Intermittent Fasting Diet:
The calorie restriction diet or 5:2 diet or intermittent fasting diet is rapidly becoming a sensation across the world. Many research-based studies show that it can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, protect against diseases and help you live longer. Fasting is stopping from eating for a specific time.
Intermittent fasting is the process of cycling in and out of periods of eating and not eating. It is less of a diet plan and more of a lifestyle choice to reap some incredible health benefits, done to balance feeding/fasting to lower diseases. It does not say about “which” foods to eat but rather “when” to eat.
No food is allowed during the fasting period other than water and green tea or small fruit.
Intermittent Fasting Types:
There are different types of intermittent fasting methods:
Alternate Day Fasting:
Fasting or no food for a day (or eating 500kcals a day) and eating normally on alternate days.
This diet includes fruits and vegetables and only one large meal in a day.
Eat-Stop-Eat (24 hours fast):
This restricts all foods for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
The 5:2 diet approach advocates no food restriction five days of the week, cycled with a 400500 calorie diet the other two days of the week.
16:8 or Time-restricted feeding:
You can eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period – typically 6 to 8 hours – and fast for the remaining 14 to 16 hours. You can do this every day, or a few times a week.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits:
Switching to an intermittent fasting diet expands your limits, and boosts your performance in a number of ways.
Here are some of the powerful benefits of intermittent fasting:
1. Boosts weight loss:
Intermittent fasting also boosts protein, fat, and glucose metabolism. Boosting your resting metabolism helps your body burn more calories throughout the day, even while you rest. Fasting also increases your levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline, hormones that help your body free up more stored energy (that’s your body fat) during a fast.
2. Reduces inflammation:
Intermittent fasting decreases oxidative stress and inflammation by reducing the inflammatory markers such as adiponectin, leptin, and brain-derived neurotrophic factors Promote cellular repair and autophagy: The body induces important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells.
3. Reduces insulin resistance and protects against type 2 diabetes:
Intermittent fasting diet acts on insulin in two ways. First, it boosts your adiponectin levels, which helps restore insulin sensitivity to prevent weight gain and diabetes. Second, fasting decreases your fasting insulin levels. Lowered insulin is the cue your body needs to make the switch to burning stored fat instead of glucose.
4. Improves heart health:
Lowers Bad Cholesterol by decreasing your levels of LDL and VLDL cholesterol and improves HDL (good cholesterols). While improving your cholesterol won’t directly lead to weight loss, overweight, diabetic, obese people are more likely to have dangerously high LDL and VLDL cholesterol and the cardiovascular risk that comes with it. Studies show that intermittent fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers.
5. Reduces Cancer:
Cancer is marked by the uncontrolled growth of cells. Fasting has been shown to have several beneficial effects on metabolism that may lead to a reduced risk of cancer. Although human studies are needed, promising evidence from animal studies indicates that intermittent fasting may help prevent cancer. There is also some evidence on human cancer patients, showing that fasting reduced various side effects of chemotherapy.
6. Promotes longevity and slows the aging process:
Studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting extends lifespan in a similar way as continuous calorie restriction. Given the known benefits for metabolism and all sorts of health markers, it makes sense that intermittent fasting could help you live a longer and healthier life.
- Protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Improves memory and boosts brain function.
- It makes cells more resilient.
Restrictions For Intermittent Fasting:
This type of dietary pattern would be difficult for someone who eats every few hours (e.g., snacks between meals). It would also not be suitable for those with conditions that require food at regular intervals, due to metabolic changes caused by their medications. Extended periods of food withholding or semi-starvation may place one at risk for overeating when you start eating again.
People with the following conditions should abstain from intermittent fasting:
- Conditions such as Diabetes and Thyroid
- Eating disorders that involve unhealthy self-restriction (anorexia or bulimia nervosa)
- Use of medications that require food intake
- Active growth stage, such as in teenagers
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Those recovering Post-surgery
- Those with Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 18.5