Intermittent fasting: Everything you need to know
From Atkins and keto to carb cycling and intermittent fasting, there are many health plans you can follow.
We are sure you have heard intermittent fasting approach being thrown around, as it is a new health trend favoured by many celebrities and alike.
Below we give you an ultimate guide on intermittent fasting that you can use to get started.
What is intermittent fasting?
Rather than a diet, intermittent fasting can be described as an eating pattern. Instead of telling you what to eat, it tells you when to eat, as it cycles between fasting and eating periods for health benefits.
It is a very useful tool for almost everyone. However, pregnant women, underweight people, and people with a history of eating disorders should avoid following this pattern.
Intermittent fasting methods
There are different approaches to the eating and fasting periods in intermittent fasting.
- 16/8 method
The simplest and most sustainable, this method involves having an eating period of only 8 hours while fasting for 16 hours in between. Also called the Leangains protocol, you generally end up skipping breakfast, while following this method. Due to the popularity and easiness of the method, people prefer to practice this every day instead of some days of the week.
In this method, you fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. For example, don’t eat from breakfast one day to breakfast the next day.
- The 5:2 diet
On two non-consecutive days, food intake is limited to 500-600 calories, while you eat your normal diet on the other 5 days of the week.
Remember that during your fasting days or time, you either eat nothing or very less.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
Research has shown that intermittent fasting can have many benefits for your body, brain and weight loss.
- Weight loss
Your calorie intake is reduced as you are eating fewer meals. Additionally, there are changes to your hormone levels that aids in weight loss.
- Brain health
The pattern of eating and fasting helps in the increased formulation of the brain hormone BDNF that helps in the growth of new nerve cells and prevents any kind of brain-related diseases.
- Healthy heart
It reduces the risk factors of heart diseases, including cholesterol levels, blood sugar and blood pressure, among others.
Intermittent fasting can make your life simpler and remove the hassle of planning and cooking healthy meals. Therefore, it might be the main reason why it has become such a popular method.
Ready to give it a try?