Intermittent Fasting is one of the most popular methods these days to lose weight and maintain good shape. This method is adopted with the aim of improving one’s health and to simplify the lifestyle. The technique of intermittent fasting not only helps to lose weight but also possesses a variety of benefits such as it affects the body and brain positively, and helps to increase the longevity of life. The concept of fasting, although, is trending these days but its roots lie in ancient times. People have been practising fasting due to various causes which may include lack of food or working conditions, religious rituals, or health concerns, etc. This wonderful technique of intermittent fasting will be discussed in detail in the following article.
Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern where there is a period of fasting after the period of eating. It generally includes following diet regulations in two periods. One part of the intermittent fasting will include reduction or total restriction of caloric intake and the other half of this method comprises a period of unrestricted eating. In the fasting period of intermittent fasting, the individual is supposed to consume less food as compared to his regular food intake. This can be done by consuming fewer calories or abstaining from eating during this time altogether. During fasting, cells are put in stress and this can help to lose weight as fat is used as a source of energy. This helps to maintain the blood sugar and cholesterol level. The regular practice of fasting for some time will help the cells of the body to recycle the dead and useless components which will further provide anti ageing and rejuvenating results.
Different Ways of Intermittent Fasting
People practising intermittent fasting, do so in various different ways which are usually based on the ratio of fasting to non-fasting time. These ratios can divide the eating cycle in different ways. Each type of fasting will possess various unique benefits and drawbacks on the individual, so it may be necessary to try a few different approaches before you find one that suits your lifestyle and body type. The following are the different types of fasting techniques –
1. Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)
This technique of fasting comprises alternative days of fasting. ADF is defined as a 24-hour period of fasting followed by a 24-hour period of unrestricted eating. This two day cycle is repeated throughout the week.
2. 5:2 Diet
This 5:2 technique of intermittent fasting will include eating a normal quantity of diet five days a week and rest two days of the week fasting is practised. During the fasting portion of the 5:2 approach, dieters may choose to abstain from eating completely or consume 500-600 calories per day.
3. Eat, Stop, Eat Approach
This method includes fasting once per week. For instance, the schedule would be fasting from dinner one day to dinner the next day. A complete fast of 24 hours is what most eat, stop, eat dieters go for
4. 16:8 Ratio
The 16:8 ratio consists of a 8 hours of regular diet followed by 16 hour fast. This can be as simple as skipping breakfast every day, eating a normal lunch and dinner, then fasting while you sleep. This ratio is usually most preferable for everyone due to its ease to be maintained
The term OMAD stands for one meal a day. It is a highly-restrictive version of intermittent fasting where the fasting period lasts 23 hours per day and only a one hour window to consume one meal.
Benefits of Practising Intermittent Fasting
The technique of intermittent fasting provides great benefits to the health concerning various systems of the body. The benefits of intermittent fasting can only be experienced if the fasting technique is practised according to the body type and health status of the individual. The intermittent fasting technique helps in improving the various metabolic conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis, diabetes, etc.
It is also known to improve the functioning of the brain, resulting in better concentration levels and improved memory. The Concept of Intermittent Fasting will benefit the condition of diabetes as it improves insulin sensitivity and glucose control along with the decrease in body weight and improvement in microvascular complications in diabetes. When the time period of consuming the food is decreased, insulin levels lowers down and allows fat cells (adipocytes) to release fatty acids
The condition of obesity can also be managed very well. It is also useful in cardiovascular diseases. There can be various serious problems related to the cardiovascular system. Lack of physical activity, stress and altered eating habits are risk factors for this dreadful disease. The discontinuation or restriction of the risk factors allows a reduction in mortality. The intermittent fasting plays a great role in controlling heart disease by reducing cholesterol concentration in the body
The cases of atherosclerosis are also benefited by the practice of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting helps in the modification of this deposited hazardous fat. The use of intermittent fasting increases the secretion of adiponectin from adipose tissue. The adiponectin exhibits anti-atherosclerotic and anti-inflammatory effects. This helps to relieve the inflammation and also improves the overall condition of the body. Intermittent fasting triggers ketogenesis where the body turns to fat for energy, metabolises fat in ketones. Ketones easily cross blood brain barriers, feed the brain and result in better mental acuity and productivity
In a nutshell, it can be concluded that intermittent fasting has an amazing impact on all the systems of the whole body. For the beginning of the practice of intermittent fasting, one should not rush in a hurry but should start slowly and at a pace of practice that is suitable to the body. It is just an eating pattern that involves a short period of fasting and recommends only when to eat and not what to eat. The intermittent fasting technique is unique to each and every patient and should be practised accordingly.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD – Ayurveda) is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd. He is Author of the Book “Ayurveda – God’s Manual For Healing”. He is an Ayurveda Expert Serving People worldwide through all the Possible Mediums, Operating from Main Branch in Mohali, India. With his Vast Experience in Herbs and their Applied Uses, he is successfully treating Numerous Patients suffering from Various Ailments. He is Serving the Society with Purest Herbal Supplements for One and only Purpose of Making People know and utilize the Wonderful Benefits of the Ayurvedic Diet, Lifestyle, and Natural Herbs. He Formulates Herbal Supplements himself and also Use Classical Ayurvedic Formulations for Helping People Get Rid of All Types of Health Issues, Restore their Health, Uses and Save themselves from the Worst Side-effects of Chemical Based Treatments. For More Details, visit www.PlanetAyurveda.com.