People will always want to improve their health and enhance their lifestyles, and by doing intermittent fasting, they can achieve both. Intermittent fasting is among the world’s most popular health and fitness trends for losing weight nowadays. While many diets are focused on determining what you should eat, intermittent fasting is about when to eat.
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What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between eating and fasting. It’s a simple and easy way to lose body fat by scheduling your meals. Contrary to popular beliefs, it doesn’t and wouldn’t change the foods you eat, but rather when you should eat them.
The enzymes in our gut are responsible for breaking down the food we ingest into our bodies. Foods loaded with carbohydrates are immediately broken down into sugar, which our cells utilize for energy. If our body doesn’t use all the sugar, it will be stored as fat in the fat cells. However, sugar can only enter our cells with the help of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas.
During the time between mealtimes, the insulin levels in our body will go down, provided that we won’t eat a snack. Our body then allows our fat cells to release their stored sugar to be used as energy. So, in summary, if our insulin levels drop, the body will release the sugar stored as fats, ultimately leading us to lose weight.
The point of intermittent fasting is to allow the body’s insulin levels to drop low enough that fat is burned off. People are drawn to intermittent fasting since it is a simple strategy that doesn’t require drastic change, yet it has promising results and health benefits.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
There are multiple methods of intermittent fasting that you can choose. Since each person has a different preference, read on to determine which method suits you the most.
1. The 16/8 Method
The 16/8 method, also known as the Leangains protocol, is fasting for 16 hours every day. The remaining 8 hours will be your daily eating window. Thus, you can fit two to three meals within your eating window.
This fasting method can be as simple as not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast. However, if you like eating breakfast, then the 16/8 method is not suitable for you. If you feel hungry in the morning, you can drink coffee, water, or any zero-calorie refreshments to help ease the hunger. In addition, it is vital to eat healthy foods during your eating window.
2. The 5:2 Diet
5:2 fasting method, also known as the Fast Diet, involves eating what you typically eat for five days a week. However, the remaining two days should follow a restricted calorie intake.
During the two fasting days, women will only consume 500 calories while men with 600 calories. For instance, women will eat two meals of 250 calories each and 300 calories each for men. You should have one non-fasting day in between the fasting days when doing this method.
3. The 12-Hour fasting
As the name entails, this method is fasting for 12 hours straight every single day. This type of intermittent fasting is an ideal option for beginners.
Since the fasting window is relatively small, 12 hours, the fasting can occur during your sleep. In addition, there is no calorie restriction, and you can eat the same calorie you typically consume each day.
Intermittent fasting offers numerous health benefits. Here are some of the benefits that research has revealed so far.
1. Changes the Function of Cells, Hormones, and Genes
Your body goes through several changes when you haven’t eaten for a while. These changes include:
● a significant drop in your insulin levels;
● dramatically increases human growth hormone (HGH);
● the cells initiating cellular repair processes;
● and the cells change genes and molecules.
2. Loss Weight and Visceral Fat
Many people are trying intermittent fasting to lose weight. Since fasting will make you eat fewer meals, then you will consume fewer calories. In addition, fasting decreases insulin levels, increases HGH, and increases norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
This all leads to increased breaking down fat. Moreover, fasting also increases your metabolic rate and therefore allows you to burn more calories.
3. Reduce Insulin Resistance
Type 2 Diabetes has been among the most common diagnoses throughout the recent decades. Interestingly, intermittent fasting shows that it can improve insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels, but only for men. However, this is still beneficial for people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The Bottom Line
Losing weight is a stressful and challenging battle that many people have struggled with before until now. That is why numerous diets and health trends are created to help people with this particular problem.Even though health trends quickly come and go, intermittent fasting has shown promising effectiveness and results. However, it is most effective if paired with eating a healthy diet, drinking the best creatine supplements, and an active lifestyle.