What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting, also called as IF, is a way of scheduling your food intake in order to reap the most benefits out of each meal.
Based on the principle of feasting and fasting, you have a time window of 4, 6 or 8 hours during which you can eat while the rest of the hours are dedicated to fasting. This time interval between your meals is what determines the results.
Fed state and fasted state
When you begin eating a meal, your body goes into a fed state. This means that it’s processing the food you’re eating. Your body remains in the fed state for about 3-5 hours. Your insulin levels are high at this time and hence it becomes difficult for your body to burn fat. Every time you eat, your body produces insulin that gives you energy.
Experts say that unless you’re hungry, it's not entirely necessary to eat a heavy breakfast when you wake up. As long as you maintain an 8-hour window of eating, you can push your meal by a few hours. For example, if you eat at 10am, your last meal is supposed to end at 6pm (within 8 hours). By doing this, you’re using the energy from your meals to last your fasted state, which is the time you’re not eating. The fasted state begins after the post-absorptive stage wherein your body isn’t processing a meal. This usage of energy from your meals during the day is what helps you burn fat, as opposed to you eating more and producing more insulin.
The fasting patterns and the eating windows can be gradually built up, so it’s not necessary to start with an 8-hour window immediately. It’s recommended to start by cutting all your snacks and only concentrating on breakfast, lunch and dinner at your usual eating slots. Then, you can slowly transition into narrowing down the window to 8 hours where your dinner will be at 6 or 7 pm.
Intermediate intermittent fasting involves eating only during a 4-hour window and fasting for 20 hours. But, it takes time to get used to this. Remember that evenings are crucial, so avoid eating during the evenings.
Should I consider intermittent fasting?
According to our body-type, height and age, there are a certain number of calories we need to consume to maintain our weight. This calorie intake is unique to everyone. If you wish to lose weight, you’re supposed to go below this calorie intake and if you wish to maintain the weight, you’re supposed to consume only the given number of calories. As all of these are technical terms, it’s necessary to consult a dietician to know how many calories you need etc. An expert will also give you your eating window period according to your eating habits and body-type. This is why we recommend you get a full consultation before you begin intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting isn’t a strict diet such as Keto, but instead is just a simple way of timing your meals to lose weight. Would you give it a go?
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