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What is Intermittent Fasting | Do Intermittent Fasting works | Types of Intermittent Fasting | #intermittentfasting Personal Experience

Intermittents Fasting

What is Intermittent Fasting?

There are different types of the diet coming up every day for weight loss, one more adds to the list known as the Intermittent Fasting, which is trending globally for weight loss and fitness reasons. As the name shows, this is a cycle between fasting and time window for eating.

As the name describes itself, Intermittent fasting or fasting in intervals. The method doesn't describe "what" food you should eat, neither "calorie" intake in a day, nor the "exercise." Intermittent Fasting is all about "WHEN" you should eat.

This kind of diet can be simple for people who can skip their breakfast and dinner pretty easily, getting a long period of fasting time. But not for people who take a four-time to five-time meals in a day. While this type of fasting can be a better option for a few individuals, it can be harmful to the health of many others for weight loss.

We must also understand that our body takes time to adapt the changes we do to it, the same happens during an Intermittent Fasting, the windows of "eating" and "not eating" can be difficult initially, but with time our body gets used to it.

There are different types of Intermittent Fasting, So let's talk about the I.F. in more detail. But before that, let me tell what happens to our body when we fast, and how fasting leads to weight loss?


Fasting can be best described as when we stay without food and drink, for example, during sleeping at night. Besides this, fasting is a part of many religious and cultural practices, where food can be consumed only once a day, twice a day, after the sunset, just before sunrise. Fasting due to religious reasons can last for more than one to thirty days.

There can also be medical reasons where a person needs to fast for the betterment of health.

*Note- Fasting (only food is considered here) You should drink sufficient water while fasting.

What happens to the body during Fasting?

The human body is a complex machine. While in general, we know how the body works, it is still debatable how a particular individual reacts to the changes made to his/her body. In general, fasting is a state where the Insulin is at baseline, and no digestion occurs, which is 8 to 12 hours. When we stop eating for an extended period, our body naturally gets alert and starts working to compensate for things. It is essential to know when we lose weight in the first one, two days, it's just our water weight and not the fats. Let's look at how our body reacts during fasting.

Food - When we eat food rich in carbohydrates like rice, potato, bread, etc., the food travels down to our stomach. The digestive enzymes and acid break down the food into small pieces in the stomach, and the glucose is released. Then the food travels to the intestine where the glucose is absorbed and passed into the bloodstream. Once the glucose is in the blood, the Insulin helps it to get into the cells. And these cells use glucose as energy. After the required amount of energy is used, the extra glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.

First few days - When you start fasting, our body undergoes a process called, Gluconeogenesis (Metabolic process, which occurs in the liver to release glucose.)  During Gluconeogenesis, our liver converts amino acids and fats into glucose, which travels to the blood to give us energy. During the process, our body's basal metabolic rate (BMR) becomes active and uses less energy. Due to this, the heart rate and blood pressure decrease.

The next few days - Towards the third day, our body undergoes ketosis (a metabolic process that burns fat instead of carbohydrate to provide energy). As glucose becomes limited, the body starts burning fat for energy and breaks down the fat into glycerol and fatty acids. The liver further undergoes synthesis to provide glucose to our brain.

Afterward, the digestive system's healing process begins, and the body gets adjusted and used to the fasting.

When we fast beyond body healing time - Once the healing and cleansing process is over, slowly, the body runs out of these sources as well, coming to a starvation mode. During this point, our body's metabolism slows down, and eventually, our body begins to burn muscle tissues for energy.

So, we don't have to remember all the complicated things, just the thing to know is while dieting and fasting for few hours, for a day or two can be safe (unless any other health conditions are there), going on complete starvation, or out of calories for a long-term can affect our health.

Can Fasting cause Weight loss?

There is no known evidence or studies that show fasting can promote significant weight loss. Fasting for a day can put our body to a rest mode, giving it some time to heal and use the stored energy, but strict fast for a long time can cause health issues. As food provides the energy to work and the necessary nutrients to support the immune system, keep the organs healthy, and maintain the regular cycles of our body. 

Types of Intermittent Fasting

There are a few different types of Intermittent Fasting, and you can adopt a way to fast according to your facility, which will suit you the best.

1. 12:12 - 12 hours of fasting, and 12 hours window for eating (low-calorie food can be best due to small fasting window). We usually fast for 8 to 10 hours every day during the time of our sleep and can stretch the time for a couple of hours to adjust in the time window. For example, if we go to sleep at 9 o'clock at night of 8 hours and get up at 5 o'clock in the morning, which is eight hours, we can take breakfast at 8 o'clock. Or finish dinner before 6 o'clock. This can work best for beginners, and having a low-calorie diet is preferred due to 12 hours eating window.

2. 16:8 - 16 hours of fasting, and 8 hours of a window for eating. This can be the next step of the 12-hour fast method. So, if you take your dinner at 6' o'clock in the evening, you can eat a healthy brunch the next day at 10 o'clock in the morning. Else you could take the lunch directly, skipping the breakfast. A preferably moderate calorie diet is best, with 8 hours of eating window.   

3. 5:2 - In this type of Intermittent fasting, one should eat a healthy balanced diet for 5 days and 2 days of low-calorie food. Some prefer to have water fasting. And some prefer fruits and salads (less than 300 to 500 calories). Keep your calorie intake to moderation in the rest five days to achieve a healthy weight loss. 

4. Alternate day fasting - This type of fasting can be challenging initially, but choose a low-calorie diet on the fast days and moderate-calorie diet on the eating days; this will help in weight loss and a healthy metabolism. (Less than 300 to 500 calories/day) every other day is preferred, on the fast days.

5. Weekly fast - One day of water fasting in a week, fasting for 24 hours (breakfast to breakfast) can be difficult initially but helps our body to go on a rest mode for the day, which can be useful for our health. Many religious practices follow this 24 hours of fast in a week. During this fasting type, one must consume non-caloric drinks to be hydrated, so that sudden calorie deficit doesn't cause fatigue, headaches, and irritability.  

6. Warrior Diet - 20 hours of fasting and 4 hours of eating window. You should consult your doctor before going into this type of fasting, as it may need expert advice on your calorie and nutrients consumption per day.

Other than these diets, their few more fasting which includes 
1. Skipping a meal 
2. Eating certain low-calorie food

Who can go for an Intermittent Fasting?

1. If you don't have any medical conditions.
2. Have no doubts about any health issues.
3. Have no hormonal Disorders
4. Healthy or overweight.
5. Have tried a diet before.

Who should avoid Intermittent Fasting?

1. If you have eating disorders.
2. Hormonal disorders.
3. New to diet and workout.
4. During pregnancy.
5. Old age.
6. Depression.
7. Diabetes.
8. Chronic disorders.
9. Sleep disorders
10. Gastroenteritis

Intermittent Fasting is still debatable on what it does to your body and whatnot. And before going into any diet, we should learn about our weight gain reasons. As not only food but also hormonal disorders can increase body weight. So, it is essential to consult the doctor before going into any diet and lifestyle changes. The necessary test must know we are completely fit and healthy to go for specific fasting or diet routine.

*Disclaimer- This article is written to provide only information and general idea.
This article should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition.
Please consult your healthcare provider before any diagnosis, treatment, or medication.
The statistical information given is taken from internet sources.


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