Intermittent Fasting is a plan that creates windows of eating hours and fasting hours in your daily routine. IF is a great way to maintain your weight, even reduce it. It also helps prevent various diseases, for instance, diabetes, heart diseases, and more. Sounds all roses and sunshine, yeah? But the question stands: how safe is it?
Don’t you worry, we will get there. But first, let’s talk about what intermittent fasting is.
What is Intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a plan of eating throughout the day by balancing hours of eating and fasting. It is not a diet, but a pattern of when to eat during the day. So, in other words, intermittent fasting does not necessarily specify what you should eat in a day, rather when to eat.
Intermittent fasting has proven to ease weight loss, improve cardiovascular health & neuroprotective effects, and increased lifespan.
How to do it?
There are different methods of intermittent fasting. Methods that work on people vary from person to person. However, the most conventional and preferred method for fasting is the 16:8, where you fast for 16 hours and eat during the rest of the 8 hours of the day. There are also other methods, such as 20:4. However, some studies proved fasting for 24 hours twice a week can be helpful too.
But I would still suggest not everything works for everyone. Fasting for 24 hours is something that doesn’t sound healthy.
The Science behind Intermittent Fasting
At the beginning of human civilization, humans did not know how to cook or preserve food. They would go hunting or try to find food, however, it was often time-consuming. So with time, we discovered that the human body can go without eating for long periods. And that is exactly the reason why, even though the idea of fasting may seem absurd, it is pretty effective.
Intermittent fasting supplements weight loss, lessen insulin resistance, prevent dietary and cardiometabolic diseases. When you’re not eating for longer periods, your body doesn’t release insulin. As a result, it kick-starts and fastens your metabolism.
Now the question stands, is intermittent fasting safe for everyone?
How safe is Intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting has been helpful for many people. However, it is still not an ideal tool that anyone can/should use. People with any kind of health condition should consult a dietician before starting it. In addition to that, IF is not usually suggested for the following people:
- Children and adolescents.
- Pregnant and breast-feeding women.
- People suffering from heart diseases and diabetes.
- Anyone who often faces gastric problems.
- Anyone who has eating disorders.
Now let’s talk about some other benefits of the fasting shenanigans!
So far, we have learned how intermittent fasting can help obesity, prevent severe diseases, and maintain & reduce weight. But guess what? That is not it! IF has many more benefits than you can even imagine.
- Research has proved that intermittent fasting supplements associative memory (ability to learn the relationship between unrelated things). Spatial memory (ability to remember things about one’s environment). As well as working memory (ability to help in reasoning and decision making).
- Helps to maintain muscle mass. Also, IF results in superior running endurance.
- It can lessen tissue damage and enhances surgical outcomes.
Tips for beginners
The most convenient method of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 method. However, fasting for 16 hours straight on the first day of your IF journey is absurd. It can totally drain you out, and you might end up losing your focus and motivation. So, the best way to start your fasting schedule is to start by 12:12 hours. Start by fasting for lesser hours, then when you get comfortable, up your fasting period!
Keep a track:
Keeping track of your fasting periods is super important. That way, your consistent fasting days can motivate you to keep continuing your journey. Numerous apps can help you keep track. “zero” is a free app that is very convenient and easy to use. It even notifies a reminder when to start your fasting period.
Remember to treat yourself to your favorite meals every once in a while. It helps to boost motivation and maintain consistency!
What to eat?
Even though IF has less to do with what you eat in a day, it is better to eat healthily. Especially, when breaking your fast, make sure to eat a highly nutritious and fulfilling meal to start your day!
And finally, drink lots of water!