Intermittent Fasting is a new buzzword in the fitness world. If you are a fitness enthusiast or trying to lose weight, then there’s no way you haven’t heard about it. It’s gaining popularity because of its powerful effects on your body and brain and, as per some studies, may also help you live longer.
But, if you are new to this fitness world and still trying to learn more about Intermittent Fasting before opting for it, here’s everything you need to know.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Unlike other fad diets, Intermittent Fasting focuses on when you eat rather than what you eat. It’s not a conventional diet, but an eating pattern cycling between periods of eating & fasting.
As per standard Intermittent Fasting methods, you only eat during a specific time – generally involving 16-hour fasting or fasting for 24 hours twice a week.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
- Aids to Weight Loss
- Insulin Resistance
- Better Heart Health
- Improve Physical Performance
- Cancer Prevention
- Sharp Memory & Brain Health
What are Intermittent Fasting Methods?
- 16:8 Method: Also known as the Leangains protocol, the 16:8 Method involves skipping breakfast and eating daily during the window of 8 hours, such as 12-8 p.m. and fasting for 16 hours straight.
- 5:2 Method: In this Method, you eat normally for five days and cut down to 20% average calorie intake for the remaining two days. It is recommended for women to have 500 calories and men to have 600 calories on fasting days.
- Alternate Day Fasting Method: As clearly implied in the title, this method involves fasting every alternate day. While some versions suggest consuming about 500 calories, others encourage consuming even lower or zero calories on fasting days.
Considered one of the toughest fasting methods, don’t go for it if you haven’t tried IF before, as you may experience some side effects, mood swings etc.
- Eat-Stop-Eat Method: In this method, you’re fasting for 24 hours or 1 entire day once or twice a week. For example, you may eat dinner at 8 p.m. and then take your next meal at the same time the next day. But you must remember to not fast for more than a day in a row.
- Remember not to jump on trying this method if you’re new to IF, as it can be dangerous and may cause some severe harm. You might find the weight-loss appealing, but skipping a whole day’s meal can’t be a long-term thing. So, choose accordingly.
- 14:10 Method: Compared to the 16:8 method, this one’s a little easier as you have a 10-hour eating window and 14 hours of fasting. While some of you might think this one’s pretty much similar to what we eat or follow on normal days. But this fasting method helps you to indulge in overeating or eating at odd hours. So, if you’re new to it and trying IF for the first time, it could be a good and easier way to ease into this eating pattern.
- The Warrior Diet Method: This one is undoubtedly not suitable and advisable for all. As it involves, most eating happens at night, followed by one massive meal at night within a 4-hour eating window. This might cause severe health damage as you might not fulfil your nutrient needs. It’s stricter and harder than other forms of diet.
Cutting on your calorie intake, all these methods majorly result in weight loss. But make sure to binge eat or overeat during the eating window.
You can have coffee, tea or lemon water without sugar during fasting time. But, no solid food or sugar must be included. Start with the 16:8 method as its easiest, most sustainable and more achievable than other methods.
Remember, just because Intermittent Fasting works wonders for someone you know doesn’t mean it will do the same for you. Talk to your doctor if you frequently experience nausea, headaches or other health conditions once you start IF.
Make sure to start slow and see how your body reacts to the method you’re following. Initially, you might feel hungry or crave some of your favorite food. But remember, self-control and consistency will help you reach there.
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