Want to learn about intermittent fasting? Know the best intermittent fasting schedule that works best for you.
In this article:
- Intermittent Fasting FAQ
- Why Intermittent Fasting is the Simplest Diet Ever
Although intermittent fasting has become popular these days for its weight loss benefits, fasting has been around as early as the 5th century BCE when Hippocrates recommended abstinence from food to patients exhibiting certain illnesses.
Here we answer some of the frequently asked questions about intermittent fasting and give you reasons why IF is a simple diet you can easily follow.
Intermittent Fasting Frequently Asked Questions
What is intermittent fasting, and how does it work?
Intermittent fasting is a duration of cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It’s more of an eating pattern than a diet. It does not explicitly say what to eat but rather when to eat. It is based on a diet schedule where there is time allocated for fasting and a window for eating.
People follow the intermittent fasting to improve general health, but mostly to lose weight.
Intermittent fasting involves cellular stress resistance and metabolic switching. Cells use glucose and fatty acids as the primary source of energy. After meals, the body uses glucose for energy, and the fat is stored in the adipose tissue as triglycerides. During periods of fasting, triglycerides are broken down into glycerol and fatty acids then used for energy.
During fasting, cells activate pathways that help defend against oxidative and metabolic stress and the cells that remove and repair damaged molecules.
What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Weight loss. Intermittent fasting may aid in weight loss. A study has concluded that alternate-day fasting resulted in weight loss in non-obese men and women during the 22 days.
Aging and lifespan. Studies on caloric restriction and intermittent fasting have shown that reduced food consumption significantly increases the lifespan. However, this can be influenced by several factors, such as sex, genetic factors, age, and diet.
Brain functions. Intermittent fasting has shown positive cognitive effects in animal and human experiments. Fasting benefits include improved spatial memory, verbal memory, executive functions, and global cognition.
Insulin Resistance. A holistic review of studies on the benefits of intermittent fasting has shown that Intermittent Fasting significantly improves insulin resistance and glycemic control alongside a decrease in BMI.
Which Intermittent Fasting schedule can I follow?
There are several ways to do Intermittent fasting, depending on which suits your preference and lifestyle best. Here are the three common IF schedules:
The 16:8 method. Also referred to as the Leangains protocol, this eating cycle involves fasting for 16 hours (14-15 hours for women), and feeding during the 8-hour window. For instance, skipping breakfast and eating from 12 noon to 8 in the evening, then fasting afterward.
Eat-Stop-Eat. This eating pattern allows you to eat as usual and then fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. For instance, skipping dinner until the next.
The 5:2 diet. In this method, you usually eat for 5 days and consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week.
What should I eat in Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting does not specify which foods to consume during window hours. However, eating smart is the best way to get the full benefit of IF; otherwise, overeating may just counteract its positive effects. Load up on high satiating food such as fiber, protein, and healthy fats to provide you with energy and make you feel full hours after each meal.
The real challenge lies between the fasting period. During fasting, you may suppress hunger by consuming low-calorie fluids such as black coffee, teas (without milk, sugar, or honey), and water.
How much weight can I lose in a month with intermittent fasting?
The amount of weight loss in a month is highly dependent on several factors, such as body metabolism and calorie intake. Intermittent fasting aids in weight loss, mainly because of decreased caloric intake. Generally, you’d need a 500-calorie deficit each day to lose one pound of fat per week.
Reasons why Intermittent Fasting is the Simplest Diet Ever
It is Customizable
Intermittent Fasting schedule has many options; this makes it more convenient to fit into your lifestyle, especially when you have a busy schedule. Most people find the 16:8 eating cycle more comfortable and more sustainable because it’s as simple as skipping breakfast or dinner.
It’s an Easy Way to Cut Calories
In theory, limiting the feeding period prompts less food consumption. If you are trying to lose weight, intermittent fasting is an easy way to reduce caloric intake (if done right) instantly.
You Have More Freedom in Your Food Choices
As we recall, intermittent fasting is more of an eating pattern. With intermittent fasting, you just need to think about the period when you can eat and fast.
However, while intermittent fasting does give more liberty to eat what you want, its effectiveness will be countered if you overeat sugar and consume too many calories in one meal. The effect of intermittent fasting, together with reduced caloric intake, decreases insulin levels so the body would burn the stored fats.
Intermittent fasting has shown beneficial effects such as decreased insulin levels, improved brain functions, aging, and weight loss. While IF provides several health benefits, it would take more than an eating pattern to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Several things, such as food quality, caloric intake, and consistency, contribute to the overall result of following Intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting may not be suitable for people who have underlying illnesses. It is best to ask for medical advice before starting a new diet.
Which intermittent fasting schedule works better for you? Let us know in the comments section below!