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Simran Kataria- 02 October 2022

Intermittent fasting: All you need to know

FFasting has been a practice throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter-gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available year-round. Sometimes they couldn’t find anything to eat. As a result, humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time. In fact, fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day. In recent times, “intermittent fasting” has gained vast popularity around the world. Let us acquaint you with all that you need to know about the same.

What is intermittent fasting?

 Intermittent fasting is a diet regimen that cycles between brief periods of fasting, with either no food or significant calorie reduction, and periods of unrestricted eating.

It is promoted to change body composition through loss of fat mass and weight, and to improve markers of health that are associated with disease such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

How does it work?

The idea behind intermittent fasting is that by restricting food, our bodies will more quickly and efficiently tap our fat stores for energy. While glucose from carbohydrates is our most direct fuel source, we burn fat for energy when glucose isn’t available. This happens even more during times of food deprivation. Our ability to store fat is unlimited.

Intermittent fasting can be done in a variety of ways. There’s no “perfect” fasting plan, and it really should be based on what works best in your life.

Different approaches to intermittent fasting:

1. Alternate-day fasting—
Alternating between days of no food restriction with days that consist of one meal that provides about 25% of daily calorie needs.
Example: Mon-Wed-Fri consists of fasting, while alternate days have no food restrictions.

Whole-day fasting—
1-2 days per week of complete fasting or up to 25% of daily calorie needs, with no food restriction on the other days.
Example: The 5:2 diet approach advocates no food restriction five days of the week, cycled with a 400-500 calorie diet the other two days of the week.

Time-restricted feeding—Following a meal plan each day with a designated time frame for fasting.
Example: Meals are eaten from 8am-3pm, with fasting during the remaining hours of the day.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

Research shows that the intermittent fasting periods do more than burn fat. When changes occur with this metabolic switch, it affects the body and brain.

Studies revealed data about a range of health benefits associated with the practice. These include a longer life, a leaner body and a sharper mind.

 Many things happen during intermittent fasting that can protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease and many cancers.

Here are some intermittent fasting benefits research has revealed so far:

-Thinking and memory: Studies discovered that intermittent fasting boosts working memory in animals and verbal memory in adult humans.

-Heart health: Intermittent fasting improved blood pressure and resting heart rates as well as other heart-related measurements.

Physical performance: Young men who fasted for 16 hours showed fat loss while maintaining muscle mass. Mice who were fed on alternate days showed better endurance in running.

Diabetes and obesity: In animal studies, intermittent fasting prevented obesity. And in six brief studies, obese adult humans lost weight through intermittent fasting.

Tissue health: In animals, intermittent fasting reduced tissue damage in surgery and improved results.




Should You Try It?

Intermittent fasting is not something that anyone needs to do. It’s simply one of many lifestyle strategies that can improve your health.

Eating real food, exercising and taking care of your sleep are still the most important factors to focus on.

At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to nutrition. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to in the long run.

Intermittent fasting is great for some people, not others. The only way to find out which group you belong to is to try it out.

If you feel good when fasting and find it to be a sustainable way of eating, it can be a very powerful tool to lose weight and improve your health.


Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/intermittent-fasting/ https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work https://health.ucdavis.edu/blog/good-food/intermittent-fasting-benefits-how-it-works-and-is-it-right-for-you/2022/02

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Article credit : Heidi Cohen ( https://heidicohen.com/use-blog-to-sell/ )

Article credit : Simran Kataria https://www.linkedin.com/in/simran-kataria-941449197/