With the increasing problem of obesity, a number of diet trends are launched among the masses. All these ideas and trends tend to focus on one thing, weight loss. One such diet that has gained massive popularity amongst people is intermittent fasting. You must have heard this concept from a friend, or a colleague of yours, in some newspaper, or on the internet. A number of individuals are interested in the concept as they want to live a healthy life. But the first and foremost question that comes into our mind is what is intermittent fasting?
In simple words, this technique includes not eating anything for a particular measure of time. As the name suggests, it is an arrangement where you set a time frame in between the day. Basically, you cannot eat anything for at least 16 to 20 hours in a day. You eat between the other 4–8 long periods of the day. For the rest of the hours, you have to fast. You can have a low-calorie drink amid this. The more you fast, the better are your outcomes.
Another important question that comes to our mind is how this thing works? To start with, Once you eat your meal, your body consumes the sugar from it and produces glucose which acts as energy for your body. When you eat something, your body spends some time preparing that food and consuming what it can from what you just ate. Once it utilises all the food, it has nothing to get energy from. When you are in a fasted state, your body doesn’t have anything to use as vitality, so it pulls the fat from your body and uses it as its main vitality source. This helps in reducing body fat as your body uses internal fat as a source of energy. Theoretically, you could lose fat by fasting around 12 to 24 hours, and then gain muscle when you do eat.
This technique has proven to give a number of other benefits as well. It reduces the risk of diabetes and increases the water intake of the body. And also when you are in the fasting state, it increases your insulin sensitivity which helps you in storing less fat.
There are different schedules that you can follow during this fasting. For instance, you can fast for 14 hours and eat for the rest of the hours, or you can fast for 16 hours and do the same for the rest. It depends on the potential of your body. However, once you start doing this activity, your body is fasting capacity grows on increasing.
Here are some tips that can really help you to get full advantage of intermittent fasting:
- Drink lots of water and calorie-free drinks throughout the day. Keep yourself hydrated.
- Involve yourself in some kind of activity on the days that you are fasting. This helps your mind to not obsess over food. Go watch a movie with your friends or catch up on your paperwork.
- Avoid any kind of physical activity on the days when you are fasting. Rest and relax your body. However, some light exercises such as yoga may be beneficial.
- When you are in your eating period, avoid overeating. Make quality your priority rather than quantity. Eat all the healthy nutritious food that you can. Eat a lot of protein. It’s not necessarily how much is on your plate that can help you stay full for longer but what is on your plate.
- Always listen to your body patiently. If by any chance, your body is showing symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness headache anxiety or difficulty in concentrating, do not get disheartened. This is just a sign that your body is going into starvation mode and needs nourishment. Everything takes time. So during this time, stop fasting and enjoy your meal. Start again the next day.
So this year, get your hands on intermittent fasting and see what miracles it does to your body!