Intermittent fasting or IF is currently becoming one of the world’s most popular trends in health and fitness. But it is actually not a new concept as the practice has been used already during the ancient times.
As more individuals are realizing its benefits, IF has gained popularity gain. Many are now using IF not just to lose weight but, more importantly to enhance their health and achieve a simpler lifestyle approach.
There are several studies showing that Intermittent Fasting offer powerful effects on the brain and body and is believed to promote longer life. If you want to experience the benefits of intermittent fasting, this comprehensive guide should help you get a good start.
Learning the Basics: What is Intermittent Fasting?
Fasting in its very essence is about abstaining from eating within a certain period of time. And, intermittent fasting refers to the pattern of alternating the periods of eating and fasting.
As we all know, we need the energy derived from the food we eat for our body to perform its day to day activities. Fasting trains our body to use its stored fats for energy. Intermittent fasting requires no actual duration, you can start and end fasting as you please. There are no questions about what food you should consume as it is more about ‘when’ you should be eating.
The most commonly practiced fasting methods involve the following:
- The Leangains protocol or 16/8 Method
This involves a fasting window of 16 hours. Say for instance, skipping breakfast and then eating from noon until 8 pm.
- The 5:2 diet
This involves limiting your calorie intake (500 to 600 calories only) within the two fasting days while you eat normally during the other 5 days of the week..
This involves a fasting window of 24 hours straight, once or twice a week.
- The Warrior Diet
This involves not eating the whole day and then indulging in a single large meal during the night.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
It’s important to note that fasting shouldn’t make you develop a mindset that you are punishing yourself through starving. Fasting is essentially a normal process. You see, our body is designed with the capability to fast for a short period of time, hours or even days.
They key here is control. With the regular eating schedule we follow, our body tends to ingest more foods which often are not immediately used and some are rather unused and stored as fats. Over time we will gain weight as more and more fats are stored within the body. When fasting, you allow your body to somehow detoxify itself naturally by releasing these stored fats, which are then used by the body for energy supply.
What Are The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting can offer a number of benefits not just for our body, but to the mind as well. More than its obvious benefit in helping an inidividual lose weight, abstaining from eating within a certain duration of time is found to have potential health benefits and they are as follows:
- Reduces inflammation
- Lowers blood sugar
- Reduces risks for cardiovascular diseases
- Improves brain health
- May aid in the reversal of Type 2 Diabetes
- Powerful anti-aging
- May help prevent cancer
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