Excess body weight leads to the onset of several physical and mental ailments. This is the reason why you should opt for a healthy diet plan and exercise regime. You can choose from several types of diet plans to shed extra pounds off the body. With that said, it is not easy to keep up with strict diet plans. Hence, you can follow intermittent fasting. For starters, it is simple, effective, and without any restrictions. This article includes a detailed overview of it. Further, you will learn about intermittent fasting methods in detail.
Overview of Intermittent Fasting
To begin with, it has a great influence on eating as well as the fasting periods. You increase the fasting time during this weight loss program. For example, you have to fast for about 16 hours daily. Consequently, you only have 8 hours to consume food. On the other hand, you can also fast for about 24 hours once a week. Hence, you will cut a significant amount of calories. Along with weight loss, intermittent fasting also helps to control cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
You have to divide a day or a week into a period of fasting and eating for starters. This pattern helps the body to get revitalized and checks the hormone functioning. Some of the highly recommended intermittent fasting methods are listed below.
- 5:2 Diet Pattern
You have to consume low calories on two consecutive days in a week. Men have to consume 600 calories, while women are expected to consume 500 calories. On the other hand, consume the recommended amount of calories during the rest of the week. Individuals following this diet plan tend to lose 5% of body weight in 2 months.
- 16/8 Method
This method is also known as the Leangains protocol. For instance, you need to restrict early morning breakfast. Moreover, you need to consume food for only 8 hours, followed by 16 hours of fasting. 16/8 method is best for patients dealing with obesity. Besides, your blood sugar level will get under control.
- The Eat-Stop-Eat Method
The eat-stop-eat method includes fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week. This intermittent fasting directly enhances the metabolic activities inside the body. Hence, you will get rid of stubborn body fat.
Does Intermittent Fasting Methods Work for Weight Loss?
Indeed, you will get positive results by following intermittent fasting methods. This is so because intermittent fasting directly influences metabolic activity and hormone functioning. Thus, you will get the desired figure naturally, without any severe side effects. Several other factors that play a role in intermittent fasting are listed below.
- Low-Calorie Intake
All in all, this fasting reduces the eating window. Hence you do not end up consuming snacks between the meals. Thus, your daily calorie intake decreases, which supports weight loss.
- Reduced Level of Insulin
Secondly, intermittent fasting also reduces insulin levels. Consequently, it will enhance fat metabolism. Hereby, you’ll get the upper hand in losing the stubborn body fat.
- Enhance Neurotransmitters’ Activities
Finally, intermittent fasting directly influences several neurotransmitters in the brain viz. dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that aid in weight loss. Thereby, you will get a lean figure without any strenuous exercise regime.
How It Affects Your Cells and Hormones?
In brief, intermittent fasting has a direct influence on the molecular and cellular level. Henceforth, you will get added benefits along with weight loss—ways in which intermittent fasting influence a body are listed below.
- Increase The Level of HGH
Primarily, intermittent fasting increases the level of human growth hormone. In some cases, the HGH increases 5 times. With that said, you will get aid in gaining muscles and reducing body fat.
- Cell Repair
During fasting, body cells start to repair and initiate autophagy. Autophagy is a process in which the cell digests obsolete proteins. Moreover, autophagy also offers power and revitalizes the body.
- Influence Insulin Levels
As discussed above, this fasting reduces the level of insulin in the body. Therefore, you will lose fat and get a lean figure.
- Gene Expression
At the time of intermittent fasting, your body’s genes get influenced. As a result, you will feel more vitalized and enhance immunity. Likewise, it also influences longevity genes.
Recommended Foods and Tips
Before you begin intermittent fasting, it is essential to choose healthy food items. Consuming oily or junk food can lead to several bodily ailments viz. high cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Food items that you should include in your daily diet are listed below.
- Organic Food
You should always include organic food items during your eating window. This is so because they are full of fibers, essential vitamins, and minerals. Make sure to include barley, quinoa, and brown rice in a daily diet.
- Lean Protein
Always consume food items that contain lean protein viz. fish, tofu, eggs, cottage cheese, beans, etc. You can also consume nuts and seeds; they are high in protein and essential vitamins. High protein food helps to curb excessive hunger. Consequently, you won’t end up eating large portions of meals.
- Vegetables and Fruits
Fruits, as well as vegetables, are low in calories and high in fibers. Moreover, you will also get essential vitamins and antioxidants.
- Healthy Fat
Always consume monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. This is so because you do not have to deal with the risk of cholesterol. Likewise, mono and polyunsaturated fats protect from high blood pressure. For this reason, include fatty fish, olive, and coconut oil in daily diet.
Tips During Intermittent Fasting
- Always drink at least 4 to 5 liters of water daily.
- Exercise during the eating window period
- Meditation offers excellent relief from hunger pangs.
- Eat slowly and take small portions at a time.
- Take an adequate amount of sleep.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Researchers have found out that intermittent fasting increases cognition and verbal skills. Likewise, your memory will also get enhanced.
- Obesity and Diabetes
You will be less vulnerable to the onset of type-2 diabetes and obesity. This is so because intermittent fasting increases metabolic activity and lower blood sugar levels.
- Tissue Repair
Intermittent fasting increases the process of autophagy. Furthermore, this process also revitalizes cells and tissues. Consequently, your skin will look more supple and radiant.
- Physical Performance
The 16/8 intermittent fasting helps to reduce body fat. On the other hand, you will get to retain muscle mass. In effect of this, you will look leaner and healthier.
- Improves Concentration
Researchers found out that intermittent fasting aid in concentration and focus. Thus, you will be more productive at work.
- Brain Health
Intermittent fasting increases the number of brain cells and BDNF hormone levels. For this reason, you get protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
- Heart Health
Your heartbeat and blood pressure will be under control during intermittent fasting. Study shows that it curbs the onset of a heart attack.
- Alleviates Cancer
As discussed above, fasting initiates autophagy. Thus, your body will keep a check on irregular cell growth. For instance, irregular ell growth is the prime reason for several types of cancer.
Side Effects and Risks
Despite offering several benefits, intermittent fasting also triggers a few side effects. For that reason, you should consult a physician before starting this plan.
- It may lead to excessive hunger and an eating disorder.
- Individuals feel heartburn due to the overconsumption of food during the eating window.
- It causes infertility in women.
- Excessive fasting leads to depression in the long run.
People dealing with mental ailment and eating disorders should refrain from it. Likewise, heart patients and elders should completely avoid it.
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe?
To sum up, it helps in weight loss, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, etc. More importantly, you can also use it to cure high blood cholesterol. However, the fasting method does not work well for all. In effect of this, always consult a doctor in advance.
On the other hand, children below the age of 18 and pregnant women should avoid fasting. Meanwhile, if you have any eating disorder or depression, then consult a practitioner beforehand. This fasting is not safe for diabetics and high blood pressure patients.
Lastly, it offers vivid effects on people. Consequently, you should stop the process if you deal with nausea, heartburn, headache, etc.
In essence, you can lose body fat with the help of intermittent fasting. Moreover, it does not require any strict diet plan or exercise regime. There are 3 main types of intermittent fasting methods. It works on the body by lowering calorie intake, reduction in insulin levels, etc.
Along with weight loss, it offers a wide range of benefits. On the other hand, you might even suffer from heartburn, headache, etc. Thus, always consult a physician beforehand. That said, it is unsafe for pregnant women, children, and heart patients.