Many people take different approaches to lead a healthy lifestyle. Some might agree that it works by staying fit and active by doing regular exercises. Others might decide that the same could be done by adequately managing calorie intake.
A combination of the above methods can also show results. However, we want a method that delivers fast results and is safe. Intermittent fasting is safe and shows positive results in less time.
If you are tired of trying various methods to a healthy lifestyle, now is the time to try intermittent fasting. Here is a guide on how you can do it and how it benefits your body.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a form of time-restricted fasting that involves eating only during a particular time during the day. There are different types, such as 16/8 and 5:2, out of which the former is more popular.
In the 5:2 method, you eat as usual for five days and limit yourself to 500-600 calorie meals during the other two days. You can choose these days according to your preference.
In the 16/8 method, you have the freedom to choose any time period within the day to fast. You can also decide what to eat when you are not fasting. This flexibility is what makes this time of fasting so practical.
Intermittent Fasting: How It Works
Many individuals choose the 16-hour fasting period during the time they sleep. It makes it easier and more practical to do. You can select one of the following 8-hour eating windows;
- 9 am to 5 pm
- 10 am to 6 pm
- 12 pm to 8 pm
If you need to benefit from intermittent fasting, you should eat healthy meals regularly during this window. It is how you can truly benefit from this fasting method. Your meals should include;
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean proteins including fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, beans, nuts, seeds, and lentils
- Healthy fats from olives, olive oil, fatty fish, avocados, coconuts, nuts, and seeds
You can consume calorie-free drinks such as water and unsweetened tea and coffee during the fasting period.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
A lot of individuals have done this fasting and seen positive results. It works in many ways because of the low-calorie intake and controlled eating periods.
This type of fasting works so well because it focuses not on what you eat but on when you eat. Here are a few of the main benefits of intermittent fasting.
Helps Lose Weight And Fat
Intermittent fasting makes you eat fewer meals. It reduces the calories you consume, which can help boost metabolism. It results in greater weight and fats loss in obese people than regular calorie restriction.
Intermittent fasting also enhances hormone functionality which helps facilitate weight loss. It also helps break down body fat to facilitate its use for energy.
Intermittent fasting is known to expand the lifespan of animals, in general. More studies need to be done to prove its effectiveness on humans.
However, it can help extend lifespan by also preventing a number of diseases in humans. Intermittent fasting also reduces inflammation in the body, keeping away many illnesses from the body.
Prevents Several Diseases
Leading this form of a healthy lifestyle can prevent/ reduce the risk of a number of diseases as follows;
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease
- Strokes and other forms of brain damage
Beneficial For The Heart
Heart diseases are known to be fatal. Intermittent fasting improves a number of risk factors that can increase your chances of heart disease. These risk factors include;
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar levels
- Total and LDL cholesterol
- Blood triglycerides
Improves Physical Performance
Intermittent fasting works by giving you more energy which can improve physical performance. Fasting for 16 hours enhances fat loss while maintaining muscle mass. It also helps build endurance, which helps in a lot of physical activities.
Intermittent Fasting Tips
Intermittent fasting is safe and result-driven if done correctly. It can feel challenging initially, but as long as you follow these tips, it is manageable.
- Stay well-hydrated by consuming water and other calorie-free drinks such as unsweetened coffee and tea.
- Start with a modified schedule that is realistic for you. Build your tolerance levels by starting with small windows and then doing the entire schedule when you are ready to go.
- Eat slowly but frequently during the eating window.
- Prepare your meals in advance and keep them refrigerated to help keep your diet balanced. If you don’t have time to prepare meals yourself, you can opt for meal replacement shakes during intermittent fasting.
- Ensure to consume healthy and nutritious meals instead of filling your stomach with junk food.
Who Should Not Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a practical solution for weight loss and many of your other issues. However, it is not suitable for everyone. The following individuals should not try intermittent fasting at any cost.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Children under 18 years of age
- Individuals with a history of eating disorders
- People with blood sugar problems, including diabetic patients
Remember that intermittent fasting can have different effects on people. Seek medical advice if you experience headaches, nausea, unusual anxiety, or other symptoms once you start intermittent fasting.
Consult with your doctor before committing to this lifestyle change if in doubt.
Intermittent fasting is the solution if you’ve been looking for ways to reduce weight fat or feel healthy overall. It is a practical and result-driven approach that you can start any day you want.
Remember to follow the above tips and stay well-nourished and hydrated when trying intermittent fasting. Soon, you will see the results of your commitment to this type of fasting.
Is It Safe To Intermittent Fast Every Day?
It is generally considered safe to try intermittent fasting every day as a healthy adult. However, if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications for any illness, it is best to consult your doctor in this regard.
How Long Will It Take For Me To See Results Of Intermittent Fasting?
It will take about ten weeks to first notice a difference in your body once you start intermittent fasting. However, it will take anywhere between 2 to 10 weeks for you to see significant weight loss. You might lose about 1 pound every week.
How Do I Know If Intermittent Fasting Is Working For Me?
You will notice signs like not feeling hungry, body fat loss, improved bowel movements, increased energy levels, and decreased sugar craving. It means that intermittent fasting is working for you.