Every New Year, people get hyped up for a “new beginning” full with new resolutions. Weight loss is always among the top resolutions each year. Among the methods, the method of ‘intermittent fasting‘ has been all the rage for the past couple of years.
It’s been popularized by numerous magazines, bloggers and YouTubers as a “foolproof method to weight loss”. It could also be a potential cure for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insomnia, even cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, as said in various magazines and books.
The New England Journal of Medicine links fasting to “increased stress resistance, increased longevity and a decreased incidence of diseases, including cancer and obesity.”
If you do a quick search online, there is a ton of ‘benefits‘ to fasting. Some say it can promote autophagy which is a process that is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells.
But how to do it? Is it safe for everyone to try and how does it work? We have all the answers for you.
Here is everything you need to know about intermittent fasting –
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a form of modified or smart fasting. It involves eating during a specific time window and fasting for the remaining hours each day.
The common belief is, this method works by going in sync with the body’s circadian rhythm or the ‘internal clock’.
There are no restrictions on the amount of food that can be consumed during the ‘eating period’. The “no restrictions” method helps with maintaining the diet.
Methods To The Diet
There are two methods to build this diet method. The first one is commonly known as the 5:2 method, where you eat for five days of the week and fast for two. But two days of starving does not sound as appealing.
The daily and the most popular method is called the 16:8 method where you fast for at least 16 hours per day and eat in the other 8.
Time-restricted fasting limits the calory intake primarily to waking hours. The effects of the fast occurs during the sleeping period. This is an easier fasting pattern for those people who do not snack after dinner or eat breakfast as soon as they wake up or skip meals anyway.
Is It Effective For Weight Loss?
There’s no scientific evidence that intermittent fasting guarantees weight loss. Intermittent fasting is not a specific diet. It is more of a lifestyle change. It’s not sustainable for the long term.
There is definitely a link between intermittent fasting and weight loss. But the ‘success’ of the method lies on the fact that fasting means less food and less food means less calories. This is a mere trick of the mind rather than a full fledged diet change.
Although there are no particular “harms” known of fasting other than the pain of starvation. But it will cost more if done recklessly.
Intermittent fasting and its effects vary from person to person. People interested in intermittent fasting must consult a doctor before trying it.
Health experts say intermittent fasting is unnecessary for children, people on medications and people with a history of eating disorders.
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