There is a new trend getting immense popularity in health and fitness regime. It is known as Intermittent Fasting or IF. It is not new, it has been in the world from an ancient age. Just that people have started noticing its benefits in recent years. Various medical journals and practitioners are now citing its benefits in losing weight, improving healthy and simplifying lifestyle leading to better living. There have been some studies that also show that you can live longer by practicing intermittent fasting. Let’s have a deeper look into this concept.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
It’s an eating pattern where the practitioner cycle between fasting and eating in controlled periods. There is no specification forth kind of food you should eat. You just have to follow the time schedule of when you should eat. The common period for intermittent fasting involves 16 hours fasts or fasting for 24 hours twice a week.
It is an age-old technique. Ancient people don’t have methods to store food and food availability was scarce, then this technique helped them a lot and they were able to perform rigorous physical activities after it. It has been found out that fasting from time to time is more natural than the regular pattern of eating which we have developed in the last century.
Methods of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting doesn’t have any fixed pattern. There are multiple ways in which it can be accessed. Following are the most common IF methods you can go into-
- Leangains Protocol
Here breakfast is exempted and the eating period is restricted to 8 hours. Then for the rest of 16 hours, you don’t eat anything. It is also called the 16/8 method.
- Eat Stop Eat
It is advised to practice twice a week. In this method, you just stop eating for a whole period of 24 hours and then start eating again.
- The 5:2 diet
This is also practiced twice a week and here you have to take 500 to 600 calories on the day you are keeping fast and then don’t eat anything. Next day you can eat normally.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Hormonal Benefits
Intermitted fasting is directly related to the proper functioning of the body. The body adjusts its hormones according to the eating pattern as well as the diet you take. The hormones intermittent fasting effects are-
Human Growth Hormone level increases leading to muscle gain and fat loss.
Insulin sensitivity increase leading to balanced insulin levels in the body
- Cell Repairing Hormones
Fasting done in the right way increases the speed of the cell’s recovery. Cells become able to remove and digest old and non-working proteins for better functioning.
- Gene Expression
Longevity and protection against diseases increase with the help of intermittent fasting.
- Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting works very efficiently in terms of weight loss. As you eat fewer meals, ,it leads to an automatic reduction in calorie inclusion in the diet. It also affects hormones that lead to better benefits in weight loss. Insulin level balance provides an opportunity to the body for improving its fat intake and fat burning mechanism.
Various studies provide proof that intermittent fasting leads to fewer chances of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the root cause of chronic diseases and IF prevents that.
- Heart Diseases
Intermittent Fasting improves your cholesterol levels, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar, and insulin hormones which prevents subsequent heart diseases. As heart diseases are the major cause of death, using IF as a preventive measure of Health problems can lead to a healthy life.
- Brain Health
Intermitted fasting also increases the secretion of the brain health hormone BDNF which leads to the growth of new nerve cells. It improves neural connections and protects against memory loss which is a fastly growing disease.
It has been observed that intermittent fasting improves lifespan. AS it keeps the body healthy and the mechanism of the body is rejuvenated every few days, it gives the cells ample time to get their energy which keeps them alive for a longer duration. Also, various systems in the body remain in top condition leading to better utilization of nutrition which leads to a longer life span.
Healthy living is facilitated by simple living. We have to go back to our roots when we were more connected to nature and used to understand the needs of the body. Just like anything on this planet, our body too needs rest from its daily functions. Fasting gives rest to the digestive system and other inside mechanisms leading to better working when asked for the next day. Intermittent fasting is the best way of getting a healthy lifestyle without expending any amount of money. So, practice intermittent fasting and lose weight and be healthy while simplifying your lifestyle.