Resetting the body metabolism has become the most sought-after topic these days. There are several ways to pump up your metabolism, but one that is always reliable and has been proven to give incredible results is the concept of intermittent fasting. Keep reading to know more about this wonderful style of eating.
What is intermittent fasting, and why is it so popular?
Intermittent fasting is regarded as a process in which you cycle in and out of eating and non-eating periods. It is also used as a way to lose weight. However, intermittent fasting isn’t a diet plan and rather a lifestyle choice that can reap incredible benefits health-wise.
There are several methods of intermittent fasting, such as:
- Eating all meals within a 12 hour window (say, from 8am – 8pm), then fasting for 12 hours
- Eating all meals within a 10 hour window (usually 9am – 7pm), then fasting for 14 hours
- Eating all meals within an 8 hour window (usually 10am-6pm), then fasting for 16 hours (You’ll often see this referred to as 16:8 intermittent fasting or Leangains)
- OMAD (eating only One Meal A Day)
- 5:2 – this method involves eating normally five days of the week while fasting for the remaining two. You can still eat for these two days but don’t exceed 600 calories.
- Every other day fasting (eating nothing one day, then eating normally the next)
- ADF (alternate day fasting, 36/12 hrs fast/feed)
- The Warrior Diet (20/4 hrs fast/feed)
- Eat Stop Eat (24 hrs fasting, 1-2x/week)
- The Fast-5 Diet. (19/5 hrs fast/feed)
What happens when we stay Fed
First of all, let’s tell you that most of us are in the fed state all the time. And while the body is in the fed state, it is working hard to digest, breakdown, and assimilate the nutrients. However, there are not enough calories being burnt at this point. We are often told to eat in small portions frequently, which is putting our bodies under stress due to the never-ending sugar and grain-based carbohydrate push. As a result, our body keeps working hard with little to no outcome. In other words, the body is working hard and doesn’t get any time to repair itself, which may bring the healthy metabolism to a halt sooner rather than later.
What happens when we are not Fed
Now let’s tell you what happens when you don’t eat. This is the perfect time for the body to carry out its repairing procedures. And as a result, the natural cell death, also known as apoptosis, is allowed to happen. In the non-fed state of affairs, the body will utilize its glycogen stores and use the fats as fuel in a process called ketosis. This is the point where metabolism begins consistently as the body gets enough time to rest, recover as well as utilize the calories it has stored.
Intermittent Fasting: the best Strategy to reset the body
Intermittent fasting can be regarded as 18 or 24 hour time for the body without food. We can use this process and found out that there is no need to get panicked as you get to eat every day. All you have to do is have your dinner at around 6 pm and don’t eat anything for your breakfast and stay hungry until noon. To accomplish the 24-hour fast, you will have to continue fasting until dinner the following day. This will help to reset the metabolism every time. It works because it affects both the insulin and growth hormones. As in the non-fed state, insulin level goes down and allows the body to access as well as utilize its fat reserves as fuel. Moreover, the growth hormone level goes up and allows the body to maintain as well as build lean muscle tissue.
Tips for intermittent fasting
- Increase the fluid intake a day or two before you start fasting.
- Consume raw foods from vegetable and fruits to nuts etc. while avoiding processed foods, sugars, and dairy.
- Initially fast for only a few hours, preferably during the morning as it helps the body to rev up for another day by eliminating the debris body might have collected while you slept.
- Avoid taking any calorie-free drinks and beverages that use artificial sweeteners as they tend to stimulate your appetite just like any drink that contains sugar, which makes you overeat.
- Avoid gorging at your first meal after the fast as binging will not only diminish the benefits of fast but also make you feel awful.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
We have brought to you some of the many benefits of Intermittent Fasting. So, let’s take you through them.
Makes life Easier
Since intermittent fasting is more of a lifestyle which requires behaviour change and makes things simpler while reducing stress. It brings simplicity to your life. You don’t have to worry about breakfast as you wake up, start the day with a glass of water. Since you take only two meals a day or sometimes none, so you don’t have to plan for an additional meal in intermittent fasting, which makes life much simpler.
Helps you Live Longer
Restricting your intake of calories is a way of living a longer life which is backed by the Scientists for a long time now. This is true even logically, as our body finds a way to extend life when starved. However, the good news in case of intermittent fasting is that you get the benefit of life extension without having to starve yourself. This is because fasting activates the similar mechanisms of life extension as calorie restriction
Pro Tip: You can find your ideal calories for weight loss using our TDEE Calculator.
Research conducted by scientists at the University of Chicago has revealed that fasting helps delay the development of the disorders that often lead to death. Mark Mattson, who is the head of the National Institute of Ageing’s neuroscience laboratory, says that the mild stress that the intermittent fasting puts on the human body proves to provide a constant threat. As a result, the cellular defences of the body become powerful and increase to maintain as well as repair the tissues. In short, the anti-ageing benefits of intermittent fasting help to keep every cell and organ functioning efficiently.
Protect Cognitive Function in Older Age
Several different studies suggest that fasting helps to improve sleep while offering protection against cancer recurrence as well as reducing the bad cholesterol and lowering the blood pressure. A recent study conducted by the National Institute on Ageing in Baltimore has demonstrated that periodic calorie restriction helps to protect the cognitive function in older age. The researchers believe that the nerve cells are protected and new brain cells thrive, which then trick the older brain into acting younger.
Miscellaneous Health Benefits
Many studies have been conducted on both animals and humans regarding intermittent fasting. These studies have shown that it has numerous health benefits from weight loss to weight control and improvement in the overall body and brain health. Some health benefits of intermittent fasting are listed below:
- Weight Loss: Intermittent fasting helps lose weight as well as belly fat without even consciously trying to restrict the calories. The fasting itself is enough to fire up your metabolism and make it work in the direction of weight loss and control.
- Inflammation: Studies have shown that fasting helps to reduce the markers of inflammation significantly, which is the key driver in most of the chronic diseases.
- Insulin Resistance: It helps to reduce your insulin resistance and lower the blood sugar by 3 to 6% and the fasting insulin levels by almost 30%, which helps protect against type 2 diabetes.
- Heart Health: It helps to reduce bad LDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers and blood sugar. In short, it reduces the risk factors that lead to heart diseases and ensure heart health.
- Prevents Cancer: many studies conducted on animals have shown that intermittent fasting may even help in the prevention of cancer.
These are some of the many benefits of intermittent fasting that can help you towards a healthier and longer life. All you have to do is change your unhealthy lifestyle into a healthy one by eating all the good and natural things loaded with the best nutrients, minerals and antioxidants that can help you obtain your goal of that healthy lifestyle while making your life simpler. Not only can you enjoy the basic health benefits offered by fasting but also can reduce and manage your weight. You will also come to know how intermittent fasting slows down the ageing process while making you feel younger. Keeping in view its benefits, you would incorporate intermittent fasting in your fitness routine. As you now know that inner peace also plays a vital role in having a great life. So enjoy a happy, healthy and peaceful life with intermittent fasting.
If you have been eating and snacking often, it may take some time to adjust to this new method. That’s ok. But doing the math can be a very tedious and taxing process. Which is why we have developed this awesome intermittent fasting calculator. This calculator can single handedly calculate your meal timings, macros and supplementation details with out breaking a sweat. So go ahead and give it a spin.
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