Intermittent Fasting is the most surging concept in the world of nutrition and fitness. From the past couple of years, people are switching to this method considering it to be the sure-fire way to lose some extra pounds quickly. 

Have you ever been introduced towards it? Do you know exactly what does it mean? Wondering if it is beneficial? Phew! No need to worry. Here is the entire guidebook of intermittent fasting. Take a note of this and know ‘how’ is it beneficial. 

What is IF (Intermittent Fasting)? 

As the name suggests, IF is all about intake of food after a periodic intervals. Basically, it is performed with the aim to reduce the intake of calories and provide relaxation to your body from the continuous digestion process. 

IF is not a diet, it is broadly described as an eating pattern. Unlike other dietary habits, IF doesn’t suggest you what to eat and what not to eat. It simply means to skip meals for the predetermined time limit. 

There are several ways to do intermittent fasting: 

  • 16/8 Method: This method includes 16 hours a day, which is also termed as Leangains. ​
    • Note: It is suggested that men should be fasting for 16 hours a day and women for 14 hours a day. 
  • UpDayDownDay: It is also known as alternate-day fasting when fasting is done on every alternate day
  • The Warrior Diet: This method includes eating a large amount of meal at sundown time after fasting for the entire day
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: This method includes fasting for 24 hours, weekly or bi-weekly. 
  • 5:2 Diet: This type of method involves consuming normal diet for 5 days and selecting two days when only 25% of the regular diet would be consumed. 
  • Spontaneous Meal: This method is considered to be the best one for beginners, wherein a person can skip a meal as per his/her convenience. 

Though there is an option for selecting best fat burning exercises but, people consider these types of intermittent fasting as more effective to shed those extra load

How is Intermittent Fasting effective for losing weight? 

There are abundant health benefits of IF, but it is popularly known as the powerful weapon for losing weight. This is because intermittent fasting involves skipping of meals that reduces the calorie intake of the person

While skipping meals, there is a fluctuation in the hormones. The level of hormonal change in the body actually promotes the weight loss technique. During this process, it releases the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine. 

When this short-term fasting changes the hormones, it may increase your metabolic rate and make you more energetic resulting into shedding those unproductive calories. 

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Pros of Intermittent Fasting 

Apart from the weight loss benefits, there are oodles of health benefits: 

  • IF maintains both physical and mental health, assisting you to live longer. 
  • It protects your body against type 2 diabetes, resulting in reduced blood sugar and insulin levels. 
  • It helps in reducing the risk of cancer. 
  • It is hugely responsible for maintaining the sound health of heart, which in turn helps in combating various cardiovascular diseases. 
  • It is anti-inflammatory, that gradually prevents your body from many protracted diseases. 
  • It boosts your overall immunity system. 

As a coin has two sides, same applies to Intermittent Fasting tool. Even this beneficial weight loss tool has few damaging effects as well. Let us take a look into the darker side of IF

The detrimental effects of IF are listed below; 

  • Food obsession
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lethargic 

Who should avoid Intermittent Fasting? 

This sort of fasting is not for everyone. 

  • A person suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia are strictly not allowed to opt for IF. 
  • A diabetic or hypoglycemic person should avoid Intermittent Fasting, as skipping a meal could pay off as fainting for him
  • Fasting is certainly a NO-NO for people suffering from any sort of heart problems. 
  • Pregnant women should never adopt intermittent fasting. 
  • In some cases, women are not allowed for IF, as it may lead to the disorders in menstrual cycle. 

Your turn 

Along with this undesirable impact of the intermittent fasting, tons of other health benefits are also there which can't be ignored. So it is highly recommended to consult a physician before stepping into this concept. 

Now that we’ve learnt the actual scenario of intermittent fasting, it's upon you to take a call for your health.