What is intermittent fasting for weight loss?

What is intermittent fasting for weight loss

Intermittent fasting is one of the trending diets of 2019. Generally, people who has followed intermittent fasting has found significant weight loss, muscle gain and overall betterment of health. The concept of intermittent fasting is nothing new especially for Indians. In India, fasting has cultural and religious significance.  As the name suggests, it is fasting for several hours or days depending on type of intermittent fasting one is following. I personally am a believer of intermittent fasting but it is not a diet that everyone can follow.

Read More: What is Keto Diet?

What is intermittent fasting?

It is a cycle between period of eating and period of fasting. This diet is not based on how much you eat, rather it is when you eat food. Person is allowed to eat for specific time interval and fast for longer period. Now there are various types of intermittent fasting, where you can eat whatever you want to eat but during specific time period.

Types of intermittent fasting
for weight loss

  1. 5.2 program: it is 5 days of normal eating and 2 days of controlled eating. In this type of diet person is allowed to eat normally for 5 days in a week, and 2 day to eat only 500-600 calories (very little). The person can alternate the days of eating and days of controlled eating on their preferences. 
  2. Leangians: in this type of diet the person is allowed to eat normally for 8-10 hours every day and fast for rest 14-16 hours. Person can eat pretty much whatever they want during 8-10 hours, but it is advised to eat carbs, proteins and fats in moderation only.
  3. Eat stop eat: in this type of diet the person eats for only 5 days a week and fast for full day one and two.
  4. Warrior diet: in this type of diet the person eats only one meal in entire day. The person fasts for 20 hours and eat a big meal at night.
  5. Dubrow diet: It is a type of interval eating. Person can follow three different tracks. The fastest phase is of 16 hours of non-feeding period.

Several studies of intermittent fasting for weight loss

  1. I know some of you might not buy the story of intermittent fasting. But it does work. A case study of 2016 has shown evidence of beneficial intermittent fasting diet. In journal of translational medicine, it was found that people who practiced intermittent fasting loss weight body fat much faster than people of controlled group. 
  2. Another case study of2012 from nutrition journal evident that intermittent fasting can help women to lose weight as well as lower their heart diseases risks. But according to some studies intermittent fasting may not sound beneficial. 
  3. A case study of intermittent fasting in 2017 from JAMA evident that intermittent fasting of alternate day fasting doesn’t show benefits of weight loss better than calorie restriction diets. 
  4. And a similar case study of 2018 from journal of clinical nutrition shows if fasting is not right for you, you should try restricting calories.
  5.  In a study of 2018 from British Journal of Nutrition stated that intermittent fasting improves triglyceride level and blood pressure. So, from these studies I can say, “it is ok to follow this diet of your overall health is good”. 

Benefits of intermittent fasting

Here are some benefits of intermittent fasting that convince you to follow this diet

1. Keeps you on track

I know a lot of you guys have followed some diet and might have end up eating more than what you were supposed to be. If you are a kind of person who over indulge on dessert and every time you try to stick to a diet plan, you screw it up. Whereas in this diet you are allowed to eat almost everything but in moderation and fast for 16 hours or less, which makes you easy to follow a diet and be on track

2. Get control over appetite

When you are intermittent fasting your hunger, hormones don’t release that often. The body gets a better hormonal balance which helps to take over control of your appetite.

3. Anti-aging boost

It is not a cure for wrinkled skin or saggy skin, but it helps to promote human growth hormone. The science behind this fact is that intermittent fasting creates a stress condition on mitochondria of cells which gives them a signal to boost up their function.  It also helps to improve brain health. It also slows down the ageing process

4. Control diabetes

This type of diet makes the cells more sensitive to insulin. Whenever you eat the body releases insulin to take up the sugar for energy. But in prediabetic condition the patient becomes resistant to insulin, which means the cells don’t respond well to insulin and don’t take up sugar from blood. Therefore, the blood sugar level elevates. But when you eat after longer durations, the body is required to pump out insulin less often.

5. Weight loss

Intermittent fasting boost up the metabolism. When there is no glucose available the body Is forced to use fat stored in form of triacylglycerol and burns it instead hence fastens the weight loss process.

Apart from these benefits intermittent fasting is not for everybody.

Who should not follow intermittent fasting for weight loss ?

There could be many reasons also not to follow intermittent fasting. Some of them are:

1. On medication

People who are on medications should not follow this diet because if you go too long between your meals, it may increase risk of blood sugar level fall down.

2. When you can’t resist carbs

If you eat a lot of carbs during your eating period when you are fasting can disbalance your blood sugar levels. Especially refined sugars raise the blood sugar level. So, if you eat a lot of carbs than you may end up pretty hungry and irritable

3. Eating disorder

If you had an eating disorder in past you should avoid this diet because intermittent fasting can mimic binge or restrict phase and can trigger you for eating disorders.

4. Pregnant?

And for obvious reasons, if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant soon, you should avoid this diet. The reasons are pretty obvious because pregnancy is to a time to shed fats in your body. Just focus on nutritional eating.

How to do intermittent fasting for weight loss ?

The best type of intermittent fasting to follow is 16:8 plan. Because it allows you to eat for 8 hours and fast for 16 hours. Try a different time slot for the same to check what suits you the best. If you are comfortable with skipping breakfast or dinner. If you work out in the morning, you might prefer to skip dinner. During the 8 hours of eating you can almost everything but in moderation. Also, make sure that you are on medications because it can affect your health.

During 16 hours of fasting you can drink water, soda, coffee, green tea, etc. which are almost zero calories. But if you are drinking caffeinated drinks while fasting, it may interrupt your circadian rhythm and your metabolism. 

Consult a good doctor or dietician to help you out with the meal plan that suits you the best. But intermittent fasting is not good for the long term because it may affect your social life and enjoy dine outs if you are on your fasting period.

You can know more What is the Science behind Intermittent Fasting. Hope you like this post on intermittent fasting for weight loss. Share your thought in the comment section.

Thank you.

  • 2