Obesity has been the risk factor for many fatal diseases like type II diabetes, heart attack, hypertension, and even several types of cancer. Obesity has become a massive concern for every individual in this modern era. So, people are trying out different ways to fight against obesity. Intermittent fasting has emerged as a hot topic in the weight-loss area. Many people have turned towards intermittent fasting for a steady weight loss in a periodic manner. Let us dive deeper to know more about it.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting that focuses more on time-interval between successive food intake. It concentrates more on the time we take the next meal, rather than the nature of the food we eat. It is nothing but a cyclic pattern of easting and fasting. There are different types of intermittent fasting followed like 16/8 fasting, 5:2 fasting, alternate day and eat-stop-eat fasting.
Types of Intermittent Fasting:
16/8 fasting is one of the popular methods followed by everyone. In the 16/8 method, people fast for 16 hours and fix their eating period for 8 hours. For instance, if one eats the meal at noon and dinner at 8 pm, they shouldn’t eat till the next noon. Alternate day fasting requires fasting on every alternate day. During the fasting day, the calorie intake would be very minimum, and the person resumes regular eating on the other day.
When a person observes 24-hour fasting twice per week, it will fall under the eat-stop-eat category. In the 5:2 method, people resume fasting for two days a week. While under fasting, the calorie intake would be low, like 500 calories for the day. Apart from these methods, there are other options as well. It includes a warrior diet, spontaneous meal skipping and so on.
What happens inside our body?
Let us understand what exactly is happening in our body during fasting. Generally, our body breaks down the food we eat into glucose and supplies energy to all parts. Excess glucose if any, gets converted into glycogen for future use. When the body doesn’t get the regular calories, it starts using the reserved glycogen by reconverting it into glucose and uses it.
But this process doesn’t get sustained for a longer time. It is at those times, the liver begins ketosis, breaking down fat and using it for fueling power to the body. Thus, the body switches to metabolizing fat for energy. In this process, unnecessary fat gets utilized, resulting in weight loss.
Reduction in Weight:
Many studies have shown that intermittent fasting helps in reducing weight in many ways. A study from Pennington Biomedical Research showed alternate fasting helped in reducing fat along with decreased insulin levels. Norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter and hormones play a role in increasing the body’s metabolism. University of Vienna study concluded fasting might help in greater burning of calories. Thus, Intermittent fasting helps in reducing weight.
Not only this, intermittent fasting boosts up ketosis in our body. Therefore, weight loss gets multiplied. Research shows that the human growth hormone (HGH) could aid in losing fat. University of Virginia Medical school results bolster the point that fasting induces HGH to a significant level. People observed reduction in waist circumference, meaning that belly fat gets reduced.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
Intermittent fasting does not only help in reducing weight but also reducing the risk of significant chronic disease. Early study and current research have paved a path on its ability to reverse type II diabetes, augmented by a low-carb diet. Studies have shown fasting could help in improving brain function, reduce inflammation, decrease bad cholesterol level, thus increasing longevity.
Indeed, intermittent fasting helps in reducing weight and paves the way for reaping additional benefits. But it may not be suitable for everyone as it alters the food cycle. Also, people suffering from an eating disorder and other ailments could find it extremely difficult to follow. But there lies a substantial beneficial factor by practising it. So, it’s best to get the advice from the expert to know the correct way and enjoy the fruit of success.