar levels in regard to insulin resistance. If something reduces insulin resistance, it can help in reducing the blood sugar levels and provide protection against type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent fasting is beneficial for insulin resistance and leads to a remarkable reduction in blood sugar levels. Make sure to consume the best foods for diabetes control during the eating window. To succinctly, intermittent fasting is highly beneficial to reduce insulin resistance and also lowers blood sugar levels, especially in men. You can also try yoga poses for diabetes control.
Lose Weight and Belly Fat
If you are looking for something to lose weight and belly fat, then what could be better than intermittent fasting? Yes, you read it right. Intermittent fasting includes consuming fewer meals. If you do not compensate by consuming more during the meals in the eating window, you will end up consuming fewer calories. It might take some time to notice weight loss, but trust me, the outcomes are impressive.
In addition to this, intermittent fasting improves hormone function, which in turn facilitates weight loss. Higher levels of growth hormones, lower levels of insulin, and an increased amount of norepinephrine help increase the breakdown of body fat and allow its use for generating energy.
Moreover, intermittent fasting boosts metabolic rate and also reduces the amount of calorie intake. In short intermittent fasting is an effective tool to lose weight, which is one of the remarkable health benefits of intermittent fasting. You can also follow the keto diet food pyramid for weight loss.
Reduces Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Oxidative stress is one of the major causes of chronic disease and aging. It includes unstable molecules known as free radicals. They react with other essential molecules like DNA and protein and damage them.
Various studies present evidence that intermittent fasting improves our body’s resistance to oxidative stress (Source). In addition to this, intermittent fasting also helps in fighting inflammation, which is another common cause of different diseases.
Highly Beneficial for Heart Health
One of the biggest killers in the world at the present time is heart disease. It is known for different health markers and is related to decreased or increased risk of heart disease.
Intermittent fasting is beneficial to enhance different risk factors like total and LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, blood triglycerides, blood sugar levels, and inflammatory markers (Source). Nevertheless, the results are based on animal studies. More studies are needed to support the evidence.
Induces the Process of DIfferent Cellular Repair Process
During fasting, the cells in our body initiate a cellular process for water removal and are known as autophagy.
The process comprises breaking down cells and metabolizing the dysfunctional and broken proteins which build up inside our cells over time.
An increase in autophagy might render protection against various diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. To succinctly, intermittent fasting enhances a metabolic pathway known as autophagy, which is accountable for removing waste materials present in our body.
Beneficial for Your Brain
Another potential health benefit of intermittent fasting is that it is beneficial for our brain. Yes, you read it right.
Intermittent fasting enhances varied metabolic features, which are essential for our brain health. It includes reduced inflammation, reduced blood sugar levels, reduced oxidative stress, and reduction in insulin resistance.
Some animal studies present evidence that intermittent fasting might enhance new nerve cells’ growth, which is beneficial for our brain function (Source).
It also enhances the brain hormone levels, known as a brain-derived neurotrophic factor. The deficiency of this hormone leads to depression and other brain problems.
May Extend Lifespan
One of the intermittent fasting benefits is that it might enhance your lifespan. Some animal studies present evidence that intermittent fasting similarly increases the lifespan, like continuous calorie restriction (Source).
Intermittent fasting is highly popular in the anti-aging crowd. The associated benefits for good metabolism and different types of health markers lead to the sense that intermittent fasting might extend lifespan.
May Prevent Cancer
One of the main causes of cancer is uncontrolled cell growth. Intermittent fasting is associated with several positive effects on metabolism, which might result in a reduced risk of cancer. Animal studies show that intermittent fasting might help in preventing cancer (Source).
Certain human studies also show that intermittent fasting can also help in reducing the varied negative effects of chemotherapy.
May Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
One of the most common neurodegenerative diseases is Alzheimer’s disease. At the present time, there is no cure for this disease.
Some animal studies present evidence that intermittent fasting might delay the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease and also reduces the severity (Source). Nevertheless, human studies are needed to ensure outcomes.
Intermittent fasting is not a type of dieting, but it is a lifestyle strategy that you can follow to improve your health. Various benefits associated with intermittent fasting include weight loss, good heart health, improved metabolism, and much more. Now that you know how to do intermittent fast, you can try it and gain the benefits. Do share your experience with us by dropping a comment.