What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting

Many people are struggling to lose weight. This is why various weight loss methods and products are out in the market today. They are willing to try anything and everything to achieve their ideal weight. Some resort to taking diet pills, juicing, heavy workouts and even surgery just to get the body they want. Another weight loss solution that is growing in popularity is intermittent fasting. Those who are still looking for an effective way to lose unwanted pounds may consider this option.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a weight loss method in which fasting is done alternately with hours or days of non-fasting. A lot of individuals have tried this method and found it to be successful. This is the perfect alternative for those who are having difficulties following strict fasting or water therapy in which they only drink water or other types of zero calorie drinks.

Since it requires not eating anything during the fasting period, this would cut down calories in the body, which is essential in losing weight. It is also easier to follow since it does not completely restrict the person from eating. There are different ways on how intermittent fasting can be done, which will be discussed on the next part.

Types of Intermittent Fasting

Those who would like to give intermittent fasting a try have various options on how to do it. Since people have different preferences, they can choose which of these methods would work best for them and which would be easier to stick to. Fasting hours is generally between 18 to 32 hours but not longer than that.

1. Eating on Specific Hours of the Day. This is the most popular type of intermittent fasting method. The individual would only eat on the set hours of the day. This period is called the “eating window” and it could be within 6 to 8 hours a day. For instance, one can set their eating window from 10AM to 4PM or from 12PM to 6PM, whichever is most convenient for them. Still, the amount of food taken should be controlled. They should listen to their body and stop when they feel full. Just because they are in the eating window period means that they should not stop eating within those hours. Calorie intake should still be controlled in order to successfully lose weight.

2. Skipping a Meal or Two. Instead of eating full meals three times a day, the person on intermittent fasting may to choose to give up one of these meals or two if he can. It doesn’t matter which meal would be skipped for the day but this would definitely help cut the amount of calories that the person usually take, which will eventually leads to losing of pounds.

3. Early and Late Meals. This is almost similar to the last method, which is skipping a meal. However, instead of skipping any of the meals, this one particularly skip the second meal of the day. The person will eat early morning and once more in the late afternoon. As mentioned, only water can be taken during the fasting period.

4. Alternating Days. In this method, the person would fast for one day and eat on the next day. This may be difficult at first especially if the body is not used to not eating anything for long hours. However, once the body learns to adapt to this method, it is convenient to follow and the individual can eat regular meals on non-fasting days.

Does Intermittent Fasting Really Work?

A lot of people are asking if this method really works and why intermittent fasting is the healthiest way to lose weight and keep it off. As previously stated, a lot of people have tried this and have successfully shed unwanted pounds. This is one of the healthiest ways to lose weight because the person is not starving himself rather the fasting period may act as a detoxification time to remove toxins in the body as it is cleansed by water. While freeing the body from these toxins, it also prevents stored fats from building up. Fats stored during non-fasting days would be used on fasting periods to give the body the energy to function properly.

One of the problems faced by people who are trying to go on diet is the ability to continuously lose weight. Since other methods are difficult to stick to, weight loss effect is also not permanent. Because intermittent fasting does not require people to starve themselves, it is much easier to abide by, thus getting continuous result. It actually becomes more of a lifestyle than a diet method. And when the person gets used to incorporating this to his day to day life, it becomes effortless and more natural.

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

While it has been discussed that intermittent fasting can help reduce weight successfully, it’s best that people who are thinking of trying this method understand its specific benefits to know the things that they can get from it.

• Decreases Stored Fats. This may be the best benefit that a person can get when it comes to using intermittent fasting for weight loss. After a meal, excess calories are stored in the body as fats. When the body needs energy to perform tasks and no food is ingested, stored fats will be used instead. This is what happens during fasting. Stored fats are used, which result to weight loss.

• Longer Life. According to research, people who eat less are more likely to live longer than those who eat a lot. Furthermore, studies have been made on rats, which showed that rats that went under intermittent fasting had a longer lifespan compared to those that did not. This could be true for people as well.

• More Convenient. Intermittent fasting is much convenient to follow because there is no need to strictly count calories or only eat specific foods in order to lose weight. Since this is a way of life, it will all be natural once the body adapts to it.

• Money Saver. Weight loss pills, surgery and alternative meals may all strain the budget. Intermittent fasting on the other hand would let people save money on the fasting period.

• Reduces Risks of Cancer. There is little evidence on humans but studies that were done on mice showed that restriction on calories lowers the risks of cancer. Again, the same effect may also be possible to people.

Cautions for Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is effective for losing weight if done correctly. However, those with low level of blood sugar are not encouraged to try this. This is because this method can make the sugar level even lower, which is not also good for the health. While there were studies made that intermittent fasting also provided good result to healthy pregnant women, it may still be best not to do so while pregnant to ensure the baby’s and mother’s health.

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