Today we are going to discuss one of the most effective and age old practices of weight management: Intermittent Fasting. It is also a prominent feature in HealthSous.
Fasting has been an integral part of not only traditions and religious practices. It is commonly practiced among the tribal people and is integral to the humans since the ancient times. It is a natural way to ensure weight loss for a healthy lifestyle.
Our ancestors wandered in search of food. They used to eat one time usually after the sunset and engaged in hunting throughout the day to gather food. This nomadic life also followed Intermittent Fasting.
Basically, Intermittent Fasting is a routine that cycles between intervals of fasting and eating. It generally includes meal schedules that alternate between voluntary fasting, that focuses on reduced calories intake and non-fasting. So, it is also known as ‘Interval Fasting’. It ensures that the digestion system in our body works properly. Our digestive system, especially intestines, needs time to break the unsaturated fats and oils into energy. Also, the intestines absorb most of water and nutrients present in our food. Intermittent Fasting provides enough time to our body to burn the unhealthy fatty acids and release the harmful toxins as waste. It can lead to weight loss naturally.
The small intestine, that is nearly 20 feet long and about an inch in diameter, is responsible for absorbing most of the nutrients from what we eat or drink. On the other hand, the large intestine (also known as Colon) is nearly 5 feet long and 3 inches in diameter. It primarily absorbs the water from the waste left out after digestion to create stool. As soon as the stool enters rectum, the associated nerves trigger the urge to defecate and remove the waste.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
The 3 most common methods of Intermittent Fasting are:
- Alternate-day fasting is a very common method for weight loss in which one has to restrict oneself to 24 hours for fasting and then next 24 hours for eating on alternate days. It is the strictest form of Intermittent Fasting because of the period and frequency of fasting. It has 2 types:
- Complete alternate-day fasting is totally disciplined in nature. Here, we can consume no calories on fasting days. There is total restriction on any calorie intake during fasting periods.
- Modified alternate-day fasting is partially flexible in terms of calorie intake. Here, during fasting period, one can take up to 25% of the daily calorie need.
- Periodic fasting or whole-day fasting is another common method of Intermittent Fasting that involves fasting periods of more than 24 hours. It includes long periods of fasting. During the fasting days, one can take 25% of the regular daily calorie intake instead of complete fasting.
- The 5/2 method is a common type of periodic fasting. One has to consume certain amount of calories in two non-consecutive days of the week. However, one can eat normally the other 5 days.
- Time-restricted feeding involves eating only during a certain number of hours each day. Some common examples are:
- 16:8 diet (16 fasting hours cycled by 8 non-fasting hours)
- 14:10 diet (14 fasting hours cycled by 10 non-fasting hours)
Here is a weekly schedule of Intermittent Fasting for beginners given below:
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Also Read: Best Diet Plans for You