Intermittent fasting is what Hugh Jackman claims to do for as many as 16 hours a day. It is also rumoured that Beyoncé does it twice a week.
And then there are those who swear that doing it every other day keeps them looking and feeling their best. So let us look at what exactly is intermittent fasting and how safe it is!
Any weight loss journey is not an easy task. While on one hand, it requires a huge amount of patience and perseverance, on the other hand, following the right methods for achieving your target is equally important.
People adopt fast tricks and methods which certainly helps in losing those extra pounds much faster, but forget that they are actually risking their health while doing so.
One weight loss method which is fast gaining popularity these days is intermittent fasting. But before you dig your hands into it, you better know what happens to your body when you fast.
5 Things That Happen to You When You Fast
1. Sugar Breakdown
Your body goes through the regular process of breaking down glycogen and storing glucose as fuel for energy.
After 5-6 hours depending on the sugar levels in your blood, you will reach the stage of ketosis, metabolic state, during which your energy levels are supported by ketone bodies in your blood.
This is a process of fat breakdown since broken down fat results in ketone bodies.
3. Cholesterol and Uric Acid Clean-Up
During the process of ketosis, several more important things will happen: your body will release cholesterol and uric acid into the bloodstream which is a part of a detoxification process in the body.
4. Resting of the Digestive System
Since your food intake has been reduced, the digestive system may take a rest.
But since the digestive process takes time, it is never fully stopped during intermittent fasting , only during the prolonged one.
5. Emotional Detox
After the first 6 hours of fasting, you will find yourself feeling hungry and maybe even overwhelmed. It may trigger some emotions like anger, frustration, feeling down or sadness.
It is crucial to deal with those emotions as they come and to remind yourself that there is a perfectly logical reason for your fasting.
Intermittent fasting is a method of fasting mostly used by people who would like to regulate their weight and calorie intake. The practice involves eating during certain hours of the day and abstaining from food during other hours.
This helps regulate “mindless munching” and still lets you eat your daily calorie count during “eating hours”. The most popular schedule for intermittent fasting is 8 eating hours with 16 hours of fasting either in bulk or split throughout the day.
Methods of Intermittent Fasting
The most popular intermittent fasting methods are the 14:10 method, which basically boils down to no snacking after dinner and skipping breakfast the next day, and the 5:2 method, which allows you to eat normally five days a week and restricts calories to 500-600 on the other two days.
There is no denying that calorie reduction, especially the drastic kind, will ultimately result in weight loss. And cutting snacks after dinner can certainly make you more aware of bad habits like eating a bag of chips while binge-watching Netflix.
However, intermittent fasting should be done mindfully. It is not a license to chow on pizza, cheeseburgers, and ice cream during feeding hours. And, as with any diet, you should consult your doctor before getting started.
Can You Stick to Intermittent Fasting?
The success of any weight loss plan depends on whether you will actually stick with it long enough to see results. So, which one is more sustainable?
In the study, 38 percent of people dropped out of the fasting group compared to 29 percent of people in the calorie-restricting group by the end of the year.
And over time, people in the fasting group started moving toward daily calorie restriction, potentially signaling that it could be hard to stick with in the long run.
6 Healthy Alternatives to Intermittent Fasting
Fasting is good but we do not recommend it for long term. Try the following methods instead!
1. Don’t Cut Your Kilojoules (calories) Dramatically
If you cut Kilojoules dramatically, you will find yourself in short supply of protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals and all at the expense of your health.
Your body needs nutrient-rich and highly oxygenated blood supply and plenty of minerals, as well as other nutrients like fats and proteins to be at its absolute best.
2. Have Protein in Every Meal
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet, it accelerates weight loss and keeps you full for longer.
3. Cut Out Refined Carbohydrates and Sugars
All refined carbohydrates break down in your body to produce sugar. This in turn will cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Refined carbohydrates and sugar also make you retain water and cause bloating, which is something you especially want to avoid. Say goodbye to processed food and forgo what is fried.
4. Move Your Body
Try any exercise you enjoy such as dancing, yoga, pilates, cycling or a brisk walk. Sleep well. Sleep replenishes, rejuvenates, restores.
5. Hydrate Your Body
Pure water is the most beneficial form of liquid to consume. Also, try to eat early.
6. Add Some Pepper
Red pepper, when eaten early in the day decreases food intake later in the day.
So instead of keeping yourself starved and devoid of food, try healthy and clean eating and feel the difference in you.
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