Intermittent Fasting-Working, Benefits and Restrictions

Intermittent fasting

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a form of eating that restricts calories intake to specific times for at least three consecutive days during the week, or for about 24 hours over several days. The meals are generally consumed within an allotted time frame (i.e., not 24hrs). In these types of patterns, it often happens that people may need to skip meals and snack throughout the day (e.g., if you have a long commute).

How does Intermittent Fasting work?

On alternate days, it’s common for healthy individuals to eat high-calorie snacks; on non-consecutive days they opt to restrict their calorie intake to a restricted time during the day or eat all their meals at night, depending on where they are in energy balance at any given point.

What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

It can be seen as an effective way to manage hunger and weight gain as it helps people who struggle with obesity – for example, people with gestational diabetes and women with polycystic ovary syndrome. IF can be helpful to people with type 1 diabetes in many ways:

  • It promotes weight loss. When people cut calories down, more calories are burned resulting in weight loss.
  • On average, IF usually results in weight loss of 2 pounds per month. This weight loss will eventually continue without the restrictive diet.
  • Furthermore, IF has shown to benefit health and well-being than other forms of weight loss.
  • People who don’t like exercise may find IF a good option. If you are someone who likes working out but doesn’t want to do it every day, intermittent fasting is a good option.
  • The amount of calories burned is less when compared to a normal diet. Because IF focuses on reducing calorie intake, it can improve overall heart health and cholesterol levels.
  • Weight control and heart health are associated with better sleep.

How does Intermittent Fasting affect your body?

Intermittent fasting is extremely challenging both physically as well as mentally – especially if you aren’t used to eating more frequently. Your metabolism begins slowing down during intermittent fasting as you lose some weight and your appetite comes back. You also experience increased digestion, especially if you ate more food before intermittent fasting.

The body adapts relatively slowly when it switches from a calorie deficit into an excess calorie surplus. In particular, it takes weeks – sometimes even months – for dietary hormones in the body to adjust to the new pattern. Depending on which metabolic state you are in, intermittent fasting may be considered a “high-risk” diet.

As a low risk diet or a moderate intermittent meal, if you are healthy, intermittent feeding may be acceptable to you. However, if you are in a different metabolic state, such as having Type 2 diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome which causes weight gain and abdominal fat accumulation, any form of restrictive diet (including intermittent) should be avoided.

The main problem is that intermittent fasting severely restricts daily calorie intake, which may result in negative effects of high blood sugar levels, impaired kidney function, and the risk of cancer. With proper monitoring and support, intermittent fasting is a great option for those who experience weight gain or obesity.

How can I get started with Intermittent Fasting?

In order to be successful with intermittent fasting, you need to start early. Keep in mind that you need to keep the calories below 6 to avoid having an insulin response. Also, remember that you cannot eat more than 40%–60% total daily of protein. And, remember that intermittent fasting is not sustainable for everyone and the diet may require regular adjustments in the future. So, it is important to start gradually.

How many days do I need to eat my meals to maintain a healthy body weight?

There is currently no scientific consensus regarding the number of days a person needs to eat to stay in good physical shape over the course of a year. Nevertheless, there may be a minimum threshold of a couple of weeks which may vary by individual. Some experts recommend five days per week, while others advise ten days per week. A healthy daily ratio of about 2 calories/kg of body fat for men is 3.15 calories/kg of body fat and for women 2.8 calories/kg of body fat.

A very good rule of thumb is 1lb to 1kg (lb is 1 kilogram [kg]. Kg = 1lb x 0.45m).

How many snacks do I need to consume to stay consistent with the recommended food portions?

Intermittent fasting is generally restricted to just breakfast at most. Some studies suggest that the ideal snack size for people with diabetes is roughly 4-8 portions.

How can I manage my energy intake to prevent me from overeating?

As mentioned above, intermittent fasting is extremely difficult because it requires eating fewer calories.

During IF, the body metabolizes more calories and reduces fat, making it hard for the body to burn stored fat quickly. To promote burning fat, intermittent fasting often includes cardio exercises to increase strength training, speed up your breathing and make it harder for the brain to regulate food intake. Intermittent fasting programs are also known to include resistance-strengthening workouts, which require increasing the volume of exercises done for short periods until they become strenuous.

It is better for one to consult their doctor before changing their eating patterns. 

5/5 - (13 votes)

Follow me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.