Exercise, diet and proper sleep are the three most important factors to keep you fit and healthy. Any disruption in any of these three factors might result in an unhealthy and unfit body. It is not very difficult to take care of your body. You just need to take a balanced nutritious diet, have a healthy sleep and exercise a little daily. However, these things can become tricky for a good many people to manage as a result of which, they need to work a little harder at their bodies to get fit and reduce their extra fats. Apart from vigorous exercise, dieting can be very helpful for reducing fats and getting one back to a good shape. A form of dieting is intermittent fasting which is the basic subject matter of the article.
What is fasting – Why is it important
Fasting is a practice of abhorring or abstaining from the consumption of food, drinks, or/and both, for a given time period. Most of you fast for at least a fraction of the day. Usually the time in which one sleeps, which can be from 6-8 hours, one fasts regularly. Physiologically, fasting might refer to a human being’s metabolic state after no food overnight or the metabolic status after the completion of the digestion of a meal. So basically fasting means the state of body where the body has not received food for about 8 to 10 hours.
If fasting is done, it may lead to a lot of metabolic alterations within your body. The changes usually begin at about three to five hours post meal, at the time when your body reaches a “post-absorptive” phase – rather than a state of ongoing digestion, in which eating meals frequently means your body is involved in some kind of digestion throughout.
Whether you are practicing the long-term fasts for any kind of health reasons or just for some kind of spiritual belief, almost everyone needs to fast at some point for the medical reasons.
However, ‘Fasting’ or ‘Fasting for the loss of weight’ is quite abroad description for a style of just ‘not eating’, just as ‘Eating’ or ‘Eating for the loss of weight’ might cover about any kind of diet that exists.
Categories of fasting
One must realize before going further that, all fasting isn’t the same, as different styles of eating are not similar. Roughly categorizing fasting can either be long-term fasting or short-term fasting depending on the duration of the fast and the calorie intake.
Long-term fasting: This can simply be described as the kind of fasting where one has had a fast for at least 72 hours or more.
Short-term fasting: This is referred to as an abhorrence of food or any calorie intake for the time period of less than 72 hours.
However the most complicated and productive kind of fasting is the intermittent fasting which had been discussed thoroughly in the article.
Literal meaning of intermittent fasting
If the two words are broken they mean the following:
Intermittent- Something which occurs occasionally or at regular or even irregular intervals.
Fasting – Taking a kind of break from the habit of eating (zero calorie intake) for any given time period without an interval from one of the fasts to the next one.
So literally, intermittent fasting means ‘Occasionally taking a kind of break from eating’.
The patients who are undergoing surgeries or any other kind of medical procedures which require a general anesthetic do fast prior to that treatment, however fasting is also practiced before quite a few number of medical tests, like the cholesterol testing, the blood glucose measuring, or even a lipid panel. Fasting enables the doctors to get an accurate assessment of the results and also establish a really solid baseline for informing future testing, if needed.
INTERMITTENT FASTING BASICS
The intermittent fasting works in a really simple way. You need to fast at least once or even twice a week. Make sure to aim for an absolute break from eating for about 24 hours at a stretch. For instance, you may eat normally till 7 p.m. on a given Wednesday, and then fast till 7 p.m. on Thursday, resuming your regular meal at that particular time. If you are not being able to make it for the entire 24 hours, then even 20 to 24 hours can work. For the next two days, eat about 2,000 calories each day (for women) and about 2,500 calories (for men); and you must not fast consecutively for two days.
After some usual eating days, again have another fasting day and keep repeating the schedule. You must not have more than two fasts in a week. By doing a fast even once a week, you should create a calorific deficit of about 10 percent which is excellent.
The FASTING AND The NON-FASTING DAYS
On the fasting days, you should try taking no calories or at least take in as few calories as you can. At the most, you can have beverages like coffee, tea, and diet soda, plain or even sparkling water. When you are breaking your fast after 24 hours, you may eat whatever you want, but if course in moderation, since overeating might undo the unbelievable benefits of your fast. You don’t need to avoid or neglect any particular food, like carbs; as a matter of fact, a really low-carb diet might adversely affect the energy levels of the person on the non-fasting days.
You may consume lots of vegetables, fruits, as well as spices. You can take about 20 grams to 30 grams of good-quality protein. Do this for every four hours which makes it about 100 grams of protein daily. Some of this might even come from the protein powders, if necessary. However, if you still are not being able to loose ample weight, you might try to cut down the food intake in the non- fasting days by about 10 percent.
5 benefits of intermittent fasting
The benefits of intermittent fasting are absolutely endless. You can be benefitted by this easy and inexpensive practice so much, that you might not even believe it. However, there is no reason to not believe. After all, it has been clinically proven. Also, if you really want loose weight, get in shape and remain fit, then Intermittent fasting is just the thing to do. Given below are 5 astonishing health benefits of intermittent fasting
General improved tolerance of the glucose
For the diabetics, intermittent fasting may be a wonderful way to normalize their glucose levels. It can also improve the glucose variability in your body. Anyone who is looking for a really natural and organic way of increasing the insulin sensitivity must attempt intermittent fasting. This is because the effects of such a fasting might make a lot of difference in how the body processes the glucose.
Usually, insulin resistance is a result of the accumulation of the glucose in the tissues. These tissues do not have the build for the storage of fats. As your body burns through the stored fuel in the stored form of fat, the excess accumulation reduces and allows the cells in the muscles and the liver to grow very responsive to the insulin. It is an amazing thing for someone who is looking not to be immensely dependent on the medicines.
You can understand your hunger better
It is very important to be able decipher accurately the various signals that your body usually gives you. In fact, the intermittent fasting is an absolutely wonderful way to understand what your body needs. You can better understand what is the cycle of appetite and hunger in your body. Before the true hunger sets in your body and your body enters a “starvation mode”, you can surely feel the pangs of “hunger”. These pangs are usually due to the psychological cravings. Your emotional desire can be confusing especially with the hunger all the time. However, intermittent fasting will surely give the practitioners an opportunity of experiencing the real “hunger pains” within their stomach. You can also find yourself going through the withdrawal as well as the detox symptoms which is the common fallout of the usual consumption of the processed foods.
It boosts your immune system
Intermittent fasting, if done on a weekly basis, might enable your body to cleanse the damaged and the inefficient cells of your immune system. It can also help to replace such cells with new immune system cells. Studies have shown that an intermittent fast of 72 hours was enough to protect the cancer patients from toxic effects of the chemotherapy treatment. This treatment usually causes damage to the patient’s immune system.
It can help you in preventing cancer
Intermittent fasting has an impressive ability- that of stimulating the growth hormone production. It is very important for the reduction of chances of developing various kinds of cancers. Eating regularly triggers the production of more new cells which might speed up the development of many cancer cells. Fasting gives the body some rest from such activities and therefore reduces the chances of having cancerous cells.
It immensely improves the functioning of your heart
A lower percentage of body fat achieved through Intermittent fasting can have wide-reaching advantages through the whole body. However, it is possibly not more important than the cardiac functioning. Studies and research have shown that the Mormons show considerably lower cardiac mortality. This is because they do not drink or eat a lot of meat and since they practice Intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting may lead to a significant reduction in the cholesterol levels. This is especially true for the triglycerides, which your body uses for creating energy. Containing less amount of body fat takes a lot of strain off your kidneys. Consequently, it helps in lowering the blood pressure and also increasing the production of the growth hormones. All of these combined, may result in unbelievable health benefits. It can also present you with a significant improvement in the functioning of the heart.