Intermittent fasting, its types, benefits, and its role in losing weight
Intermittent fasting is one of the modern and widely used diets that has been shown to be effective in weight loss in addition to its role in promoting health and lifestyle.
In fact, several studies have shown the effects of intermittent fasting on the human body, brain, and quality of life.
In this article, you will learn more about the intermittent fasting diet, its types, and its role in weight loss.
What is the intermittent fasting system?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that is largely based on eating certain meals and discouraging others.
The types of foods you should eat are not fixed but when you eat them, and this pattern is common among civilizations and religions in more than one way.
In fact, humans can tolerate periods without food and this would make intermittent fasting convenient for many and is very popular in the health and fitness world.
Types of intermittent fasting
There are several types of intermittent fasting and more than one way to follow them, and here we mention 5 of these types:
The 16/8 method is based on fasting for 14-16 hours a day versus the 8-10 hours you can eat. It can be divided into two meals or more depending on your lifestyle. It is also possible to have zero-calorie drinks such as coffee without sugar or water during Lent.
It is important to choose healthy foods and avoid junk foods or unhealthy foods that increase calorie consumption.
2-5: The second method
The 5:2 method is based on eating as usual 5 days a week and consuming no more than 500-600 calories for the remaining 2 days.
For example, choose Mondays and Thursdays, eat two small meals of 250-300 calories each, and eat normally the rest of the days.
3- “All stop and all” method
This method of intermittent fasting is based on not eating once or twice a week for 24 hours. For example, eat dinner at 8 pm on Sunday and start fasting until 8 pm on Monday. Calorie-free drinks can be consumed during Lent.
Many may find this method difficult to follow, so it is possible not to resort to it immediately but instead start with the simplest method of intermittent fasting, the 16/8 method.
4- The warrior diet
This regimen can be implemented by eating small amounts of vegetables and fruits during the day and eating a large meal at night. Healthy, whole foods should be followed, and fast foods or processed foods should be avoided.
5- Fasting every day
This system is based on fasting more than one day per week, i.e. fasting one day, eating food as usual the next day, then returning to fasting and so on. In some species, it is allowed to eat an amount of no more than 500 calories during fasting days, or to abstain completely from food. In fact, this model is difficult, inconvenient and unsustainable for many people.
6- An automatic way to skip meals
This way, you won’t have to stick to a structured intermittent fasting plan. Every now and then you skip meals, for example when you’re not hungry or don’t have time to cook.
In fact, many people have tried this method at one time or another without even realizing it.
If you are tired of skipping a meal because you are not hungry, this is basically an application of this intermittent fasting method. You just need to eat healthy food for other meals.
The role of intermittent fasting in weight loss
As mentioned earlier, intermittent fasting is characterized by the presence of different times for meals and the refusal to eat. This makes it better than diets based on calorie restriction over a longer period of time.
The body adapts to the reduced calorie intake and begins to resist weight loss. During multiple fasting periods, these physiological changes will not occur in the body and the body will continue to lose weight.
In addition, intermittent fasting alters hormone levels to facilitate weight loss. Its effects include decreasing insulin levels and increasing growth hormone levels, which in turn increases fat burning and metabolic rate by 3.6-14%.
Going back to the different types of fasting mentioned above, they all help reduce your daily calorie consumption. In fact, these treatments will help you lose 3-8% of the weight in 3 to 24 weeks, or the equivalent of losing 0.25 to 0.75 kg per week. It also helps to lose 4-7% of your waist circumference.
Remember that one of the main reasons intermittent fasting works is that you eat fewer calories. If you eat large meals during meal times, you may not lose any extra weight at all.
Health benefits of intermittent fasting
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting has significant benefits for weight control and overall mental and body health.
Here are the main health benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Lose extra weight and belly fat without the need for a strict diet or calorie restriction.
- Reduce blood sugar by 3-6%. Reducing insulin levels by 20-31% which prevents type 2 diabetes.
- Reducing inflammation, which is the main cause of many chronic diseases.
- Reducing bad LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, and other risk factors for heart health.
- To prevent cancer.
- Reducing the symptoms of some diseases such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, stroke and multiple sclerosis.
What do you eat during intermittent fasting?
You can eat whatever you want on the days you are not fasting and in order to lose weight you must get the nutrients you need. Stick to healthy foods and reduce sweets and processed foods.
As for fasting days, the amount of food is very limited. For example, if you choose the daily fasting method, you will only eat 500 calories on the day you fast.
That’s about a quarter of the amount you eat on normal days when you don’t fast. You can choose to split these calories into several small meals throughout the day or split one meal.
Remember to drink enough water on fasting days to avoid dehydration. Eat healthy foods on the days when you are not fasting.
You can drink coffee, tea and other drinks that do not contain calories. Coffee (without added sugar) can be especially beneficial during fasting because it can reduce hunger.
Is intermittent fasting suitable for everyone?
Intermittent fasting is definitely not for everyone. If you are underweight or suffer from eating disorders, then you should break the fast without consulting a doctor, so that your fasting does not hurt in these cases.
Intermittent fasting is not recommended for children, pregnant women, and some diabetics.
How do you start intermittent fasting?
It is best to start with the 16/8 method because it is the easiest and most sustainable of the intermittent fasting methods for beginners. Then later to a longer fast.
If you find it easy to fast and feel comfortable fasting, you can try moving to a more advanced method, such as fasting. 2 diet).
You can also fast at any time that suits you. Just skip meals from time to time when you’re not hungry or don’t have time to cook. It is important to try and find a method that works for you.
Disadvantages of intermittent fasting
As with regular fasting, intermittent fasting is the main side effect of starvation and you may feel weak or your body may not function as well as it used to. However, this effect is only temporary; Your body may take time to adjust to your new lifestyle.
Intermittent fasting can lead to muscle loss – like all methods of weight loss – but it’s below the normal calorie limit, so it’s important to lift weights and keep your protein intake high.
If you suffer from any medical condition, you should consult your doctor before attempting intermittent fasting, especially in the following cases:
- diabetic patient.
- You have problems regulating your blood sugar.
- You have low blood pressure.
- You are taking medication.
- You are underweight.
- You have a history of eating disorders.
- Pregnant women trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You have a history of women’s menopause.
However, intermittent fasting is safe. There is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while if you are generally healthy and well-fed.
With so many types of intermittent fasting, this makes it a seamless system for choosing your lifestyle and getting started on the right one. If you follow it, you can lose weight and enjoy many health benefits.