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Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work?

Intermittent fasting is a diet that alternates between fasting and eating on a regular basis. According to research, intermittent fasting can help you manage your weight and even prevent or reverse some diseases. But how do you go about it? Is it also secure?

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent Fasting (or Time Restricted Eating) is about coordinating both the timing of when you are going to eat and what you are going to consume during those eating windows. It’s a doable way of consuming calories in a controlled fashion that will protect and boost your mitochondrial function so that they are more efficient at making energy. It also improves the diversity and abundance of the good guys in the microbiome and changes the circadian rhythm for the better as well.

Not only can Intermittent fasting help you lose weight, you can become less insulin resistant by forcing your body to burn stored fats. Fasting triggers numerous hormonal adaptations that do not happen with simple caloric reduction. Insulin drops sharply, preventing insulin resistance. Noradrenaline rises, keeping metabolism high. Growth hormone rises, maintaining lean mass.

Many diets concentrate on what to eat, but intermittent fasting focuses on when to eat.

You only eat at certain times during intermittent fasting. Fasting for a set number of hours per day or eating only one meal a couple of days per week can help your body burn fat. Scientific evidence also points to some health benefits.

How does intermittent fasting work?

There are several approaches to intermittent fasting, but they all revolve around establishing regular eating and fasting times. For example, you could try eating only eight hours a day and fasting the rest of the time. You could also choose to eat only one meal per day two days per week. There are numerous intermittent fasting schedules available.

Intermittent fasting contrasts with most Americans’ normal eating pattern, which is to eat throughout their waking hours.  If someone eats three meals a day plus snacks and doesn’t exercise, they’re running on those calories and not burning their fat stores every time they eat.

Intermittent fasting works by extending the time between when your body has burned through the calories from your last meal and begins to burn fat.

The three popular approaches to intermittent fasting

  • Fasting on alternate days
    Eat a normal, healthy diet one day and then fast or eat only one small meal the next. The small meal is usually less than 500 calories.
  • 5-2 Fasting
    Eat normally five days a week and fast twice a week.
  • Daily fasting with time constraints
    Eat normally, but only during an eight-hour period every day. For example, instead of skipping breakfast, eat lunch around

Longer periods without food, such as 24, 36, 48 and 72-hour fasting periods, are not necessarily better for you and may be dangerous. Going too long without eating might actually encourage your body to start storing more fat in response to starvation.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

Is intermittent fasting beneficial to your health? According to recent research, using intermittent fasting for weight loss may have some short-term benefits.

Fasting for a short period of time appears to induce ketosis, which is a process that occurs when the body does not have enough glucose for energy and instead breaks down stored fat. This results in an increase in substances known as ketones. This, combined with consuming fewer calories overall, can result in weight loss. According to research, alternate-day fasting is about as effective for weight loss as a typical low-calorie diet.

Fasting also affects metabolic processes in the body, which may help to reduce inflammation, improve blood sugar regulation, and respond to physical stress. Some research suggests that this may help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.

There has been little long-term research on intermittent fasting to examine how it affects people over time. As a result, neither the long-term health benefits nor the risks are known.

Here are some of the benefits of intermittent fasting that have been discovered thus far:

  • Memory and thinking

    According to research, intermittent fasting improves working memory in animals and verbal memory in adults.

  • Cardiovascular health

    Intermittent fasting increased blood pressure, resting heart rate, and other heart-related measurements.

  • Physical ability

    Fasting for 16 hours resulted in fat loss while maintaining muscle mass in young men. Mice fed on alternate days had greater endurance when running.

  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes

    fasting prevented obesity in animal studies. In six brief studies, obese adult humans lost weight by fasting intermittently. People with type 2 diabetes may benefit from the following: The majority of available research indicates that intermittent fasting can help people lose body weight and lower their fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and leptin levels while also reducing insulin resistance, decreasing leptin levels, and increasing adiponectin levels. According to some studies, some patients who practiced intermittent fasting under the supervision of their doctors were able to eliminate their need for insulin therapy.

  • Tissue health

    Intermittent fasting reduced tissue damage and improved surgical outcomes in animals.

Side effects of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting can have negative consequences. Hunger, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, decreased concentration, nausea, constipation, and headaches are all possible symptoms. The majority of side effects subside within a month.

Some people may find it easier to stick to an intermittent fasting routine rather than trying to watch their calories every day. Others, particularly those with busy or variable schedules, have a more difficult time sticking to an intermittent fasting routine.

Is intermittent fasting safe?

Some people try intermittent fasting to lose weight, while others use it to treat chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, or arthritis. However, intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone.

you should consult with your primary care practitioner before attempting intermittent fasting (or any diet). Some people should avoid attempting intermittent fasting:

Is intermittent fasting right for you?

Many people find intermittent fasting to be safe, but it is not for everyone. Meal skipping is not advised for people under the age of 18, those with a history of disordered eating, or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Athletes may struggle to properly fuel and refuel for an active lifestyle. If you have diabetes or another medical condition, consult your doctor before beginning intermittent fasting.

Also, keep in mind that the key to losing weight with intermittent fasting is to not overeat during your eating windows. Eating fewer calories than you expend remains the foundation of weight loss.

Shortening the eating window may make it difficult to obtain the necessary vitamins and minerals. It is critical to eat meals made from high-quality, healthy ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein while on this diet.

If taken too far, intermittent fasting can be dangerous. Dry fasting is a technique that restricts food and fluid intake, resulting in severe dehydration and serious health concerns. Malnutrition can occur if the caloric restriction is too severe, such as averaging less than 1,200 calories per day for an extended period of time.

Different Intermittent Diet Plans