Intermittent Fasting- How It Works, How To Do, Benefits, Side-Effects

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a phenomenon that has been gaining popularity in recent years. The idea of “fasting” for periods can seem daunting to many. But the benefits are often worth it.

In this blog post, we will discuss what intermittent fasting is and how it works, why you should do intermittent fasting, when you should do intermittent fasting and how to do intermittent fasting.

We will also provide some insights from nutritionists on whether or not this diet plan is safe and healthy. Finally, we’ll talk about the side effects of doing so as well as mention any other important things to keep in mind before starting an intermittent fast!

Intermittent Fasting

intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and non-fasting. In a fasting period, you eat nothing or as few calories as possible. In a non-fasting period, you can eat whatever you want within your caloric limits.

How Intermittent Fasting

Works

When you’re intermittent fasting, your body uses fat as its primary source of energy instead of carbs and glycogen stores. Your body has two options for fueling itself:

  1. It can burn sugar or
  2. It can burn fat (which is a more efficient fuel)

When you eat food containing carbohydrates (sugar), your body will produce insulin which stores that sugar as glycogen in your muscles and liver.

When you’re not eating, the body will burn through those glycogen stores first before it turns to burn fat for energy.

By going without food (or carbohydrates) for a few hours or days at a time, you allow your glycogen stores to be depleted which in turn will burn fat for energy instead of carbs.

FACT: Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but rather a pattern of eating.

Who All Should Avoid?

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. All these specific sets of people should avoid People who are intermittent fasting:

  • Underweight,
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnant (negative effects on the baby’s development),
  • History of eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa
  • Diabetics might experience low blood sugar levels after long gaps between meals

How To Do Intermittent Fasting

There are many different types of intermittent fasting. Typically, intermittent fasting is only done for a set period, anywhere from 12 hours to 36 hours.

  1. You can fast for 16 hours and eat during the other eight hours. On this plan, you would normally stop eating at around six pm and break your fast in the morning between seven am and eleven am.
  2. One of the most popular forms is known as 16/eight, which involves fasting for sixteen hours and eating only during an eight-hour window each day. On this plan, you’ll be skipping breakfast, but may still eat lunch and dinner depending on your daily schedule.
  3. The other common approach is called alternate-day fasting, where people fast for 24 hours every other day or so. For example, if this plan sounds good to you, try not eating from lunch on Wednesday until lunch on Thursday.

Whether it’s 24 hours once a week, 16/eight, or some other fasting period that fits your schedule and lifestyle, the important thing is to experiment until you find something you can stick with.

Foods To Eat In Intermittent Fasting

foods to eat

  • Nuts & Seeds: Mixed nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Vegetables: Artichokes (hearts, whole), asparagus, avocado (sliced or guacamole), bell peppers (red and green), Bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts
  • Fruit: Berries (blueberries & raspberries)

Other fruits can also be eaten during intermittent fasting too. Just make sure you consume them in moderation

Foods Not To Eat In Intermittent Fasting

You should limit your intake of processed or packaged foods which are high in additives and artificial ingredients.

Benefits

There are many reasons to do intermittent fasting, ranging from weight loss and increased energy to disease prevention. Furthermore, you can use this fasting as a tool:

  • Increase muscle mass
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Help prevent diseases associated with aging
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Increased testosterone levels (backed by a study)
  • Improve fertility or increase chances of getting pregnant
  • Lose weight by controlling insulin levels and hormone balance
  • Reduce inflammation in the body and fight arthritis
  • Control cholesterol levels, blood pressure, triglyceride levels & LDL or bad cholesterol (good for the heart)
  • Minimize the risk of certain types of cancer (bodies release the hormone to suppress the growth of cancer cells)

These benefits can be experienced by anyone regardless of age or gender. While one size does not fit all, the many benefits of fasting are hard to ignore.

Intermittent Fasting And Weight Loss

If your primary goal for intermittent fasting is weight loss (and especially if it’s not), this isn’t a good idea. Fasting is NOT the same as starving yourself.

It’s much better for your body composition to eat healthy food when you do eat than it is to fast and then binge on junk when you’re allowed to eat again.

It’s also not about eating as much food as possible when you eat and then starving yourself during your fasts. This will make things worse.

However, this fasting is one of the best tools for weight loss, but only if you can do it correctly.

Side Effects

side effects

The most common side effect during an intermittent fast is:

  • Eating disorders such as binge eating or night eating syndrome (NES)
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) i.e. inability to concentrate at work or school, fatigue, headache
  • Heartburn or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) due to poor food choices

Nutritionists On Intermittent Fasting

According to some nutritionists, the best time for intermittent fasting is during sleeping hours to not affect your daily routine and mental performance. It is recommended to have a high-protein breakfast to provide the body with energy for your daily activities and workouts. It is best not to exercise during fasting because this may lead to fatigue, dizziness, or lightheadedness.

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting has many benefits to the human body. But you must also make sure that your diet is healthy at all times, or else it will not work for you. This is because no one diet works best for everyone. Each person has different needs, goals, genetics, and lifestyle factors. This means you need to learn more about your own body instead of following someone else’s diet. You should consult a doctor before attempting intermittent fasting if there are diseases in your family, especially heart disease and diabetes.

A Word From Mantra Care

If you are looking for more information on such topics or Diabetes treatment, Online Therapy, Hypertension, PCOS treatment, Weight Loss, and Physiotherapy, please visit mantracare.org or feel free to reach out to us at +91-9711118331 or email at [email protected] However, you can also download our free Android App or IOS app.

However, here at Mantra Care, we have an incredibly skilled team of health care professionals and coaches. They will be happy to answer any questions and provide further information so you know what’s best for you for your unique needs.

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