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All you need to know about intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting

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All you need to know about intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting or IF refers to the procedure of restricting energy intermittently. In simple terms, it can imply restricted food intake. This is a popular method of fasting which is commonly practiced by celebrities and fitness enthusiasts. Medical practitioners have portrayed several benefits of intermittent fasting. If this is practiced under strict supervision, it not only aids you in weight loss but also it has long term health benefits and can even augment the longevity of your life. Intermittent fasting promotes a metabolic switch in the body where your body gets dependent on the ketone-based energy instead of glucose-based energy. This helps in stress resistance and minimizes the occurrence of life-threatening diseases like cancer.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a recent buzz and it implies curtailing the eating frequency. For instance, if you are following intermittent fasting you may consume your food between noon and 8 pm. If you are a novice in this dieting pattern you may find it arduous to deal with your hunger pangs in the initial days but once you get used to it you can gradually feel its long-lasting benefits. If you are a beginner you are advised to gradually increase the duration and the frequency of fasting periods than to do it all of a sudden.  Research proves that intermittent fasting is more beneficial than many other traditional fastings that are prevalent.

Intermittent fasting Benefits: 

Nutritionist constantly recommends intermittent fasting for weight loss and numerous other health benefits. Intermittent dieting also makes you resistant to stress. It also changes the sympathetic and parasympathetic activity and thus and helps to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also results in improvised brain health and memory. Studies portray that when you skip eating for a specific period your body undergoes through many changes and some of the changes can be highly beneficial. For instance, when you do not eat for a while, your body commences the process of cellular repair and also removes the waste materials from the cells to make the stored fats more accessible. When your body fails to derive the nutrients it burns glycogen and fat to derive the sources of energy. Several changes also take place with regards to the gene expression. This helps you to live long and also protects you from many diseases. Intermittent fasting augments your metabolic rate by 3.6-14 per cent. It also augments the levels of nor epinephrine which helps in the breakdown of body fat and especially belly fats.Intermittent fasting helps to regulate blood pressure. It also helps in the reduction of LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides and blood sugar levels. It ameliorates the overall heart health

Research proves that intermittent fasting eliminates the damaged cellular components along with misfolded proteins by activating the AMPK signalling pathway and by inhibiting the mTOR activity. Thus waste removal process is initiated through the Autophagy mechanism. Augmented autophagy gives you protection against several diseases.When the cells in your body are in the well-fed state, they remain in growth mode and are highly acetylated. Your body gets the signal and tells the cells to grow, divide and synthesize the active proteins. When these pathways are overactive they can lead to cancerous growth in cells. In the case of intermittent fasting, the low-calorie intake has beneficial effects on metabolism which reduces the risk of cancer.  Intermittent fasting is also beneficial for your brain. It promotes new nerve cells and increases the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) – deficiency leads to depression and other brain problems. It also prevents brain damage due to strokes. Intermittent fasting protects you against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease

Intermittent Fasting for weight loss:

Intermittent fasting facilitates weight loss through calorie reduction. The regular short-term fasts create long term effects and help you consume lesser calories. When you consume food the glucose gets absorbed, with the rise in glucose level in our body the insulin level also augments. However, in intermittent fasting, the glucose level remains controlled with the less intake of food and hence the insulin also does not get a scope to surge higher. Thus, intermittent fasting promotes weight loss by lowering blood sugar levels.

Intermittent fasting simple diet plan:

There are numerous intermittent fasting methods. In the below passage we will look into the most popular methods:

  1. The 16/8 method: The 16/8 method permits you to eat during the 8-hour window and to fast during the 16 hours window. This cycle can be repeated per your convenience. This does not have strict regulations like other diets. You are recommended to eat a healthy diet during the eight hours and should drink beverages with fewer calories like water or unsweetened tea. In addition to weight loss, it boosts brain functions.
  2. Eat-Stop-Eat: This is a sought-after method in intermittent dieting regime. It promotes weight loss by minimizing calorie intake. It alters the metabolic function and favours weight loss. In this, you can include up to two non-consecutive fastings per week. You follow a complete 24 hours of fasting when during the two mentioned days. In this dieting pattern, proper hydration is recommended. During fasting, the body breaks down the accumulated fats through a process called ketosis
  3. The 5:2 Diet: In this pattern, people should consume a moderately sized meal on only two days each week. This diet may seem easy as it allows you to eat normal foods for 5 days and then on two days of your choi9ce you restrict calories. It came into limelight when Michael Mosley popularised it

For all the patterns mentioned above, you are advised to take healthy food when you break the fast. You can consume whole fruits like apples, bananas, peaches, pears etc. Additionally incorporate a lot of veggies and healthy fats and proteins from sources like meat, poultry, fish etc.


Initially, your body may take time to adapt to the new eating pattern but once it gets accustomed the numerous health benefits can be realized. Hence as soon as you incorporate this dieting plan to your fitness regime, do not expect an instant result. Instead, wait for your body to get habituated with the changes and see a gradual and long-lasting effect in your mental and physical health.

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