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What You should know before trying intermittent fasting?

Intermittent Fasting and its Benefits
The social media age is famous for its influencers and trends. One hit reel is all it takes for the audience to follow. Intermittent fasting is currently one of the raging trends for aiding weight loss, regulating metabolism, and maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. But before jumping on the fasting bandwagon, let’s understand the benefits and side effects of intermittent fasting.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a meal plan in which a person alternates between fixed fasting and eating times. It isn’t about what you eat; it’s about when you eat. It’s about oscillating between periods of eating and fasting. Unlike traditional diets, intermittent fasting doesn’t concentrate on strict calorie reduction but on the timing of your meals.
Common methods include:
16/8 Method
You fast for 16 hours using this Method and eat solid meals only during the 8-hour window.
5:2 Diet
Eat a diet for five days and restrict your calorie intake to 500-600 calories for two days a week.
Eat-Stop-Eat
This technique involves fasting for 24 hours continuously. It can be done once or twice a week, but remember that if you aim at twice a week, add a 2- 3 day gap in it.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Have you ever realized how fitness was attainable in older times and is now a challenge? Intermittent fasting has evolved from past schedules and diets. With minimum entertainment choices, people used to eat an early dinner and follow a disciplined sleep cycle. They followed a scheduled diet, which trained the body to regulate its metabolism accordingly and burn calories. But this is the Netflix era; after dinner, we spend time binge-watching series or scrolling social media sites, relishing savory desserts or unhealthy snacks. Intermittent fasting functions by extending the time after your last meal when your body has utilized its available calories and starts to tap into fat reserves for energy.
The most common is the 16:8 formula of intermittent fasting, in which you fast for 16 hours and eat within the 8-hour window.

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting benefits are varied and can improve your overall health. Below are some compelling reasons individuals increasingly opt for intermittent fasting as part of their weight loss and wellness journey.
  • Weight Loss
  • Improved Metabolic health
  • Heart Health
  • Brain Function
  • Longevity

Intermittent Fasting Tips

Intermittent fasting for beginners can be challenging. Our bodies are not accustomed to staying hungry for a long time, leading to mood swings, hunger pangs, overeating, and loss of confidence. Here are some tips for a smooth intermittent fasting experience with effective results.
  • Up your fluid intake during fasting hours or days. Intermittent fasting is for solid foods only, so stay hydrated. Wait! That doesn’t mean you chug aerated cold drinks or alcohol. Choose health drinks and protein drinks to boost nutrition.
  • Eat healthy and filling meals when you can.
  • If you choose the 2-day Method, keep a 3-day gap between them.
  • Eat nutritious meals to avoid weakness.
  • In case of Diabetes or any other diseases, please consult your healthcare provider before starting.
  • Consider how you will fit intermittent fasting into your schedule and if you can manage it.
  • If your work involves fieldwork and a lot of travel, we suggest you refrain from intermittent fasting.
  • Be ready for potential side effects in the initial phase. Your body may experience irritability, hunger pangs, lower energy levels, etc. until it accustoms itself to this new schedule.

How To Start Intermittent Fasting Safely

Too much of a good thing can also be harmful. Consider the points given below to follow a safe and smooth intermittent fasting routine:
Start Slowly: Set realistic goals and start small. Instead of 16 hours, aim for 10 hours and increase slowly. Similarly, if you follow the 5:2 Method, start with half a day of fasting. Give your body time to adjust to these changes.
Listen To Your Body: Your body always communicates with you. Once you start intermittent fasting, pay attention to your symptoms and side effects. If you continuously feel faint and tired, try changing your intermittent fasting methods or talking to a healthcare official.
Eat Nutritious Meals: Eat nutritious meals to sustain your body through the fasting periods. Use the window periods of food wisely and fuel your body with nutrients to avoid weakness.

The Bottom Line

Last but not least, you need to follow the concept of intermittent fasting and not the rules. You can bend the rules to fit your body and schedule. What works for one body may not work for another; hence, listen to your body and introduce this new concept to it slowly and steadily. Stay consistent, and give it some time.
Love yourself and stay positive.
Happy Fasting!!!

Frequently Asked Questions

Intermittent fasting is a meal plan in which a person alternates between fixed fasting and eating times. It works by extending the time after your last meal when your body has utilized its available calories and starts to tap into fat reserves for energy.
Intermittent fasting is mostly safe, but people with diabetes or other chronic diseases may need to tweak their fasting timings a bit. We suggest you speak to your doctor before trying it in case of prevailing health issues.
Everybody is different and reacts differently to fasting, but we suggest not exceeding the current set of methods.
Intermittent fasting doesn’t pose potential side effects except for slight irritability, mood swings, hunger pangs, and lower energy levels that too in its initial phase.

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