But the truth is, anyone trying to get in shape needs body detoxification – to burn out the extra calories and toxic waste to reduce weight. And a really beneficial and sophisticated approach for weight loss is none other than Intermittent fasting.
Now if you are unaware of this concept, and in exact words, it is eating for some hours of the day and then fasting for the rest of the day.
Mechanism of Intermittent Fasting:
The main idea behind intermittent fasting is that it gives you a break from digesting food. Taking fewer calories lowers blood sugar levels which aggravates fat loss. It may be especially useful if you are prediabetic or have type 1 or 2 diabetes.
Intermittent fasting also triggers a process called autophagy. This is a process in which your body removes damaged cells from the body or detoxifies your body.
This process starts when your body is at rest and not digesting food. Autophagy occurs when we are asleep. But it can also be triggered by exercise and starvation.
There are many different strategies for Intermittent fasting, but the most popular of them are these
- The 16/8 method
- The 5:2 diet
- The warrior diet
- Alternate day fasting
You can choose any of these approaches and add on to your weight loss plan. These small and simpler steps can help you shed your extra pounds. Now let’s get into the details of how intermittent fasting works and then discuss all the strategies to help you find out what suits you best.
1- The 16/8 Method:
It means you have 8-hour gaps between your diets! This is the most workable technique you can add to your routine. In this technique, if you take your dinner before 6 p.m. and take your breakfast at 10 a.m., you can easily go with this approach. And don’t worry; you can choose any 8-hour window to eat and consume food.
The recommended duration for fasting is 16 hours, and eating should be limited to 8 hours. The most important aspect of this type of fasting is avoiding unhealthy snacking and, occasionally, munching, which is the root cause of your weight gain.
It is preferable to take plain water or sugarless coffee during fasting hours. During meal times, it is important to ensure you eat a balanced diet and healthy snacks. Because if you do not stick to healthier options, you will lose the benefits of fasting.
This approach is based on a time-restricted feeding (TRF) model, which is more flexible and easy to adopt. According to a recent study, a form of time-restricted eating, intermittent fasting, has been shown to have positive results in both weight loss and a decrease in inflammation levels.
2- The 5:2 diet:
The same rule applies to this type of intermittent fasting for weight loss. You have to watch your calories while you are not fasting. You cannot eat everything. You have to stick to a restricted-calorie diet!
An advantage of a 5:2 diet is that it’s entirely up to you on which days you want to eat a regular diet. And which days of the week do you take a restricted diet? It’s a more flexible approach that gives you freedom per your schedule.
According to recent research, weight loss and metabolic diseases, for example, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, can be successfully prevented by following a 5:2 diet and restricting calorie intake.
Restricting your diet to a low-calorie diet is a challenging task. Doing it on your own may cause headaches and weakness. So it would be best to talk to your health care provider or the coach before starting this diet.
In this fasting plan, you fast completely for one or two non-consecutive days of the week and resume your regular diet for the rest of the days of the week.
The logic behind this plan is that you consume fewer calories, leading to weight loss. You can trigger a metabolic shift in your body by fasting for a maximum of 24 hours. This metabolic shift will cause it to change the energy source from glucose to fat stored in the body, as stated by a study published in 2017.
This plan requires a large amount of self-control because eating after a 24-hour period can result in an excessive amount of food being consumed and an irregular pattern of eating.
4- The Warrior Diet:
In the 20 fasting hours of the day, you can take hard-boiled eggs, small amounts of dairy products, and raw vegetables and fruits in these hours.
In the rest of the 4 hours, you are allowed to eat anything. You should take healthy, unprocessed, and organic food to avoid excessive and unhealthy calories.
Although there is not much research on the Warrior Diet, several human studies suggest that weight loss may be associated with a time-restricted feeding cycle.
The warrior diet requires much more research to understand its beneficial role in weight loss fully.
Besides its benefits, this technique is a bit difficult to follow because of its long hours of fasting. And it may also cause overeating and overconsumption of calories at night.
So if you find it challenging, you can talk to your coach or medical practitioner to discuss this plan’s pros and cons.
5- Alternate Day Fasting:
Some versions of this approach also allow you to take restricted calories on fasting days. Most likely, you can take a 500-calorie restricted diet.
However, some other versions don’t allow any calories, and you have to observe a complete fast every alternate day.
Alternate-day fasting not only helps in weight loss but also helps avoid weight regain. According to a study, Alternate Day Fasting is a safe and tolerable approach to weight loss and reduces the risk of weight regain.
Observing alternate-day fasting plans can be challenging, especially if you are new to fasting. To help you stay on target with your weight loss goals, make sure that you are tracking the calories you are consuming on the days that you are not fasting.
Research conducted in 2015, 3 to 12 weeks trials shows that alternate-day fasting appears to be doing wonders at reducing body weight, body fat, cholesterol, and triglycerides in normal-weight, overweight, and obese humans.
Effect of Intermittent Fasting on Hormones:
Two prominent metabolic changes occur in the body during fasting hours.
- Insulin levels
- Norepinephrine levels
When we eat food, our insulin levels rise, and excess glucose is stored in the cells in the form of fats. But when you fast, insulin levels deplete and cause cells to release stored glucose and utilize its energy which causes weight loss.
On the other hand, norepinephrine produced by your nervous system triggers the breakdown of body fat into free fatty acids, which later can be turned into energy.
Since a lot of research is being conducted on intermittent fasting, its long-term benefits for weight loss are still to be discovered.
Intermittent Fasting Calculator:
You can calculate your intermittent fasting schedule through various calculators available on the internet.
But it is recommended to talk to your coach or doctor to choose an intermittent fasting plan that suits you best and doesn’t affect your daily routine and work.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting:
Intermittent fasting is helpful in losing weight, improving heart health, reducing inflammation, and improving cellular repair. Intermittent fasting may also prevent cancer. Let’s break them down and talk about each one separately.
Improves Heart Health:
- blood pressure
- blood sugar levels
- Cholesterol levels
According to a recent study, Intermittent fasting has shown reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in human studies.
Intermittent fasting enhances weight loss with the help of hormones. Insulin levels drop in the body, and norepinephrine levels increase due to fasting. It causes the release of stored fats from the body and results in weight loss.
The most incredible aspect of intermittent fasting is that you don’t count calories in this technique. Instead, the whole phenomenon of intermittent fasting is based on taking fewer calories.
In this intermittent fasting approach, you also have to watch your diet during eating hours. Avoid binge eating and eat a healthy diet to add to fast weight loss.
Reduce Blood Sugar Levels:
Intermittent fasting helps in diabetes by lowering insulin levels and depleting stored fats in the body.
According to research, Intermittent fasting diets have certain therapeutic effects on blood glucose in patients with metabolic syndrome and improve insulin resistance.
Cancer, in reality, is working off your body against itself. It’s actually the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. Intermittent fasting has shown positive effects on the metabolism, which reduces the risk of cancer.
As per a recent study published in the European Journal of Public Health, intermittent fasting had a positive effect on the appearance of tumors.
It may be by slowing down the cancer incidence through the reduction of the number of lesions and inflammation of the tissues or by reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.
But with all that, more research is required on humans on this topic.
Other than hunger, you may also feel a bit weak. It’s a good idea to consult your coach or doctor and get a personalized plan.
- Taking some medications
Or if you have kidney stones or any other medical condition. It would be best if you took advice from your doctor before starting intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is an exclusive technique to reduce weight, but it can give better results if combined with a healthy diet and exercise regime.
To achieve your goals fast, you can reach out to us at www.swimcore.com or call us. You can also visit us personally for more guidance and personalized plans.