Intermittent Fasting Benefits And Side Effects Revealed!

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Before getting into my article on Intermittent fasting benefits and side effects, I would like to tell you guys that immediately changing the way you eat and altering your diet in any significant way, or getting into a certain workout routine can cause you more bad than good, hence please speak with a health professional to ensure that you are doing the right track and whatever the plan is, it would work  for you.

Intermittent Fasting Benefits And Side Effects

If you are someone who is trying hard to shed some kilos then am certain that you would have come across certain stories of shocking transformation on social media sites and the word “#intermittentfasting” ie. Intermittent fasting trending and creating all the buzz everywhere. If you are reading this article on Intermittent fasting benefits and side effects, you are either here to understand what Intermittent fasting is and you are interested to know benefits and side effects. When I first heard of it, I was interested too, not about the dieting and weight loss part about actually fasting. Am the kind of person who would literally rip out my coworkers head if am hungry (kidding, am not that bad, well maybe I would rip off his tongue). Before I scare you off, let’s get started on Intermittent fasting benefits and side effects.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting is not a new thing, the name might confuse you but this type of fasting has been around in various cultures from around the world. Long back when there wasn’t enough access to food, what people did was have meals only at a certain time and fast for the remaining time- this in a simple sense is what we term today as intermittent fasting. before anyone ever muttered the words “skinny jeans,” “thigh gap,” or “detox”. Various religions have followed the routines as part of various religious beliefs such as  Ramadan in Islam and Kippur in Judaism. Intermittent fasting benefits and side effects are nothing but using the same technique (eating at a certain time and entirely skipping eating the rest of the time) not for religious purposes but simply to restrict calories and lose weight.

Intermittent Fasting Benefits And Side Effects

IF (Intermittent fasting ) involves alternating cycles of eating food and abstaining from it. For people who regularly skip meals, this might sound simple. And others we do it every day automatically, i.e. we eat during the day and sleep at night which means we literally don’t eat for about 7 to 8 hours straight. Intermittent fasting, unlike other fasting methods, is not restricting on the type of food you wish you have but rather restricts the times of food you have. Fasting followed in IF plan is much for structured and driven, which is why I would say it is not meant for certain people.

When you are on your fasting period, no solid food is allowed to enter your body, however happy news is that you can still have water, tea, coffee, and other non-caloric beverages as you please. There are certain types of intermittent fasting, you need to figure out what suits your body and lifestyle.

Types of  Intermittent Fasting

  • 12/12 Method

This is the best Intermittent fasting benefits and side effect method to start with for beginners. Some of us might be already doing this-  It means basically you need to fast for 12 hours a day and eating within a 12-hour window. If you are used to eating your dinner at 7 pm and then have your breakfast the next day at 7 am. Then you are already on the 12/12 methods IF.  

  • 16/8 Method

In 16/8 Method you fast for 16 hours every day and restrict your eating window to just eight hours, which likely means you can squeeze in two, or maybe three meals. Most people following the 16/8 method simply skip breakfast, have their first meal midday, and refrain from eating too late at night.

  • 20/4 Method

This method can be quiet daunting for some as it’s getting more intense. To follow this method you need to fast for a full 20 hours and allowing yourself one four-hour window to eat. Between that time period may be your can squeeze in 2 meals, again here it depends on your personal health.

  • 5:2 Diet

This type of fasting is not meant for everyone, the ADF (alternate-day fasting) is severe calorie restricting eating of calories a whole two days a week. But you can eat whatever you want to have the other five days.

  • Eat-Stop-Eat

In the 5:2, this ADF method you need to choose any two days from a week and fast a whole 24 hours, it doesn’t provide any consistency. this could be a real hell for some people. I mean

Benefits and Side Effects of Intermittent fasting

What Are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

  • Well naturally, you would be eating less: Most of the people actually show interest in IF as a weight-loss aid, the IF could actually work, this is mainly because you restrict your window of eating to a fewer meal, hence following the Intermittent fasting benefits and side effects could actually help you achieve your weight loss goals.    
  • Helps you keep your brain sharp: Animal research suggests that fasting may help increase the production of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Other studies suggest that IF helps you prevent short-term and special memory loss. But the actual research is still being carried out, hence I won’t be able to provide you with accurate data.
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes: Researchers suggest that  ADF does not alter fasting concentrations of glucose but can help in improving insulin sensitivity which is one of the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
  • Help you maintain a healthy heart.
  • Researchers suggest that IF may help you fight cancer

Some of the major Concerns of Intermittent Fasting

  • Infertility
  • Impair athletic performance.
  • It’s not realistic in the long run.
  • It could cause disordered eating.
  • There’s a lack of solid evidence.

I hope my article on Intermittent fasting benefits and side effects help you to get a basic understand of Intermittent Fasting. The main issue with IF is that it’s still being explored on the surface, so far what been understood is that it might work for one person but fail miserably for another. If you plan of getting started on the IF, I highly recommend that you first to a  registered dietitian.

Let us know your thoughts and suggestions through our comment box.

Angeline is a registered dietitian currently working in research. She have participated in many public health programs organised by WHO, and other health organisations around the world. She studied in North Ireland and in the USA to complete a BSc in Human Nutrition from Ulster University. She then went on to complete my PhD focusing on diet, exercise, weight management and more recently completed a postgraduate diploma in dietetics. She enjoy walks on the beautiful north coast of Ireland and is passionate about providing evidence-based nutrition advice for the general public. You can connect with her any time for a health advice.

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