If you thought fasting was only for religious reasons, you were mistaken. Intermittent Fasting (IF), a relatively new weight-loss phenomenon, is quickly becoming a popular health and fitness trend. During intermittent fasting, you alternate between eating and fasting periods. Fasting “patterns” or “cycles” are commonly used to characterize this style of eating. There are variously viable intermittent fasting types but it all comes down to personal preference.
While some study has indicated the benefits of intermittent fasting, including as weight loss, decreased blood pressure, and improved metabolic health, more research is needed, particularly on the long-term effects of intermittent fasting. There’s also the issue of long-term viability. It’s not for everyone to severely restrict calories or go without food for long periods of time. According to several studies, persons who practice intermittent fasting are less likely to stick to it than those who try to lose weight on more typical diets.
If has been demonstrated to be a good way to lose weight, but so have other methods like eating a well-balanced diet and exercising.
According to one study, intermittent fasting is no more effective than other well-balanced techniques for weight loss or blood sugar control.
If you want to try intermittent fasting, you’ll need to first think out how you’ll accommodate this eating pattern into your life, especially when it comes to social activities and being active.
Here are the Most popular Intermittent Fasting Types
The twice-a-week method – 5:2
This kind of IF focuses on limiting your calories to 500 per day for two days per week. You eat a healthy and typical diet for the other five days of the week.
This strategy normally comprises a 200-calorie meal and a 300-calorie dinner on fasting days. When fasting, it’s vital to focus on high-fiber and high-protein foods to help fill you full while also keeping your calorie intake low.
You can fast on any two days (for example, Tuesdays and Thursdays) as long as there is a non-fasting day in between. On non-fasting days, make sure you eat the same amount of food as you normally would.
Alternate Day Fasting
Every other day, this variation entails “modified” fasting. On fasting days, for example, keep your calorie intake to 500 calories, or roughly 25% of your regular intake. Return to your regular, healthy diet on non-fasting days. (There are rigorous modifications to this technique, such as eating 0 calories instead of 500 calories on alternate days.)
One study found that those who followed this IF pattern for six months had significantly raised LDL (or bad) cholesterol levels six months after stopping the diet.
Time-restricted eating (example: 16/8 or 14/10 method)
You can specify fasting and eating windows with this option. For example, suppose you fast for 16 hours a day and are only able to eat for eight.
This strategy is popular because most individuals already fast when sleeping. It’s practical because it allows you to stretch your overnight fast by missing breakfast and not eating until lunchtime. What are some of the most prevalent methods?
- Only eat between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. or noon and 8 p.m. using the 16/8 technique.
- The 14/10 approach entails only eating between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
This IF approach can be done as often as you’d want, or even once or twice a week, according to your preferences.
It may take a few days to figure out the correct eating and fasting windows for this strategy, especially if you’re really busy or if you wake up hungry for breakfast.
For many people who want to attempt intermittent fasting for the first time, this is a safer option.
The 24-hour fast (or eat: stop: eat method)
Fasting for a full 24 hours is required for this procedure. It’s usually done only once or twice a week. The majority of people do not eat anything from morning to breakfast or lunch to lunch. The adverse effects of this kind of IF can be severe, including fatigue, headaches, irritability, hunger, and low energy.
On non-fasting days, you should return to a normal, healthy diet if you use this strategy.
It doesn’t matter if you’re practicing intermittent fasting, keto, low-carb, high-protein, vegetarian, or following the Mediterranean diet — it all boils down to the quality of your calories and how much you’re ingesting.
So, what’s the bottom line with IF? Although the verdict is yet out and the long-term implications are still being investigated, it’s critical to consume a nutritious, well-balanced meal while on the IF diet.
You can’t expect to lose weight if you eat junk food and consume a lot of calories on non-fasting days.
Side Effects & Risks of Intermittent Fasting Types
Some people, such as pregnant women, children, persons at risk of hypoglycemia, and people with certain chronic conditions, should avoid intermittent fasting.
If you’re at risk of developing an eating disorder, you shouldn’t try a fasting diet. Because of the limitation, intermittent fasting has been shown to increase the chance of binge eating in some persons.
If you’re thinking about considering IF, you should be informed of potential unpleasant side effects. Irritability, low energy, persistent hunger, temperature sensitivity, and poor job and activity performance are all symptoms of IF.
Where To Start From?
When you’re first starting out, think about using a rudimentary form of IF.
If you wish to practice intermittent fasting, I recommend starting with a more moderate approach. Start by eliminating late-night snacking and eating, and then gradually reduce your daily ‘eating window,’ such as eating only from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
You may want to progressively increase your fasting window as you progress and observe how you feel.
Before beginning IF, consult your doctor or a dietician, and proceed with caution and slowly.
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