Intermittent Fasting
Health & Fitness

Intermittent Fasting 101

Who says losing weight needs to be boring? Certainly not, we have something new for you, Intermittent fasting (IF) – latest in the health and fitness department!! BTW, it was the most “trendiest” weight loss term last year!!

What is Intermittent Fasting??

Let us not confuse it with any sort of dieting plans you might have heard. Instead, It is an approach of scheduling your meals to get the most out of them, a form of time-restricted eating. It is basically cycling between periods of eating and fasting. The key difference here is that IF doesn’t change what you eat. Unlike dieting, it changes when you eat.

The best thing about intermittent fasting is that you can have ANY TYPE OF FOOD in your eating window. It is such a fantastic thing, right??

Fact: It has been claimed that intermittent fasting not only does help in weight loss but improves metabolism, helps in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and even extend life span. However, I would always suggest discussing with your doctor before you start any such plan.

Let’s talk about its history: IF has been there since a long time but got popularized in 2012 by the TV documentary of Dr Michael Mosley, “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” and his book “The Fast Diet”. It got more attention after journalist Kate Harrison’s book “The 5:2 Diet”  and later on “The Obesity Code” – 2016 bestseller by Dr Jason Fung’s made it more popular

What are the various ways to adopt intermittent fasting?

As per various researches, the timing of the fast is the most essential part; hence you need to find your right window of eating and fasting. Here are some ways in which you can plan :

  1. 16:8: 16 hours of fasting and 8-hour eating window. Eat all your meal within this window. You may choose this window as per your comfort, e.g. you can eat all your meals between 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM or 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. In the first case, you will have to skip your breakfast, you can have a heavy lunch and then a snack around 4:00 PM and dinner before 8:00 PM. In the later, you can have a good breakfast and then dinner around 5:00 PM with a snack in between. You can have black coffee, black tea or any zero-calorie drink etc. in between to control hunger.
  2. 20:4: This is 4-hour eating window and a 20 hour fast like 2:00 PM-6:00 PM. This will include either having one large meal or two small meals.
  3. 24-hour fasts: It involves eating once a day, so this can be dinner TO dinner or lunch to lunch.
  4. 5:2:  This says five days of regular eating and two days of fasting. You can have up to 500 calories on each day of fasting.
  5. Alternate day fasting: One day of regular eating with the second of fasting. The same rule applies as 5:2; you can have 500 calories while you are fasting.
  6. 36- hours fasts: In this method, you fast for the entire day. As an example, let’s say if you eat dinner on day 1, then you will have to fast for whole day two and not eat again until breakfast on day 3. 

Possible side effects: Hunger, constipation, headaches, tiredness and dizziness.

I would not suggest intermittent fasting to underweight people, pregnant women, mothers who are breastfeeding or if you are under any kind of medication.

Intermittent fasting

What does the expert says?

“There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective,” she confirmed, though generally, she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them.”

Dr Deborah Wexler (Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor, Harvard Medical School)

Always remember, there is nothing that comes easy way. Weight loss is a process and a slow process. You need to be patient and calm while all through this. Also, I have never followed any diet or weight loss program. My personal opinion is that you can have your healthy weight by just eating healthy, doing a few regular exercises or yoga, maybe walking or any kind of physical activity that makes you happy. If you are looking for some free workout apps, check it here.

Do me let me know your feedback in the comments section or here.

Happy fasting!!:)

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