What is Intermittent Fasting: Know All Its Effective Ways & Benefits

Intermittent fasting is one of the most common methods to manage weight. This method has gathered a lot of attention over the past few years. Many fitness and health industries follow it to manage weight, boost metabolism, improve sleep, and more.

As the name indicates, Intermittent means not happening regularly or continuously, at irregular intervals. So intermittent fasting means you do not need to eat for a specific time; you just eat at a specific time according to your plan. There is a gap between your eating period and the fasting period. Researchers show that it is a good way to manage your weight and reversal of lot many diseases.

How Intermittent Fasting Works? 

The body uses glucose to generate energy. But in intermittent fasting body’s energy utilisation shifts towards ketones, which are the by-product of fat metabolism. Once you’ve had little or no caloric intake for about eight to 12 hours, your body starts breaking down triglycerides(fat) for energy. 

Dr. Holly F. Lofton, clinical associate professor of surgery and medicine and director of the NYU Langone Weight Management Program in New York City, explains that the liver transforms fatty acids into ketones, which serve as an energy source for the brain and other bodily tissues. In short, this process initiates fat utilization for energy, possibly reducing weight.

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Types of Intermittent Fasting

There are the top three methods for intermittent fasting. According to your ease, you can choose what type suits you the best.

  1. Alternate-day fasting 

You consume a regular diet, while on the following day, you either completely abstain from eating or have a very limited meal containing fewer than 500 calories.

  1. 5:2 fasting 

As the name indicates, eat a normal diet five days a week and fast twice weekly. During the fasting two days, you consume only one meal that consists of 500 to 700 calories each day, 

  1. Daily time-restricted fasting

During this type of fasting person normally eats within an hour window each day. For example, “If you eat 1,200 calories over eight hours, for example, you will burn those during the 16-hour fast, and this will force the body to use some fat (energy reserves) for energy,” Lofton says.

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Some Other Methods Of Intermittent Fasting

The following methods are also considered the way for intermittent fasting. In your busy routine, you can make them a part of your schedule. It will help you manage your weight as well as your eating time. 

  • 12:12 Method: A 12-hour daily fast involves restricting your eating to a specific window between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • 16:8 Method: Fast for 16 hours each day by only eating between noon and 8 p.m.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: Once or twice a week, refrain from consuming any food starting from dinner on one day and continuing until the same time the following day, effectively engaging in a 24-hour fast.

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

According to the latest updated knowledge in September 2021, a growing body of research suggests various potential benefits of intermittent fasting. Many studies have shown promising results, but more is needed to establish definitive conclusions. 

Some of the most commonly accepted benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  1. Weight Loss

Helps create a calorie deficit, a key factor in weight loss. By limiting the eating window, people may naturally consume fewer calories, which causes weight loss over time. 

The body utilises fat as energy instead of glucose, leading to the loss of stored fats.

  1. Improved Insulin Sensitivity

It enhances insulin sensitivity, which is important for blood sugar regulation. Insulin sensitivity can lower the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes and enhance overall metabolic well-being.

  1. Cardiovascular Health

Some studies suggest intermittent fasting can improve cardiovascular risk factors, including reduced blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol levels, and improved triglyceride levels.

  1. Inflammation Reduction

It might aid in lowering indicators of bodily inflammation, a factor associated with numerous chronic illnesses.

  1. Longevity

Various studies on animals have shown that intermittent fasting can extend lifespan, potentially due to its effects on cellular health and metabolic processes.

  1. Simplicity and Sustainability 

It can be easier to sustain for some individuals than traditional calorie-restricted diets, as it does not necessarily require strict meal planning and can be adapted to various lifestyles.

Hence, it is very important to approach intermittent fasting in a balanced and healthy way. 

Before making any changes to your diet or eating habits, seek guidance from a healthcare expert, especially if you have preexisting medical conditions or are on medication.

Additionally, newer research may have emerged since my last update, so I recommend checking more recent sources for the latest information on intermittent fasting benefits.

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Final Words

Intermittent fasting is one of the well-known methods of dieting. All the celebrities and other busy personalities prefer this type of dieting. It is the most convenient method to diet as you don’t need much variety of food in your daily routine. 

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