Most probably you’ve heard the term intermittent fasting. It has become one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends and even celebrities are swearing by it. Intermittent fasting is becoming popular because it doesn’t take a lot of thought. It is not a diet but a pattern of eating which means that you don’t need to count calories. The process involves scheduling your meals where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
According to some researches, intermittent fasting helps in weight loss, improves metabolism, as well as prevent diseases. Sounds great? Let’s take a closer look at what intermittent fasting is and why you should care.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not a new concept. It involves an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It doesn’t change what you eat but only changes when you should eat. There is a specific window of time in which you’re allowed to eat and when you don’t eat.
This pattern of diet helps in. Now you may ask how this works. Keep reading to know how intermittent fasting works.
How Intermittent Fasting Works?
When you take a meal, your body begins to digest and absorb the food. This process lasts for three to five hours. During this time, your body can’t burn body fat because your insulin levels are high. But once the food is absorbed, your body comes in the post-absorptive state, which lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal. This is the perfect time for the body to burn fat because your insulin levels are low.
In a normal eating schedule, it rarely ever happens that you don’t eat anything for 12 hours after our last meal. So, intermittent fasting aims to bring your body into a fasting state before you eat anything again. During the fasting state, no food is allowed. You can only consume water, tea, coffee, and other calorie-free beverages.
Methods of Intermittent Fasting
There are several. Each fasting pattern divides the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods. It is a pattern of skipping meals for an extended period. The most commonly practiced methods are as follows.
- 12 hours a day Fast
This pattern is quite simple. You fast for 12 hours every day. When a person doesn’t eat anything for 10-16 hours, it helps the body in burning its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. This pattern is perfect for beginners because 12-hour fast can include the period of sleep.
- Fasting for 2 days a week
The 5:2 diet eats is a pattern where you eat healthy food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days. The calorie count during two fasting days is 600 calories for men and 500 for women.
- Alternate day fasting
You may fast on every other day. This pattern may involve skipping solid foods on fasting days or sticking to 500 calories. On feeding days, you can eat normally.
- 24-hour Fast
Another popular method is the Eat-Stop-Eat diet. In this patter, you need to fast for 1 or 2 days a week, like from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch.
- The Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet is relatively tough as it involves eating very little during a 20-hour fasting window. In this method, you’re allowed to eat only one large meal at night.