Losing weight is achievable in different ways. A trendy and acceptable way to do that is through intermittent fasting. This involves regularly eating on short-term fasts.
Fasting is the system of abstaining or lessening the consumption of food, drink, or both, for a fixed duration of time. Generally, everyone fasts for some parts of the day, including the number of hours spent sleeping.
Physically, fasting may mean the body’s state of being after not eating overnight. It can also mean the body’s metabolic status after a meal has been completely digested.
When you go about eight to twelve hours straight without eating, the body automatically enters into a ‘fasting’ state.
Intermittent fasting helps to consume fewer calories and to increase the work of weight controlling hormones.
Fasting can also cause some metabolic changes in the body. Such changes usually start after about three to five hours of eating. Also, fasting is a regular part of medical procedures.
Most people usually will have to fast at some point for the sake of their health. For example, patients who have to undergo medical procedures that require an anesthetic typically have to fast before the treatment starts.
Methods of Intermittent Fasting
There are diverse methods to achieve intermittent fasting. However, the following techniques are the most popular of the lot:
1. The 5:2 Diet Method
This means that you only eat about five hundred to six hundred calories two days of the week. On the other five days of the week, you usually eat.
2. The 16/8 Method
In this method, you will be skipping breakfast every day while eating within an eight-hour time frame.
For this window, you may choose periods from between 12 noon and 8 pm. Nothing later to avoid eating late into the night.
3. Eat-Stop-Eat Method
This method can be practiced by doing one or two twenty-four fast every week. If you like, not eating from one the day until the next day. An example will be not eating from morning until the following day.
Reasons You Should Try Intermittent Fasting For Weight loss
Intermittent fasting is increasingly getting popular as a viable way to lose weight. Yet, beyond weight loss, doing intermittent fasting also has other benefits.
In this post, we highlight six reasons why you absolutely should try intermittent fasting. These benefits range from physical to mental benefits. Keep reading for more.
1. Improved Metabolism
Fasting intermittently helps you to lose weight because it restricts food. This restriction is followed by regular consumption of food, which stimulates metabolism.
A study reports that shorter fasts, promoted by intermittent fasting have the ability to help you increase metabolism by up to fourteen percent.
It is also a useful tool in long-term calorie restriction as it can cause lasting effects on the body’s metabolism process.
Weight loss occurs alongside muscle loss. Because muscle tissues burn calories, less muscle in the body means a reduced rate of metabolism.
Therefore, intermittent fasting can help to support body tissues as much as possible.
2. Establishes Routine
Fasting intermittently allows you to have strict eating times after periods of fasting. This helps the body to develop and get accustomed to a routine as opposed to the random fasting style.
Also, you learn to spot your hunger cycles and so you can sleep better and start scheduling to fit into comfortable times.
Establishing a routine might prove difficult at the beginning, especially if you already have things that demand your attention.
However, once you have found a steady plan, you will see start to see a stable system that can improve your lifestyle.
3. Reduced Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is a result of an imbalance in the body’s generation of reactive oxygen and its antioxidative resistance. This can cause chronic diseases and cancers in the body.
Unstable molecules, known as free radicals, can combine with essential molecules like DNA and protein, causing damages to these molecules and generating an irregularity.
While reducing the body’s weight, regular intermittent fast can cause a reduced level of the body’s oxidative stress. This helps to prevent the increase of ailments and the body’s susceptibility to it.
A prominent antioxidant ability is a significant advantage that happens as a result of intermittent fasting. Everyone interested in an overall healthy lifestyle must pursue an improved antioxidant capacity.
4. Speedy Healing and Recovery
Exercising while fasting can prove to be complicated. However, combining both comes with a lot of benefits.
A study’s report after a three-week observation shows that endurance cyclists experience a rapid post-workout recovery after regular overnight fasting.
This also comes with no decrease in their overall performance.
Another study that examined weight training in a fasted state proved a boost to the subject’s “intramyocellular anabolic response” to the post-workout meal.
This indicates that the fasting period elevated some of the body’s physiological pointers of muscular increase.
Although these studies aren’t entirely certain, the healing ability of fasting and the changes to your sleep and eating habits surely helps the body in improving from a workout, regardless of its intensity.
5. To Understand Hunger
Understanding your body and the signals it sends out is essential, and intermittent fasting allows you to do so. It especially is useful for understanding your body’s hunger cycle.
When you start feeling the signs or pangs of hunger, it can be associated with a psychological desire for food.
This emotional state is sometimes interpreted as hunger when, in fact, it is not. Fasting, however, helps you to understand what hunger in the stomach truly means.
Through this experience, you learn to appreciate food. When you eat after a period of real hunger after fasting, you feel connected to each bite, and your sense of satisfaction comes from each bite.
Also, the feeling of hunger helps you to be mindful of what you eat as you learn to be careful to eat right after fasting. This is an excellent trick to keep extra calories away to lose weight.
6. To lose weight
Ultimately, the primary reason why you should try intermittent fasting to lose weight is so that you can lose more weight.
This way, the body does not fuel up from the food you ate but from the reserved fat in your body.
Such fat usually accumulates so that there is an extra fuel supply for your body to use when food is scarce. This then causes a slow weight loss process that is of enormous benefit.
Since fasting will be incorporated into your lifestyle, this method of dieting is more consistent than other methods of dieting.
Consequently, studies have proven this practice as a valuable method to lose weight and sustain it.
How to Successfully Lose Weight With an Intermittent Fasting Exercise
If you choose to take the intermittent fasting exercise, there are certain things to keep in mind.
- The quality of the food you consume is essential. Incorporate whole foods into your diet.
- As with other weight loss methods, you must be consistent over a while for it to achieve the desired result.
- Try to eat your regular calorie measurement during fasting so that you can make up for the ones missed while fasting.
- You must be patient during the time it takes your body to adjust to the fasting exercise. Being consistent helps it to get more comfortable.
- Do a bit of strength training while fasting. It helps you to retain your muscles while losing calories.
Side Effects & Risk Factors Of Intermittent Fasting
While intermittent fasting has various health benefits, it also comes with few side effects and risk factors. These are what we will be looking at in this section.
It is vital to note that people with existing medical conditions should speak with their doctor before trying any fasting method. This is because they may need proper medical supervision.
People who are more at risk from fasting include:
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- Women who are trying to get pregnant
- Diabetic patients
- People who struggle with regulating their sugar level
- Patients with low blood sugar
- Patients with an eating disorder
Lastly, when you start doing the intermittent fasting method, you are likely to feel sluggish mentally and physically while the body adjusts. However, after some time, your body will go back to its normal functioning.
Although fasting is a natural part of human life as most people have fasted unknowingly by eating an early dinner or skipping breakfast, using a more structured plan is sure to work better.
It is vital to note that while you are fasting, you must ensure that you eat a balanced diet. Your food should contain an adequate portion of vegetables, protein, and fiber. Also, fluids must be a significant part of your daily consumption.
Lastly, while is little to no risk of a side effect, people with existing medical conditions or are on certain medications should consult their doctor before trying intermittent fasting.