Are you tired of excessive weight gain, trying out different weight-loss strategies and diet plans?
Different people would recommend you different weight-loss regimes over a period of time or simply you would like to follow something that is trending nowadays.
In this article, we will discuss the intermittent fasting diet, how to incorporate it into your daily life and what impact it will have on your life.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Generally speaking, intermittent fasting is a broad term that incorporates within itself various forms of fasting you can choose depending on your lifestyle, your convenience, your medical history, or your physical health conditions, etc.
People often use this diet to
- Improve their health
- Simplify their lifestyle
- Lose weight
- Burn fat
This diet is a type of fasting in which you choose a brief time for fasting periods with either no food or reduced calorie intake or calorie-restricted diet and periods of controlled eating for long-term results.
There are a number of intermittent fasting plans that people follow and have various health benefits. These are
- The 16/8 method
- The 5:2 method
- Eat stop Eat
- Alternate day fasting
- The Warrior diet
- Spontaneous meal skipping
Methods of Intermittent Fasting
Let’s discuss the different methods of intermittent fasting plans,
Keep reading to know more.
The 16/8 method
This is a time-restricted eating regime where you intake food for 8 hours of a day while observing fast for 16 hours.
This method is also known as the Leangains method.
During this method, a person can take 2-3 meals during 8 hours of eating window while you fast during the rest of the day.
While observing fast one can take water, no-calorie drinks or beverages, or black coffee which helps reduce the feeling of hunger.
For people who are early risers and like to take breakfast it sometimes gets difficult for them. But once incorporated into daily life, you can easily observe it.
An important thing to keep in mind is that you take healthy food during your nonfasting hours as they help you feel full and avoid junk food or food with an excessive number of calories.
In simple words, you follow a calorie-restricted diet.
The 5:2 Diet
This diet is known as the Fast Diet and was formalized by British journalist Micheal Mosley.
During this diet, one takes a normal diet for 5 days of the week while for 2 days the calorie intake is significantly reduced to 500-600 calories.
Depending on the gender of the person, usually, it is recommended the females take 600 calories while males take 500 calories on fasting days.
For instance, you might want to eat normally and take healthy food during nonfasting days while taking a restricted or calorie deficit diet dividing your meal portions to 250 or 300 calories per meal.
Ear Stop Eat
Eat stop eat is an intermittent diet in which you fast once or twice a week.
When you are following this method, you observe fast from 12:00 am one day till the 12:00 am of the next day. That counts for a 24-hour diet.
This diet plan was formulated by Brad Pilon who was a fitness expert.
During the fasting hours, you can take water, black coffee, or zero-calorie beverage but solid food intake is stopped.
For instance, if you take your last meal at 6:00 pm and fasts till 6:00 of the next day, it counts as 24 hours fast.
While going for this plan, you should take care that you take a proper healthy meal during your non-fasting days as you normally would have taken.
Most often people find it difficult to fast for 24 hours. If so, you could fast for 15-16 hours at first and then increase the time as per your convenience.
Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate day fasting involves fasting on alternate days of the week.
For instance, you could start fasting on Monday and have a proper meal the next day.
There are different versions of this method, one of which involves that you could take 500 calories during the fasting periods.
A downside of following this method is that it is somewhat extreme and you could go hungry to bed which is not a pleasant feeling at all.
The Warrior Diet
The warrior diet involves a diet plan in which you restrict your food intake to raw vegetables and fruits and make a whole meal by the end of the day.
Basically, it involves eating raw fruits and vegetables and taking a whole meal at night.
Warrior diet is one of the most popular diet plans of intermittent fasting and is quite similar to the paleo diet.
Spontaneous Meal Skipping
Skipping one or two meals spontaneously during a day is what spontaneous meal skipping is.
It does not mean that you skip a meal or two when you want to because our bodies are designed to handle long periods of starvation and won’t do any good.
Instead, if you feel like it, you could skip breakfast and take a healthy meal during lunch and dinner hours. Skipping one or two meals a day when you feel like it is spontaneous intermittent fasting.
What to eat during fasting periods?
While you are observing fasting you should keep in mind some basic rules as to what you could eat.
Some of these are:
- Eating normally does not mean that you take a meal that is full of calories. But it simply means that you take a healthy meal or a calorie-restricted diet and in the right portion.
- While you are not eating, you can take water, coffee, or zero-calorie beverage to subside the feeling of hunger.
- Try taking leafy green vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
There are a number of researches that show what intermittent fasting does to your body and how it benefits it.
For once, when there are changes in our metabolism, it affects our brain and body in a good way.
Obese adults can use this fasting method to burn fat, regulate blood insulin levels and maintain blood pressure.
Some of the benefits are:
- When you are observing intermittent fasting, there is a remarkable change in your high blood pressure, resting heart rate, and various heart-related measurements.
- Fasting helps you lose weight while maintaining muscle mass which in turn is good for a healthy body. Hence, fasting can help in body contouring.
- It prevents obesity. One of the major causes of heart-related diseases is obesity. While you control your body mass, it helps to maintain your physical health.
- Intermittent fasting also helps to control your blood sugar level or insulin levels. When we take fewer amounts of processed sugar and refined carbs, it helps us improve our blood sugar levels.
Should You Consider Doing An Intermittent Fasting Diet?
Intermittent fasting helps you lose weight, burn fat and in turn, your physical, as well as mental health, is improved.
While observing any diet plan one should keep in mind that excess of anything is not good for health.
When You Should Do the Diet
While losing weight is the primary goal of this diet, you should also consider the following points.
- If you are trying to maintain your blood sugar levels, blood pressure then you could observe this diet.
- It helps your body fight chronic diseases. Some studies suggest that while observing intermittent fasting, helps our body fight inflammations that could potentially cause chronic diseases.
- With the help of a calorie-restricted diet, many people experience improved blood sugar levels during both fasting periods and shortly after eating.
- As a result of intermittent fasting, there is an increase in hormones that our brain produces called BDNV which helps in new cell growth.
When You Should Skip This Diet
There are a number of reasons why you should not consider observing this diet. These are:
- People who are diabetic or suffer from type 2 diabetes, should not consider observing this diet as it significantly reduces the blood sugar level.
- An intermittent fasting diet is not for everyone. While considering this diet plan, do consider that whether your daily life routine can face the challenge.
- If you are taking any medications, you should consult your physician.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not observe this diet, or should first consult their doctor.
- While observing fasting, do take notes that you avoid taking calorie-rich meals during nonfasting days.
If you are unable to restrict your calorie intake during nonfasting days and munch on everything, then fasting is not recommended.
Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting Diet
Intermittent fasting is not a cup of tea for everyone. It can sometimes lead to eating disorders. Some of the side effects of fasting are:
- You may feel really hungry while observing the fast and that could lead you to excess intake of calories.
- You may feel tired or irritated while observing intermittent fasting.
- It takes time for your body to adapt to changes to your new diet plan. Therefore. You need to be patient.
- If you are taking certain medications, you should consider consulting your doctor.
This is particularly important if you are:
- Have low blood pressure
- Facing irregular changes in blood sugar levels
- Taking medications for fatal or chronic diseases
- a woman who is conceiving or breastfeeding
- a woman who has a history of Amenorrhea
There are a number of changes that we have gone through in the process of intermittent fasting. We often skip meals in a day or do not eat at all during the day while taking light or calorie deficit food.
The ultimate goal of intermittent fasting is to lose weight. However, if you are taking food that is rich in calories or junk food it might not get you the desired results.
The key here is to take whole grains, fruits, and raw vegetables. And in case you feel hungry, you could take water, tea, coffee or zero-calorie beverages to subside the feeling of hunger.
Remember, that it is important that you take good care of your health. If you are a patient of any chronic or fatal disease do consider consulting your doctor.
It’s not important that you stick to one method of intermittent fasting. You could try out different methods and continue with the one that suits you the most by the end of the day.
Therefore, if you feel good while trying a fasting diet and find it applicable to your lifestyle then go ahead with it. It can be a very good and powerful tool to help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
Let us know in the comments if you found this article useful and are willing to try the Intermittent Fasting Diet.