Intermittent fasting is a diet plan. It tends to switch between fasting and eating on a regular schedule. We all know we tend to focus on what we eat. But the fact about intermittent fasting is quite different. It mainly focuses on time. It means when you eat. During intermittent fasting, we tend to during a specific time, so its primarily a time-restricted fasting. Sometimes people call it the 16:8 diet or 16:8 plan. It means people who follow this diet plan will fast for 16 hours a day. However, there are various types of methods of intermittent fasting, depending on the time. Well, people will have their food during the remaining for eight hours. But why do people follow this intermittent fasting? Is intermittent fasting healthy?
Well, scientists have declared that intermittent fasting is much effective just like a typical low-calorie diet.
On the other hand, it may help you to lower your risk of obesity-related diseases. Like diabetes, high-pressure arthritis, stroke etc. So when people ask about is intermittent fasting healthy? After seeing all kinds of health benefits, we have to admit that it’s healthy. But there are specific rules regarding this intermittent fasting which you have to acknowledge correctly. So from the article, we will get to know about all of this.
Table of Contents
What Is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting refers to a specific type of diet plan. While intermittent fasting, you don’t eat for some time each day or week. Intermittent fasting is considered one of the most popular health and fitness trends. It doesn’t specifically tell you what to eat but when to eat. The standard type refers to daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week. But there are other types. They are alternate day fasting,5:2 fasting; daily time-restricted fasting. Scientists stated that this intermittent fasting works by supporting the body’s circadian rhythm.
It is called an internal clock. So people who follow the 16:8 method tend to abstain themselves from food at a particular time. Like at night and part of the morning, they do not take any food. Hence they tend to have their food during the middle of the day. There is an interesting fact regarding this intermittent fasting. You will face no restrictions on the type or amounts of food. It means you can have any food. But try to have food containing all kinds of elements like carbs, protein, fat, and vitamins. In this way, your intermittent fasting will be worth it. Well, people often ask “Is intermittent fasting healthy?” Well, indeed it is. If you plan the type of intermittent fasting according to your health, then it’s beneficial because the flexibility will make the plan relatively easy to follow.
Types Of Intermittent Fasting
Fasting has been a great practice throughout human evolution. In primitive ages, people used to go hunting without eating anything all day. Hence humans evolved to be able to function without any food. They can survive without it for extended periods. On the other hand, fasting from time to time is very typical. Its more natural than always eating 3-4 meals per day. But there are many types of intermittent fasting. But most of them involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods. During the intermittent fasting, you eat either very little or nothing at all. The types are –
- The 16/8 method-Scientists call it the Leangais protocol. This type involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to a maximum of 8 hours. It can be like 1-9 or according to your flexible time. After that, you will fast for 16 hours in between.
- Eat stop eat -This type refers fasting for 24 hours. People can do this once or twice a week. Like they will not eat dinner one day until the next day.
- The 5:2 diet: This type involves consuming only 500-600 calories on two consecutive days of the week. But you can generally eat the other five days.
All types of methods will help you to lose your weight. But this will not work if you compensate by eating much more during the eating periods. Most of the people find the 16/8 method very convenient. That’s why they tend to stick to it. So this type is trendy among people.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
We all know we can follow intermittent fasting in many ways. But is it worth it? Is intermittent fasting healthy? Well, indeed, it is healthy. These types depend on how you choose to fast. Like you may eat only for eight hours each day and fast for the remaining hour. You may choose to eat only one meal a day, two days a week. The experts stated that the body tends to release sugar stores. Later it starts burning fat. They call it the metabolic switching.
If people have three meals a day and snacks and do not exercise, it’s unhealthy. Because the fat stores and eventually people gain weight. Intermittent fasting helps by prolonging the period after having food. It means that after having your last meal, your body tends to begin burning fat. What happens when you are following the intermittent fasting. But in the beginning, it may be hard for you to maintain this. It may take two to four weeks before the body gets used to this fasting. You may feel hungry or cranky while getting used to this. So is intermittent fasting healthy? Well, after maintaining the intermittent fasting, you will eventually feel a lot better.
What Should You Eat
Intermittent fasting does not explicitly tell you which food you can eat or not. But it mainly focuses on when you eat. But you should have healthy food for your good. If you consume too much unhealthy food, you will gain weight. Plus it will lead you too many diseases.
- You can have whole grains, brown rice, oats and barley.
- Can have poultry, fish, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, cheese and eggs.
- You can have olives, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.
- All kinds of fruits and vegetables.
- Fruits and vegetables and grains are filled with fibre. That’s why they are very healthy for us. They will keep us full and satisfied.
- Proteins will help us to build our bones. Beverages can play a significant role in satiety if you follow the 16/8 intermittent fasting.
- You can drink water or unsweetened teas and coffee throughout the day. Because it’s essential to consume fluids regularly to avoid dehydration. But it will be much better if you drink water only to keep yourself hydrated
How Can You Maintain Intermittent fasting?
It may be hard for you to maintain the intermittent fasting in the beginning. So you can follow some tactics.
- You can drink cinnamon herbal tea during the fasting period. It may suppress your appetite.
- You can have water throughout the day.
- Can avoid those food videos on the internet to stop the stimulation of your sense of hunger.
- You can exercise just before or during the eating window because exercise can trigger hunger.
- We can practise mindful eating while consuming meals.
- Meditation will help you to maintain this intermittent fasting.
If you ask ‘Is intermittent fasting healthy? Well, now you know the answer.
Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy And What Are The Benefits
Researchers have declared that intermittent fasting is beneficial mainly for weight control. It has other health benefits too. If you maintain this intermittent fasting, you may even live longer.
- Is intermittent fasting healthy? Well, it is very beneficial if you want to lose your weight. It can help you to lose your weight as well as belly fat. You can do this without having to restrict calories consciously.
- –Intermittent fasting may even reduce insulin resistance. It can lower the blood sugar by 3-6% Will save you from type 2 diabetes.
- It may reduce any kind of inflammation.
- Intermittent fasting tends to prevent cancer.
- Intermittent fasting can even improve blood pressure and resting heart as well.
- By doing intermittent fasting, you can improve your physical performance. Your muscle and bone will get more robust over time.
- It can even reduce bad LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance.
- Can be beneficial for brain health. It may help with the growth of new nerve cells. It can prevent Alzheimer’s diseases.
- Is intermittent fasting healthy? Well, of course, it is. It can extend our life span. So If we follow intermittent fasting, there’ ‘s a possibility we can live longer. So it’s a plus point for us.
- It creates a significant impact on our thinking and memory. It can boost verbal memory in adult humans.
How It’s Beneficial For Cells And Hormones
When we fast, changes also happen on the cellular and molecular level. Like our body adjust hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. Our cells tend to initiate necessary repair process and change the expression of genes. You can notice some changes in your body.
- Insulin sensitivity improves. It means levels of insulin tend to drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels tend to make stored body fat more accessible.
- Intermittent fasting can be beneficial for cellular repair. During fasting, our cells tend to initiate the cellular repair process. That may include autophagy. In this case, cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional protein. It builds up inside cells.
- We can see some changes in the function of genes. Intermittent fasting actually can protect us from diseases.
Does Intermittent Fasting Have Side effects?
When intermittent fasting, we tend to question ourselves, is intermittent fasting healthy? We feel weak during the fasting hour. Our brain may not perform appropriately during the time. But it may be temporary. Once you adapt to that schedule, you will be better eventually. But before following this, you need to consult your doctor first. There are some side effects you can notice while fasting
- You may be very hungry. Tiredness and weakness can occur in the beginning stages of intermittent fasting.
- Some people overeat or eat unhealthy foods during the 8-hour eating window due to excessive hunger.
- Heartburn can occur because of overeating.
- Some researchers have shown that intermittent fasting can negatively affect female fertility.
- People with anxiety disorder should not follow this. Otherwise, it can create a harmful impact on them.
- Intermittent fasting is not suitable for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive.
- People who have mental disorder should avoid intermittent fasting.
- If you have a problem with blood sugar regulation, then you should not try this.
- Underweight, then you should restrain yourself from trying this.
If you are healthy and well-nourished, then you can try intermittent fasting. Otherwise, it can lead you to many health issues.
Last Few Words
Well, it’s not necessary that you have to follow this intermittent fasting. But it is one of the many lifestyle techniques that can improve our health. But we all should eat our healthy food, exercise and get proper sleep. If you think that your regular eating habit works for you, then stick to do that. But if you want to bring some changes in your life by trying something new then try this. Most people try this so that they can lose weight. But is intermittent fasting healthy for you? Well, from the above discussion, you got an idea regarding intermittent fasting. It has some great benefits as well as some side effects.
So it depends on you. If you find it a sustainable way of eating, improving your health then tries this. This diet plan will be easier to follow than other types of diet plans. But while maintaining this, we should focus on eating high fibre foods. Besides, we should stay hydrated during the day. That’s why we need to drink water throughout the day. But this diet plan may not be suitable for everyone. So consult any nutritionist first before starting this. Stay healthy and strong.