Intermittent fasting isn’t like dieting. Here you have the freedom to choose from your favourite dishes. But the good thing about intermittent fasting is – it can give you similar results like dieting, without actually dieting.
You will find this post interesting if you love tasty food but also want to stay healthy and in shape.
In this post you will read about the concept of intermittent fasting, it’s different variations, benefits of intermittent fasting and how you can fit it in your normal life.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating where you eat for a specific time window then you fast for a longer time window.
Most popular intermittent fasting is known as the 16/8 method. Where you only eat during an 8 hour time window and fast for 16 hours and it repeats.
In this method, most people simply skip their breakfast and eat lunch at around 1 pm. Some people eat 2 big meals and some eat 2 regular meal and another small meal during their 8 hour eating time. If you eat your lunch at 1 pm then you can eat your last meal for the day at 8 pm.
Intermittent fasting with a fulltime job
It’s possible to follow intermittent fasting while working a 9 to 5 job. But in the beginning, some might find it hard to adapt.
If you find it difficult to fast for 16 hours then you can lower the fasting time.
You can try by lowering the time for one-two hours.
To make it further easy you can try fasting for 12 hours. It’s very suitable for a busy person or someone who has a demanding job. You can try fasting from 9 pm to 9 am or 8 pm to 8 am.
What you can expect from doing intermittent fasting for one year?
You can expect to lose 10-12 pounds of weight plus 3-4% of body fat by doing intermittent fasting for one year.
Now let’s talk about the benefits of intermittent fasting.
7 Health benefits of intermittent fasting
1. It limits your calorie intake
When you are following an intermittent fasting method like 16/8, you only eat for 8 hours in a day. This helps you to limit your calorie intake.
Normally people consume more calories than their body needs. One way to be healthy and not growing fat in your body is to exercise 4-5 days in a week to burn those extra calories in your body.
Especially people who have a habit of eating fast foods consume a lot of calories in their food. Fast foods have higher calories in them and have less healthy nutrients in them.
With intermittent fasting, you can stop your body from accumulating extra fat in your body by limiting your calorie intake for the day.
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2. You eat what you eat but still lose weight
Intermittent fasting is not the same as dieting. If you follow a weight loss diet and want to eat chicken then most probably you have to go with boiled chicken.
If you are a food lover and want to lose weight then intermittent fasting is best for you. Here you don’t have to compromise on the taste of the food.
In intermittent fasting, eating time-period is shorter than the fasting time. So, you will automatically consume fewer calories.
Also, when people follow intermittent fasting they prefer to eat a nicely cooked meal that has all the essential nutrients. So that they don’t feel hungry during the day.
While you are on fasting you can drink water and low-calorie beverages like tea and coffee (without adding sugar and milk) to refresh your mood.
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3. Intermittent fasting improves metabolic health
Metabolism is a process that helps our body to burn fat naturally. With higher metabolism rate your body is more capable of burning extra fat.
In intermittent fasting, you are spending a large chunk of your day in fasting. It’s already proved that fasting boost human metabolism.
A study done by Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology found that – fasting can help people lose weight, improve metabolic health and “help reverse some effects of ageing.” source ScienceDaily
4. Intermittent fasting has anti-ageing benefits
Studies show that with intermittent fasting you can avoid getting ageing signs on your body.
When you are doing intermittent fasting, your body insulin level drops during your fasting period. This significantly increases autophagy in your body. Autophagy is a natural process in the human body that tears down and recycles damaged molecules from the body.
Basically, it helps your body to get rid of weak or damaged cells.
5. Forces the body to use fat as an energy source
When your body in fast for 12-16 hours. It already uses the carbohydrates for supplying energy to the body. Now when it can’t get more carbohydrate it uses stored fat in your body to supply energy.
Isn’t it amazing?
A lot of people already have enough fat in their body. Intermittent fasting can help to burn those fat more efficiently.
6. Helps to remove waste from our cells
As I already mentioned in topic 4 that – intermittent fasting initiates autophagy. It’s a natural cellular ‘waste removal’ process.
Clearing the body’s retired cells slows ageing and extends life.
Autophagy “on a larger scale, it prompts regeneration and healthy cells” – Source Healthline
Also read: 10 Benefits of cycling
7. Intermittent fasting is easier than dieting
Dieting can stop you from enjoying many fun moments from your life. When you are in a diet you can no longer eat your friends birthday cake. Also, it restricts the eating of many delicious foods.
The benefit of following intermittent fasting is you have no restrictions on what food you eat. And of course, it is easier than dieting.
Intermittent fasting does allow you to choose what you want to eat. But it does not mean you should eat unhealthily. To get the most out of intermittent fasting you should also focus on consuming healthy nutrients.
It’s important because only then you can allow yourself to eat chocolate cake and some desserts on certain occasions.
You should avoid these foods when you are on intermittent fasting. They increase your body fat percentage.
Also, you can be more healthy and fit if you make a habit of exercising. Read this post to know about a workout routine which will take 10-20 minutes. It doesn’t require any types of equipment or needs to go to the gym. You can do it anywhere.