According to the Oxford dictionary, intermittent refers to an act of doing something again after halting it for a while. Fasting means abstaining from food. Thus, intermittent fasting means eating food again after abstaining from eating for some time. Intermittent fasting is a dieting method where you avoid eating for certain hours and eat in a certain pattern. While on intermittent fasting you have to watch what you eat, how much you eat when you eat, and how you eat.
Intermittent fasting is not any special diet plan, instead, it is an eating pattern that revolves around eating and not eating. In case you tried numerous diet plan to lose weight and remain fit and healthy, and none of these worked for you or you could not stick to those diet plants, you got to try intermittent fasting as this dieting method is said to work for all kinds of people with 100 percent success result. When you follow the eating and not eating pattern of intermittent fasting, you might even live longer as it is believed that intermittent fasting improves growth hormone, increases cell regeneration, and balances bodily functions.
What Exactly is Intermittent Fasting
Fasting is a practice where you don’t eat for the entire day or for certain time for various reasons like religion, spirituality, or health. In religion and spirituality, fasting has great value, as it is believed to purify your mind and body. Even in science, fasting is said to detox your body. World religions emphasize fasting for emotional and spiritual development. Thre are different fasting methods, in some methods, you cannot eat solid foods, in some method you don’t eat for 24 hours, and in some fasting method, you skip breakfast and lunch but eat supper. Intermittent fasting is a popular fasting method where you don’t eat for 12 hours or more. And you repeat this two times a week. Some people even skip eating for 24 hours.
Just like other types of fasting, intermittent fasting alternates between eating your normal food for 3-4 days and successively avoiding food for 12-16 hours or even 24 hours, and then back to normal eating routines. After eating normally for 3-4 days, you again abstain from foods for 12-16 hours or even 24 hours. When you are on eating, you can eat anything, however, during your fasting period, you have to avoid all kinds of foods, or eat only small quantities of food. Therefore, intermittent fasting, rather than a diet plan, is a pattern of eating.
One of the disadvantages of eating a lot of food is gaining weight as the unused energy is stored as fats. When you eat more, you are also tiring your organs like liver, kidney, and stomach to work hard, which results in wear and tear of the internal organs. When you fast, you improve the efficacy of your internal organs that ultimately improves digestive system, liver functions, kidney function, and heart functions.
How to do Intermittent Fasting
Before you get started with intermittent fasting, you must remember, intermittent fasting is not about what you should eat, in fact, it is about when to eat your food. Therefore, if you want to try intermittent fasting, you have to divide your week into the eating days and fasting days. Generally speaking, most of the intermittent fasting methods revolves around eating normal foods for 5 days and avoiding food altogether or eating less for two days in a week. Having said that you do not have to avoid food for two straight days, instead, you can fast in any two days.
Intermittent Fasting Methods That You Can Try
16/8 method: In this method of intermittent fasting, you eat for 8 hours and then avoid eating anything but water or juice for 16 hours. For example, if you had your breakfast at 9 in the morning, you can eat any food you want until 5 in the afternoon, then you have to abstain from eating until 9 the next day.
Eat, fast, and eat: This method of intermittent fasting is very simple to follow, you avoid eating any food except water and juice, for 24 hours twice a week. Let say, you ate dinner at nine on Saturday. You can eat again at 9 in the evening the next day. You abstain from food for 24 hours. If you abstain from food on Sunday, you can eat normally on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but have to abstain from food on Thursday.
5:2: The 5 is to 2 method is where you eat around 500 calories per day in any two days in a week and for the remaining 5 days you can eat anything you want and not worry about how much calories you are putting inside your body. The 5 is to 2 method will restrict calorie intake thus allowing you to use stored calories.
What Happens In The Body When You Go Through Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting will cause numerous changes inside the body, such as:
The levels of Human Growth Hormone increases by 500 percent
The cells begin to regenerate
The insulin level drops, thus your blood sugar level will be balanced
Fats burning hormone builds up