Intermittent fasting is the non-zero diet nutrition plan, making what-to-eat and how-to-eat worries take a back seat.
Globally, “Fasting”- to opt for zero eating and starving. People usually take fasting to extreme steps while experimenting on their own. Just like one of their whims!!
The word “intermittent” means - 'occasionally' not often, but sometimes. Hence, Intermittent fasting means occasional fasting.
Breaking the stereotype of fasting, Intermittent fasting(IF) is making its way into the nutrition charts and programs globally. Let us walk through some common queries to know more about IF.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is the practice of "going-zero-eating" or less than usual occasionally. That means fasting for a couple of hours or reducing meals to half for a day or a few days a week.
This approach does not offer starving methods for anyone to follow. According to research, IF help burns calories and serves various health benefits. It is a sustainable fasting technique that meets - health, weight loss, and longevity.
Four basic Intermittent Fasting Regimes
Normal IF plan: It is not an alternate day of fasting. This fasting plan is recommended for two days a week or a few days a month. The science behind it is to not stress out the body from not eating.
Energy restricted feeding(ERF): ERF is a partial type of feeding - the 5:2 fasting plan, where normal eating goes for - 5 days per week and calorie restrictions for -2 days a week.
Intermittent time restriction: It is also called the 16:8 fasting plan because out of 24 hours a day, 8 hours are for eating, and the rest 16 hours for fasting. Similarly, another 20:4 fasting plan recommends 4 hours of eating and 20 hours of fasting per day.
Copying diet: For this nutrition plan, 3-4 weeks of average meal consumption to carry on, and the week after eating is reduced by half. This cycle is to be mimicked in the following weeks.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
The thing is that intermittent fasting(IF) if done right, will bring multiple benefits to human health irrespective of psychological, physiological, and environmental differences?
Often, it is a tough call to maintain a balance between losing weight and eating. Many people don’t fall in the category of "fasting" - either they don't like it or are not fit for it; in this case - IF is a way better, safer, and gentler approach to “choosing what to eat” without risking the health.
The science behind Intermittent fasting
As per scientific results, IF alleviates health diseases:
Risks of cancer and heart conditions controlled
Controls blood glucose
Reduces body fat
Regulates blood lipids: triglycerides(bad cholesterol) and good cholesterol
Increased brain activity improves overall health.
It helps slow down ageing by controlling cellular senescence.
According to scientific research, intermittent fasting shows better cellular signalling like - Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK), antioxidant signalling, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor-1(IGF-1), which are essential for anabolism and proper growth.
Intermittent Fasting also helps control type 2 diabetes. According to a case study, a few type 2 diabetic patients ended in giving up insulin by following intermittent fasting techniques. Of course, depending on the people and their health types, the glucose levels will show
How safe is intermittent fasting?
To be sure whether to opt for intermittent fasting or not, try to know, learn and understand the science behind it. As every body type is different, so is the effect of various fasting methods on them. There is no right or wrong choice here!!
Scientifically proven, intermittent fasting is the safer and validated technique to control blood sugar and various health issues. IF also helps in decreasing blood pressure levels and C-reactive protein levels.
It is an all-in-one package hard to come by!!
Intermittent Fasting isn’t all about restricted timings and eating regimes. It is about for you to eat just when you feel hungry, cutting down the unnecessary eating habits. That is an inclusive way of fasting where anyone and everyone try to choose for themselves and stay healthy for a longer time.