Intermittent Fasting helps in reducing weight and lowering insulin levels
A new term doing the rounds of the fitness circles in India is Intermittent Fasting. Some people look at it as another fad diet that only looks lucrative on the internet, while many others believe that it is a sure shot way to lose weight rapidly while not giving up on food entirely. Before we dive into the benefits and dos and don'ts of Intermittent fasting, let us look at what the term actually means.
Intermittent fasting, as the name suggests, is a diet that works on creating cycles of eating and fasting periods. While popular diets like keto tell us what to eat, Intermittent fasting tells us when to eat. People who fast intermittently prepare a schedule of when they consume food and when they are on a fast. Broadly, there are 2 different types of schedules that are followed -
1. The 16/8 method – This is a daily fasting schedule, where there is a window of 14-16 hours of fasting between meals.
2. The eat-stop-eat method – This is a weekly fasting schedule, where there are usually 2 windows of 24 hours long fasting, twice a week.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Many dietitians and people keeping intermittent fasts claim that not only does it help in losing weight, it prevents and reverses some forms of diseases. There are proven scientific benefits of intermittent fasting. The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels increase swiftly which helps in fat loss and muscle gain. During fasting periods, the process of cellular repairs is also initiated. Along with this, the biggest benefit of Intermittent Fasting is the improvement of insulin sensitivity of the body. As it lowers the level of insulin in the body, the stored body fat starts burning. This helps reduce bloating and speeds up the process of losing weight. Intermittent fasting is also known to slow down the ageing process and helps to live longer and healthier.
Usually, the main problem of weight loss diets is their unsustainability. They deprive us of so many staple and comfort foods that we tend to binge on them sooner or later. This makes the entire point of following a diet irrelevant. But Intermittent Fasting allows us to eat the required quantity of all that we crave for, just in the chosen eating window. This really helps to control binge eating episodes and our bodies do not crave food at every waking hour.
Do’s and Don'ts of Intermittent Fasting
1. It is very important to understand that just because there is an eating window, we can eat all the junk in the world and the diet plan will still work. The food we consume should still be healthy and protein-rich with a proper portion size.
2. Just like over-eating, under-eating should also be avoided. The body needs nutrients to survive and calorie intake is important for the body to keep functioning.
3. Along with an eating schedule, sleeping schedule should also be proper. A minimum of 7 hours of sleep is required for the body to get proper rest.
4. Water intake is also extremely important to complement the diet. 2-3 liters of water is important so as to not feel dehydrated while fasting. Infact, there is no prohibition of water during the fasting window as well.
5. Eat food that is rich in fibre and good fats like paneer, nuts, green salads and eggs. They keep the body full for longer.
Intermittent Fasting is no magic diet that will help you reach your goal weight in an instance, but it is a healthy way of living that will make you feel healthy, fit and light if done the right way.