You must have heard the term ‘Intermittent Fasting’ buzzing around in the air lately. Even with all the hype, how do you know whether it’s worth it or not? Here is all you need to know about intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is a dieting pattern that involves periods of eating and not eating. There are different intermittent fasting methods, but the most common one is to fast for 16 hours and then eat during an 8-hour window. Some people also only eat during certain days of the week, such as on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
People get confused between the concepts of ‘diet’ and ‘pattern of eating.’ Intermittent fasting does not dictate your diet. It is a pattern of eating.
There are various ways to go about intermittent fasting, but the most popular choice is the 16/8 rule. In this, you eat within an 8-hour window and fast for the remaining 16 hours. You may feel a little overwhelmed, but don’t forget to account for the time you spend sleeping!
For instance, you can eat your final meal at 7 pm and wait until 11 am the next morning for breakfast. You can drink as much water as you want during the fasting period.
What is the science behind intermittent fasting?
The benefits of intermittent fasting are not hollow claims. They are backed by scientific research and statements by health professionals.
Fasting aids in weight loss and helps boost your overall health, according to proponents of intermittent fasting. Health professionals also say that while the body fasts for a suitable period, excess fat is burned off by insulin. It enhances gene function and also allows cells to repair themselves. These help in fighting diseases and living a longer life.
There are many intermittent fasting benefits, including weight loss, improved mental clarity, reduced inflammation, and increased longevity. Intermittent fasting has also been shown to be beneficial for people with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Here’s a broader look at the practice of fasting in this TED Talk by practicing nurse and nutritionist, Cynthia Thurlow.
What are the pros and cons of intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting reduces the number of calories you consume, allowing weight loss.
Too much of anything is bad, and the same goes for intermittent fasting. It can turn on its head if you overindulge in the 8 hours. Make sure your diet is wholesome and packed with protein. Incorporate meats and veggies into each serving.
Intermittent fasting is fairly new. Professionals are still pursuing research. So, there could be underlying risks nobody knows about. Intermittent fasting is not healthy for everyone, so make sure you consult with your doctor.
The burning question now is, should you change your lifestyle and incorporate intermittent fasting into it? You are the only one equipped with the means to make this decision. Weigh the pros and cons and understand the science behind the concept. If it works out for you, you’ll be bidding farewell to unhealthy habits and welcoming a happier, healthier you!
There are several different intermittent fasting methods, all of which involve varying degrees of restriction on food intake. While intermittent fasting can be challenging for some people, it’s worth considering if you’re looking for a healthy and sustainable way to eat.
Intermittent fasting does not replace the need to eat a proper diet and should never be undertaken without first getting clearance from your doctor.