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Intermittent Fasting: Health Benefits & How to Start

In many places around the world, there are still lots of people who weigh too much or are fat. Losing weight and making your body healthier (less fat, more muscle) by doing exercise and changing what you eat can help lower the risk of getting ill from diseases linked to being overweight. Most people use daily food limit to control eating, but other methods are coming up. A less common way to control how many calories you eat is called fasting on and off. It’s a big word for different ways of not eating food at certain times. In this article, we will learn what intermittent fasting is and how it impacts our health. Let’s get started.

What is Intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting refers to a way of having cycles between eating and fasting. There are  various ways to start intermittent fasting:

Alternate-day fasting:

Except for religious fasting, the most studied form of IF is alternate-day fasting. This protocol is based on alternating ad libitum feeding days and fasting days, which on average guarantee 1 meal eaten at noon providing a ratio of caloric request with around 25% for that individual. Notably, any eating pattern that includes overnight fasting allows modified fasting (as some caloric intake is allowed) and can involve different durations of modified fasting according to schedule. The period of modified fasting, containing 1 small meal, could reasonably vary from 30 to 40 hours.

 For example, if the last meal was taken on a Monday (feeding day 1) at midnight and the first meal on a Wednesday (feeding day 2) at 6 am, this was for 30 hours.

Whole-day fasting

Some variants of intermittent fasting involve only 1 to 2 days/week of either complete food abstinence or severe calorie restriction instead of interval alternations of higher and lower food intakes per day. These protocols can run the gamut from something very basic to perhaps doing a 24-hour fast each week although some of them include several fasts in a week and/or ones longer than 24 hours.

Time-restricted feeding 

Time-restricted feeding is a pattern where there is a restriction on the time for a certain period of time. One popular version that some people follow is fasting for 20 hours straight, then eating all your food within a 4-hour window each day. So for example, you might finish dinner at 8pm and not eat again until noon the next day. That long stretch without food is the “undereating phase,” while the 4 hours when you do eat make up the “overeating phase” within each 24-hour period. This type of eating routine takes some getting used to, but some people find it manageable and report benefits like weight loss. The key is sticking to the fasting period consistently, even though it means going without food for the majority of the day and night.

Benefits of Intermittent fasting 

Everyone thinks about why one needs to follow intermittent fasting but the answer lies in the benefits. Now we will discuss the benefits of it :

Here are some of the main potential benefits of intermittent fasting:

– Lose weight – By limiting when we eat, intermittent fasting can help lessen the number of calories in our diet. This results in a loss of weight over time. A long period of not eating might also make metabolism better.

– Less swelling – Some studies show that fasting can give the tummy a break and help lower body-wide inflammation. This might give health gains for problems like arthritis, asthma and autoimmune diseases.

– Better blood sugar control – Not eating for a while might make it easier to handle sugars in the body and help fight resistance against insulin. This can help people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

– Healthy heart – Some studies show that fasting sometimes can lower blood pressure, bad cholesterol and triglycerides. This may help reduce the chance of getting a sick heart disease.

– Healthy brain – Some animal findings and a few human tests show that fasting sometimes can help with memory, learning, and diseases of the brain like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

– Stopping ageing – Eating less and not eating sometimes might help slow down getting old according to studies on animals. This could increase lifespan too! We are still studying how it affects people.

– Cancer prevention – Studies on animals show that fasting sometimes might help stop or slow down the growth of cancer. People have limited data but it is promising.

– Fasting – Fasting might cause autophagy, which is when cells clean up damaged parts to make them work better. This renewal process might help us live longer.

The studying is still happening, but quick fasting looks good for being a simple health and long life plan. Lots of people think that it’s a good way to live, which can help with losing weight and might even slow down the aging process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Who can skip meals sometimes?͏

Skipping meals, like͏ in intermitten͏t fasting, isn’t for every͏one. Don’t try it if you’re pregnan͏t, if͏ eating patt͏erns have been a problem before, or ͏if yo͏u’͏ve got ͏some health is͏sues. Always ͏check ͏with a͏ d͏octor f͏irst.

͏Can I drink during fasting ho͏urs?

Yes, drinking ͏water is f͏i͏ne when͏ you’re fasting. It helps clean out the stuff your body doesn’t need. Plain͏ water͏, sim͏ple tea, or bl͏ack cof͏fee are usually okay͏.

How fast ͏will I see changes with fasting?

People are different, so it varies.͏ Some feel more p͏eppy or notice the͏y’re losing weight after a few weeks. Stick with it regularly, and chan͏c͏es are, you’ll feel the benefits after a while.

Should I avoid any foods during my eating window or mealtime?

We don’t know exactly. But usually you want to eat nutrient-dense foods, and it is best to avoid eating practices that are heavily reliant on processed or high calorie content.

Can intermittent fasting be part of other diets such as keto and paleo?

Yes, intermittent fasting can fit nicely with other dietary methods. It’s not just keto and paleo. The key is to combine different types of approaches in order to select your most satisfactory approach. In addition everyone will naturally have different dietary preferences and each person’s health goals are not the same.

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