Some experts say that intermittent fasting can have powerful effects on the body and brain, due to this, lately, intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health and fitness trends in the world. People use it to lose weight.
What is Intermittent fasting (IF)?
Is a term used to describe various meal timing schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period. IF it’s an eating pattern that does not specify which foods should be eaten, but rather when should they be eaten.
Intermittent fasting may be similar to a calorie-restriction diet and has been studied in the 21st century as a practice to reduce the risk of diet-related diseases. Some common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.
Lately, fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3 or 4 meals per day.
Benefits of IF
The most obvious benefit of intermittent fasting is weight loss, but there are more potential benefits that include:
- Increased fat burning
- Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels
- Possibly reversal of type 2 diabetes
- Possibly reduction of inflammation
- Possibly increased energy
- Possibly an improved blood cholesterol profile
But it is also important to note that intermittent fasting can have side effects that usually fade within a month. Some side effects may include:
In addition to these side effects, IF is safe for many people, but not for everyone. In the case of pregnant women, breastfeeding, people with medical problems, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux, skipping meals may not be the best way to manage the weight. It is important to consult a doctor before starting intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
There are different ways of doing intermittent fasting, all of them involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods. The most popular methods are:
With this method, you have to consume only 500 – 600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week and eat normally the other 5 days.
Fasting for 12 hours a day
First, you should decide on a fasting period of 12 hours every day and adhere to it. Fasting for 12 hours may be a great option for beginners. The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include your sleep time in the fasting window.
The 16/8 method
The lean gains protocol involves skipping breakfast and restricting the daily eating period to 8 hours. In this method, men fast for 16 hours each day and women for 14 hours. This type of intermittent fasting can be helpful for someone who has already tried the 12-hour fast but saw no benefit.
Fast for 24 hours a week (Eat-Stop-Eat)
Fasting during 1 or 2 days a week involves not eating food for 24 hours at a time. People who follow this diet plan can drink water, tea, and other calorie-free beverages during the fasting period.
Usually, a 24-hour fast can be challenging and can cause fatigue, headache, or irritability. Many say that these effects diminish over time as the body adjusts to this new eating pattern.
All of these methods by reducing calories should cause weight loss as long as you don’t eat much more during the eating periods.
Will fasting cause muscle loss?
As all weight loss methods can cause muscle loss, therefore it is important to lift weights and keep protein intake high. However, intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than regular calorie restriction.
IF is a popular method for weight loss, however, as we mentioned before, it is important to consult a doctor before fasting, you must be sure about your health and possibilities before trying intermittent fasting, due to it can be safe or dangerous.