A week ago, while prepping and discussing ideas for my next cooking class, one of the participants suddenly asked, “is intermittent fasting good?” Many successful stories about the benefits of intermittent fasting popped into my mind. Since my childhood, I have heard about numerous IF benefits related to weight loss, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar improvement.
So my immediate reply was a big yes, and I narrated to them the IF story of my friend Emma, who had put a lot of weight on after two children and was not finding any way to shed those pounds. After a hectic day, she could not find any energy for any HIIT exercise, and then I suggested her IF. She had no idea about it, as it was an alien term for her. She loved eating but wanted to lose weight, feel better, and reverse hypertension.
Like Emma, if you don’t know..
What is intermittent fasting, and how to take maximum benefit from it?
You need not visit any dietician or a health blog. Here, you will find the answer to all your questions.
IF is an eating pattern that encourages you to refrain from taking any calories for an extended period (usually 12 to 40 hours). Energy drinks and solid food is not allowed during the intermittent fasting period. However, you can take water, coffee, or zero-calorie drinks.
Let me make it more clear to you through this example. You took your dinner at 7 pm today, and you won’t have anything till tomorrow’s 7 pm. Twenty-four hours of fasting is hard to follow in this hectic routine. Whether you follow breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch, it is extreme for many and especially for beginners.
Three Best Ways to Add Intermittent Fasting to Your Diet:
1. Time-Restricted Eating
It generally involves daily 12 hours of fasting. You can start it from 8 hours and gradually take it to 16 hours. Following your day into 16/8. You can take 2-5 small portions during your eight-hour eating window.
2. 5:2 Diet
This popular method allows you regular calorie intake for five days a week and for two days, restrict your bound calorie intake to a maximum of 500-600 calories.
3. Alternate Day Fasting
Many follow the Eat Stop Eat method recommending 24 hours of fasting once or twice a week. But if you desire quick results, alternate day fasting is best for you.
Besides these three methods, you can also follow Military Diet that allows you to eat fruits and vegetables during the day and have one sufficient meal at night.
Pros and Cons
Dear fellows, everything comes with some pros and cons. The same goes with intermittent fasting.
- Good to support weight loss and boost metabolic health
- Easy lifestyle because you start saving time as you have to plan fewer meals
- Strengthens immunity
- might restrict intuitive abilities
- might lead some people to eating disorders
- might cause fatigue and moodiness
Remember, benefits are more than threats. Hence it is a big yes. If you are ready to give intermittent fasting a try, ensure to eat nutrient-dense food during your eating window because a quality diet is key to getting closer to your health goals.
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