Intermittent Fasting Has Become a Popular Method to Attempt Weight Loss

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Intermittent fasting is gaining traction as a desired health and fitness procedure for weight loss. It is an eating plan allowing one to switch regular eating schedules with fasting. The process involves patterns of periodic eating and fasting. Unlike dieting, intermittent fasting does not glue an individual to specific foods but schedules when one eats. Many people depict it as an eating pattern. It involves routine fasts for 16 hours or 24 hours, for a specific number of times a week. Fasting is not new to the human revolution, and it goes as far back as the hunter-gatherer era. As a result, humans are not strangers to staying for extended periods without food. Intermittent fasting helps reduce one's calorie intake since it involves eating nothing or very little. Let’s delve into how intermittent fasting works and the benefits it holds to individuals.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Intermittent fasting works in several different ways depending on the schedules for eating and fasting. The 16/8 method is among the most popular plans that many individuals follow. The process entails fasting for 16 hours a day and an eating plan for the remaining 8 hours. Some research shows that using the appropriate time-restricted eating patterns like 16/8 can help prevent hypertension and can result in weight loss.

When it comes to the 5:2 fasting pattern, an individual is required to fast for two days of the week while eating for the rest of the five days. The process restricts one’s calorie intake to 500-600 during the two days they fast. An example includes eating every day and fasting on Mondays and Thursdays.

Eat stop Eat is another popular intermittent fasting method that involves fasting for 24 hours for non-consecutive days. It may be one or two days per week for one to go without food. During normal eating days, one is advised to settle for a balanced diet to avoid overeating, and with the 24 hour-fasting days, one consumes fewer calories resulting in loss of weight. The Eat stop Eat fasting method allows zero-calorie drinks during the fast.

Alternate-day fasting is a form of intermittent fasting involving fasting every other day. It may not be sustainable for beginners since it is an extreme form of fasting. The process may involve going to bed hungry a couple of days every week, which is very challenging for beginners. A combination of the alternate-day and endurance exercise results in greater weight loss as opposed to fasting alone.

Ancient warriors had eating and fasting patterns. A warrior diet is a form of intermittent fasting reflecting the eating arrangements of ancient warriors. The fasting pattern involves eating minimal amounts during the four hours and fasting for 20 hours.

Expected Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is gaining ground rapidly, due to its tremendous benefits. Here are a couple of benefits that result from intermittent fasting:

  • Helps an individual in losing weight and visceral fat - People try intermittent fasting for various reasons, weight loss being top on the list. In general, intermittent fasting makes an individual eat less since it gives them fewer meals. When individuals do not compensate for the lost meals, they take in fewer calories into their bodies. The process encourages hormone function to facilitate weight loss. Short-term fasting is known to increase one’s metabolic rates, helping in burning calories. Regular intermittent fasting reduces the amount one eats over time, making it ideal for weight loss. In such cases, individuals usually see a difference in their weight within weeks of fasting.
  • Reduces oxidative stress and body inflammation - Oxidative stress involves an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in one’s body. The free radicals are unstable molecules and can react with protein and DNA, damaging them. As a result, intermittent fasting is among the ways an individual’s body resists oxidative stress. It also helps in fighting inflammation, a critical driver of several diseases. In essence, intermittent fasting works against the development of various diseases and aging.

In the end, for many people, intermittent fasting helps individuals adapt to healthier eating patterns that can result in weight loss. People fast for different reasons, but a common denominator is that intermittent fasting promotes a healthy lifestyle.

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