Everything you need to know about intermittent fasting
Are you having a hard time losing weight? Or are you merely looking for an interesting meal plan? Well, in case you haven’t heard already, intermittent fasting might help you boost your health and achieve the desired waistline. Keep in mind that you should start intermittent fasting only after discussing it with your doctor. Some health issues might worsen with this meal plan. Anyhow, keep reading this article to find out everything you need to know about intermittent fasting.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or IF represents a meal plan designed based on cycles. It alternates between periods of fasting and eating. Overall, there is no clear indication concerning the foods you must eat. Instead, you have some recommendations on how to eat them. The standard IF method suggests 16 hours per day of fasts or fasting for 24 hours twice a week.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Before we discuss the weight loss benefits of intermittent fasting, you should know that there are plenty of health advantages you might receive with such a meal plan. Many specialists say that the fasting periods act as a way to detox the body. Thus, you will aid your body in getting rid of toxins and rejuvenate. Some of the main advantages of intermittent fasting include:
- A boost in the fat burning rate
- Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels
- A possible beneficial impact on type 2 diabetes
- Potential beneficial effects on mental health
- A boost in energy
- A decrease in inflammation
What is the connection between intermittent fasting and weight loss?
Some say that the primary benefit of intermittent fasting is rapid weight loss. And plenty of studies reveal that this might be the most efficient weight loss tool nowadays. IF makes you eat fewer meals, which leads to an automatic decrease in calorie intake. Also, it balances hormone levels, which ultimately promotes rapid weight loss. This signifies that you might lose weight and belly fat efficiently while doing some intermittent fasting.
What is the connection between intermittent fasting and hormones?
Another aspect you should consider is that fasting triggers several activities in your body. As an example, your hormone levels will be adjusted. Also, your cells will start significant repair processes, that might ultimately benefit your health. Some of the main effects on hormones caused by IF include:
- An increase in the human growth hormone, which leads to fat loss and muscle gain;
- A decrease in insulin levels;
- A kickstart of cellular repair processes;
- A possible increase in longevity and protection against disease.
Are there any safety or side effects associated with intermittent fasting?
As you might expect, intermittent fasting isn’t recommended for everyone. As an example, if you are underweight or suffer from eating disorders, you should not start IF without asking for medical advice. Also, if you have one of the following medical conditions, you should consult with your doctor before starting this meal plan approach:
- Blood sugar regulation issues
- Low blood pressure
Specialists advise that pregnant or breastfeeding ladies should not start intermittent fasting. Also, if you are trying to conceive or have a history of amenorrhea, IF might not be the best solution or you.
Overall, some of the side effects associated with intermittent fasting include:
- Extreme hunger
- Brain fog
What are the main methods for intermittent fasting?
There are quite a few approaches to IF, as revealed below:
- The 16/8 method – you will skip breakfast and restrict your daily eating period to 8 hours. Afterward, you will fast for 16 hours.
- The eat-stop-eat method – you will fast for 24 hours once or twice per week.
- The 5:2 method – you will have between 500 and 600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the weak. Still, you will normally eat the remaining five.
Overall, most people prefer the 16/8 method as it is simpler and more achievable. Besides, studies suggest this is the most efficient in weight loss.
So, should you try intermittent fasting?
As mentioned above, not all people can benefit from intermittent fasting. It is a lifestyle strategy that might boost your health, as you will eat real food, exercise, and focus on your wellbeing. Still, before you start this meal plan approach, it is best to ask for medical advice. Based on your health status and medical history, your doctor might advise you adequately.