What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or IF is the practice of eating in a pattern where the person eats and then fasts for a short period. This pattern is repeated in a cycle.
What is the idea behind intermittent fasting?
Fasting is not a new concept. In fact, it has been a part of various religions and groups. Fasting is an important religious practice in Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, et cetera. Fasting has also been studded at various occasions in history, especially wartime and times of scarcity, like the Great Irish Potato Famine. Times like these led to the knowledge that the human body can function despite lacking frequent accessibility to food.
Incorporating that knowledge into daily lives, we know that we also do not eat food 24/7. We have specific mealtimes (and the occasional snacking which we can well do without) and then we fast until it is time for the next mealtime. Extending the time period of those fasts, we are enabling our body to learn how to survive on the calories we consume and ensure expenditure of excess calories.
Which foods are allowed to be eaten while intermittent fasting?
You can eat whatever you want. There are absolutely no specifications on the type of food you should eat. Intermittent fasting (IF) only stresses upon the time I’m which you should and should not eat.
Can intermittent fasting be termed as dieting?
Even though intermittent fasting has been known to have splendid weight loss results in many people, however, intermittent fasting can not be termed as dieting. This is due to the fact that IF simply stresses on when a person should of should not eat, rather than telling them what to eat. Instead, intermittent fasting can be called an eating pattern.
How long must one fast while intermittent fasting?
Mostly practised patterns include daily 16-hourly fasts. Some also fast for a whole 24 hours, twice a week. However, the pattern chosen depends on the person solely. Following are some eating patterns that are commonly practised while intermittent fasting:
This is the beauty of intermittent fasting. It never pushes you to the limit. It is both doable and effective!
Which pattern of intermittent fasting is mostly preferred?
Whereas the Eat-Stop-Eat Pattern and the 5:2 diet require you to commit longer hours, the 16/8 Method requires you to control your satiety needs for only three-fourth of the day. This is why people prefer it over the former two.
Does intermittent fasting help in weight loss?
Yes, however, intermittent fasting is not called dieting. Rather, it is referred to as an eating pattern.
How does intermittent fasting help in weight loss?
I won’t bore you with the roots of all the sciencey stuff. I’ll just give you the highlights of this beautiful story. So your body is being run and controlled by many chemicals and hormones produced by the brain and glands. These hormones are responsible for breaking down or storing the consumed calories. Once you start eating less, your brain tells your glands to secrete more catabolizing (breaking down and using) hormones. Your consumed carbohydrates, fats and proteins are then broken down and the energy is used to carry out various body tasks and physiology.
What is the science behind this weight loss?
Basically, when your body does not have access to food, it starts depleting its reserves. Our body keeps most of its energy reserves as fat (yes, all that fat is for the harsh weather and what not). Since fat metabolism is controlled by several hormones, your body starts regulating those hormones levels. Of note are Growth Hormone (or Human Growth Hormone or HGH) and insulin. Growth hormone is excreted about five times more than normal whereas insulin levels are lowered. Also, norepinephrine or noradrenaline levels are raised. Consequently, this leads to depletion of fat stores and they are used as energy and heat.
Due to increase in HGH and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), the basal metabolic rate for body is also raised Calories are consumed faster than normal. Concurrent reduction of intake and speedy use of calories leads to weight loss.
Which method helps in weight loss?
Technically, all these methods help in weight loss as there is restriction in calorie intake. Just make sure that you are not binging during your eating time. With your calories in check, you are sure to drop a size or two!
Why is intermittent fasting preferred over dieting?
Intermittent fasting is known to reduce weight without causing any muscle wasting.
Does intermittent fasting have a role other than weight loss?
Yes! Even though most people opt for intermittent fasting to drop their size but it has been around for so long and so many people are on board due to the array of uses it offers.