Intermittent fasting has been gaining a lot of popularity in the past few years. But what is it? And more importantly, why should you try it? In this blog post, we will discuss what intermittent fasting is, the benefits of intermittent fasting, and how to start intermittent fasting.
- 1 What Is Intermittent Fasting?
- 2 Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
- 3 Why Try Intermittent Fasting?
- 4 Risks Of Intermittent Fasting
- 5 Conclusion
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
This type of fasting is an umbrella term for various diets that involve periods of fasting followed by periods of eating. For example, the 16/8 method involves fasting for 16 hours and eating only during an 8-hour window.
IF is not about what you eat, but when you eat. It is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and periods of eating.
There are a few different ways that you can go about intermittent fasting. The most popular is the 16/8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and eat only during an 8-hour window. This can be done daily or on alternate days.
Another option is the 5:2 method, where you eat normally for 5 days of the week and then restrict your calories to 500-700 for the other 2 days.
There are also longer fasting periods, such as the Warrior Diet (20 hours of fasting followed by 4 hours of eating) or the more extreme Fast mimicking diet (a 5-day fasting protocol that is designed to mimic the physiological changes of a 3-month fast).
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has been shown to have many health benefits, some of which are given below:
One of the most common reasons people try intermittent fasting is for weight loss. And there is some evidence to suggest that it can be effective.
A study of 20 obese adults found that those who fasted for 16 hours a day lost an average of 2 pounds (0.9 kg) more than those who didn’t fast at all. Another study in 72 adults found that Intermittent fasting resulted in a 3–8% decrease in body weight over a period of 3–24 weeks (19).
Improved Mental Clarity
Intermittent fasting can also improve your mental clarity and focus. One study showed that Intermittent fasting increased levels of a brain-derived protein called BDNF, which is known to promote neuronal growth and protect against cognitive decline. Other studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help improve memory and decrease anxiety.
Intermittent fasting has also been shown to decrease inflammation, which is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases. A study in rats found that intermittent fasting reduced markers of inflammation by up to 50% (23). Another study in humans showed that fasting decreased inflammation in people with autoimmune diseases.
Why Try Intermittent Fasting?
There are many reasons why people try IF. Some people do it for religious or spiritual reasons, while others do it for health reasons. One of the most popular reasons for trying intermittent fasting is for weight loss. And there is some evidence to suggest that it can be effective.
Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight by creating a calorie deficit. When you fast, your body is forced to use stored energy (fat) for fuel. This can lead to weight loss, as long as you don’t overeat during the eating periods.
IF can also help you lose weight by reducing your appetite. When you fast for long periods of time, your body adapts and your hunger levels decrease. This can lead to a natural reduction in calorie intake, which can help you lose weight.
This type of fasting has also been shown to have other health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving brain health, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. So, if you’re looking to lose weight, intermittent fasting may be a good option for you. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise plan.
Who Shouldn’t Try Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly, or those who are underweight or have eating disorders. If you fall into any of these categories, it’s best to speak with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.
How to Try Intermittent Fasting?
If you want to try IF, it is best to start gradually. You can start by fasting for 12 hours a day and gradually increase the duration of your fasts. Once you are comfortable with fasting for 12 hours, you can try fasting for 16 hours a day.
Risks Of Intermittent Fasting
When it comes to IF, there are a lot of potential benefits. But with anything, there are also some risks. Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting any fasting protocol, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. Here are some of the risks associated with this type of fasting:
You’re more likely to overeat.
If you’re used to eating three square meals a day, going without food for an extended period of time can make you ravenous. This can lead to overeating when you do finally sit down to eat. To avoid this, make sure you’re eating nutrient-dense foods and snacks throughout the day, and be mindful of portion sizes at your meals.
You may experience low energy levels.
When you’re not eating regularly, your body may start to feel run down. This is because it’s not getting the same influx of nutrients and energy that it’s used to. To combat this, make sure you’re staying hydrated and getting enough sleep. You may also want to consider adding a multivitamin to your daily routine.
You could disrupt your natural hormone levels.
IF can cause an imbalance in your hormones, which can lead to a whole host of issues like weight gain, fatigue, and mood swings. If you notice any of these changes while doing IF, be sure to talk to your doctor.
You may have trouble concentrating.
When you’re hungry, it can be hard to focus on anything else. If you find yourself having trouble concentrating while trying IF, make sure you’re staying hydrated and eating small snacks throughout the day to keep your energy levels up.
You could experience headaches or dizziness.
Headaches and dizziness are common side effects of this type of fasting, especially in the beginning. This is usually due to dehydration or low blood sugar levels.
To avoid these issues, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and not going too long without food. This type of fasting is a popular diet trend, but it’s not for everyone.
The bottom line is that intermittent fasting is a powerful tool that can help you lose weight, improve your health and live a longer, healthier life. If you’re looking for a way to improve your health and lose weight, it is definitely worth a try.
Consider contacting FitMantra for additional information on nutrition and fitness. You can also get in touch with their nutrition experts through our online nutrition counseling, who can guide you through the process and help you achieve your fitness goals. You can also lose weight with the help of our weight loss program. Download our FitnessApp on Android and iOS to know more about us.