~ Smriti Jha
In recent years, the term Intermittent Fasting (IF) has gained a lot of traction. The very concept that you can eat food during a specific window of the day, and then fast for the remaining part, sounds both exciting as well as achievable. But don’t take it for granted! Intermittent Fasting is more of a ‘disciplined’ diet pattern which goes like
Eat → Stop → Eat → Repeat.
The logic behind Intermittent Fasting
To begin with, IF follows a different approach to monitoring the diet, where you check the calories over a couple of day time instead of checking and counting calories daily.
To practice this diet (better say diet pattern), you need to specify eating window period. Choose the time which suits you, and fix your schedule for eating and fasting. Remember, the level of effort you are putting in here is really hard and it needs a great discipline to follow this pattern of diet.
When you eat Food
|Food → Increase insulin → Stored sugar in the liver
Produce fat in the liver
When you starve
|Burn stored sugar, burn Fat ← Decrease insulin ← Fasting
Ways to follow the Intermittent Fasting
Fasting is a time-tested conventional way of eating in a fixed period of time. This diet pattern has been followed as a spiritual practice from the time immemorial. We have examples of our saints and spiritual leaders who have been following a specific eating pattern in the fixed window period of time and maintaining their good body metabolism.
Divide 24 hrs into 16:8 wherein, 16 hrs is the rest time / Fasting time (consider 9 pm to 1 pm) and the rest of hours from 1 pm to 9 pm will be your meal time. Further divide 8 hrs into 3 – 4 small meals, preferably a balanced meal full of proteins, Carbs, Fibres and vitamins and of course Water.
Another weight loss wonder pattern, where you eat for five days and rest for 2 days (rest applies for starving rather). Low to Moderate calories is recommended for dieters. Avoid fasting on two consecutive days, better to break your week. This will curb tiredness.
Extending Fasting regimens (24 hrs/ 36 hrs)
24 hrs fast is more like a “warrior style diet “that lasts from Breakfast to next day breakfast or, Lunch to lunch and so on.
A 36-hour fast simply means you fast for one entire day. Example- if you finish dinner on day 1 at 8 pm and you would skip all meals on day 2, and not eat again until breakfast at 8 on day 3. So that is a total of 36 hours of fasting.
Who Should Strictly Avoid This Diet Pattern
Pregnant & lactating women, people with nutrient deficiencies, children, and people recovering from surgery are not advisable to opt for this kind of fasting. Even if the weight is an issue this pattern is not wise to follow. Do ask your certified Nutritionist before going for such a diet.
The Goal of Intermittent fasting is to eat just enough food to nourish your body and stave off hunger without affecting your digestive system.
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