Intermittent fasting (IF) is a viral weight loss technique. Many renowned actors who want to adjust their figures according to the role’s demand also use this technique. It is referred to as eating plans alternate between fasting and eating periods. It aims to starve the human body systematically and long enough to trigger fat burning. Although research is still ongoing, the method may not suit everyone. Nevertheless, evidence has suggested that Intermittent Fasting can help lose weight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve brain health, and prevent and control diabetes if performed correctly.
Learn more about intermittent fasting and the health benefits it can provide.
Whether we realise it or not, fasting is a part of our daily routines and has had nothing regarding weight loss. Indirectly everyone has fasted throughout their lives because when we have breakfast in the morning, we are actually breaking our fast, having not eaten anything throughout the night as we sleep. The Greeks – such as Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato – believed in fasting to purify their spirit and mind. Major religions also include fasting to strengthen their faith.
Intermittent Fasting is often mistaken as a diet. In Intermittent Fasting, you are not watching what you eat. Instead, you are watching when to eat. Hence it’s not a diet plan rather an eating pattern.
The second misconception is that you must starve yourself; you need to understand what starving is to bust this myth. According to Merriam-Webster, starving is to ‘to suffer extreme hunger or to suffer or perish from deprivation,’ whereasfasting means ‘to eat sparingly or abstain from some foods.’ Intermittent Fasting lets you eat and drink with a time restriction, often called ‘time-restricted eating’.
How to plan intermittent fasting
There are several ways to plan an Intermittent Fasting routine.
- 16:8 pattern: lean gains. Fitness expert Martin Berkhan invented it. It is an Intermittent Fasting schedule suitable for beginners and involves fasting for 14-16 hours a day.
- 5:2 pattern: fast diet. It is a method created by British doctor and journalist Michael Mosley. This is lighter than the lean gains routine, as you can eat only 500-600 calorie-rich foods during two days of fasting and generally during the other five days of the week.
- Eat-stop-eat. As discovered by Brad Pilon, you must fast for 24 hours once or twice a week in this routine. This is not a traditional diet for weight loss. Instead, it is a reevaluation of your older concepts of meal frequency and timing and its relation to health.
- Alternate day fasting. In this pattern, you must fast every alternate day. You can either eat 500–600 calories or nothing at all during the fasting period.
- Warrior diet. Popularised by OriHofmekler, a fitness expert, it requires fasting all day but with the allowance of small portions of fruits and vegetables during a specific time.
Intermittent fasting is a very flexible programme and offers many different schedules to cater to different body types, fitness goals, and medical needs.Soconsider what intermittent fasting routine suits you best, and get on the fitness bandwagon.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.