There is a new and rising health and fitness trend that is making the rounds in the health and fitness industry. This phenomenon is called intermittent fasting. It involves alternative cycles of fasting and then eating. Many different studies have shown that this phenomenon instigates weight loss, improve your metabolic rate, keep diseases at bay and in turn help you live longer. So what exactly is this concept and what why is it becoming so popular in the fitness world? Why have so many people become believers in this technique and why does it have so many success stories? Take a look and learn everything that you need to know about intermittent fasting and its benefits.
Basically, intermittent fasting is an alternative cycling between eating and fasting periods. It does not focus much on what you eat but more on when you eat them. The technique has several different methods which can include splitting the day or even the week into alternative eating and fasting periods. If you think about it, every night a person does fast as they do not eat when they are sleeping. The technique simply works on extending this fasting period a bit longer. If you skip breakfast, eat a meal at noon and have dinner around 8, then you are fasting for 16 hours a day! Since the method restricts the eating period within an 8-hour window which gave this popular technique the name 16/8 method.
Despite the widely believed idea that fasting can be hard and can make you very tired, the truth seems to be completely opposite to this idea. Fasting can be really easy and people have claimed that they feel more energetic during fasting. Fasting is technically difficult only in the beginning and tends to become easier once you get used to it. No food is allowed during the fasting period except for non-caloric drinks like water, tea, and coffee.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
There are quite a few advantages that come with this unique and popular method. Here are some of them.
There are loads of metabolic health benefits that come with intermittent fasting as it can improve various different risk factors and health markers.
A lot of processes occur in our body which occur because our brain thinks that we are going through some period of famine. As a result, this helps improve our hormones, genes and important cellular repair processes.
Fasting helps reduce blood sugar and insulin levels significantly which results in a drastic increase in hormones related to human growth.
Most people use intermittent fasting to reduce weight as it restricts calorie intake and in turn, helps to burn fat.
Some research has also shown that intermittent fasting helps protect against diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
It also helps you save time in preparing food and cleaning dishes.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
Over the past couple of years, intermittent fasting has become a growing popular trend and thus many different types of it have emerged. Some of the most popular ones are stated below.
The 16/8 Method: This is probably the most popular method when talking about intermittent fasting. The method involves fasting for 16 hours a day by extending your night fast and skipping breakfast. Food intake happens within an 8-hour window.
Eat-Stop-Eat Method: For a couple of times in a week, do not eat anything from dinner to dinner. This means that you will take some time in a week to fast a few times for 24 hours without eating at a stretch!
The 5:2 Diet: During 2 days of the week, try to consume within 500 to 600 calories.
How it Works
Basically, when you eat a meal, your body takes hours trying to process it and burn what it can from what you have consumed. Because of what is readily available to burn because of what you just ate, your body will choose to burn this instead of fat. During the fasting period, your body won’t find a meal to burn and so it is more likely to use that fat stored in your body and as a result, fat burning occurs. Ultimately, this helps you in weight loss. Simply put, intermediate fasting helps your body to use the food it consumes more efficiently. When done properly, this can help promote weight loss as well as build muscle.
Restricting the eating window and fasting from time to time can have impressive health and fitness benefits as long as you eat only healthy foods. This technique not only helps you in losing weight and improving your metabolic rate but also simplifies your life in more ways than one.