Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Last Updated on May 16, 2023

 Intermittent Fasting

A common eating pattern among those trying to lose weight is intermittent fasting. It doesn’t limit your food consumption or options, unlike diets and other weight loss plans. Instead, the timing of your meals is everything.

Others criticize intermittent fasting as unproductive and unsustainable, despite other people asserting that it can be a secure and healthy strategy to lose extra weight. The effectiveness of intermittent fasting is discussed in this article.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

While many diets concentrate on what to eat, intermittent fasting only considers when to eat. You only eat during the allotted hours when you practice intermittent fasting. Your body can burn fat if you fast for a set period of time each day or consume only one meal a couple of days a week. Additionally, there are some health benefits, according to scientific findings.

According to several research, this eating style may promote weight loss, better health, and longer life. Intermittent fasting programs are said to be simpler to keep up than conventional, calorie-restricted diets.

The experience of intermittent fasting varies from person to person, and different approaches will work for different people.

Read: Is Intermittent Fasting Beneficial for You?

How Intermittent fasting Works

There are many various approaches to intermittent fasting, but they all start with deciding on regular eating and fasting windows of time. You may, for instance, try eating only for eight hours each day and fasting the other sixteen. Or you could decide to only eat one meal each day on two days per week. There are numerous variations of intermittent fasting plans.

The body runs out of sugar after several hours without food and begins to burn fat. In this regard, a ketogenic diet may resemble intermittent fasting. But with a ketogenic diet, you must also keep an eye on your nutrition, placing more of an emphasis on your intake of fat and protein while avoiding carbohydrates at all costs.

Contrast intermittent fasting with the typical eating habit of most people, who consume food at all times when awake. If a person is eating three meals a day plus snacks and isn’t exercising, they are constantly burning off the calories they consume rather than burning off their fat reserves.

By extending the time until your body has burnt through the calories from your most recent meal and starts burning fat, intermittent fasting works.

Read: Dispelling Myths About the Science of Weight Loss

6 Intermittent Fasting Plans

1. Fast for 12 hours a day

This diet has straightforward guidelines. A person must choose and follow a 12-hour fasting window each day.

Some researchers claim that fasting for 10 to 16 hours can trigger the body to burn stored fat for energy, releasing ketones into the bloodstream. This ought to promote weight loss.

For novices, this kind of intermittent fasting regimen might be a decent choice. This is so because the fasting window is so brief, the person can have the same quantity of calories every day, and most of the fasting happens while they sleep. The simplest approach to complete the 12-hour fast is to include the time spent sleeping.

2. Fasting for 16 hours

The 16:8 approach, also known as the Leangains diet, involves fasting for 16 hours per day, followed by an 8-hour window for eating.

Men fast for 16 hours daily while women fast for 14 on the 16:8 diet. If you’ve tried the 12-hour fast before and didn’t experience any benefits, you might find this sort of intermittent fasting to be beneficial.

On this fast, folks often finish their evening meal by 8 p.m. and don’t eat again until midday the next day after skipping breakfast.

3. Fasting for 2 days a week

The 5:2 diet involves eating normally sized portions of wholesome food on 5 days and consuming fewer calories on the other 2 days.

Men typically ingest 600 calories and women 500 calories each of the two fasting days.

Typically, people set aside specific days of the week for fasting. For instance, they might eat regularly the other days and fast on Monday and Thursday. Between each fasting day, there should be at least one non-fasting day.

4. Alternate day fasting

The alternate day fasting regimen, which calls for fasting every other day, comes in a variety of forms.

Alternate-day fasting can entail avoiding all solid foods on fasting days for some persons while allowing up to 500 calories for others. People frequently decide to eat as much as they want on feeding days.

Alternate day fasting is a particularly strict kind of intermittent fasting, hence it might not be appropriate for newcomers or people with particular medical concerns. Long-term maintenance of this kind of fasting could also be challenging.

5. A weekly 24-hour fast

The Eat-Stop-Eat diet entails going without meals for 24 hours at a time on one or two days a week. Many people observe a fast from lunch to lunch or from breakfast to breakfast.

Those following this diet can consume calorie-free beverages including water, tea, and others while fasting.

On the days when there is no fasting, people should resume their regular eating habits. This type of eating reduces a person’s overall calorie intake without limiting the types of meals they consume.

A 24-hour fast can be difficult and can result in headaches, weariness, or anger. Many people discover that when their bodies become used to this new eating pattern, these effects gradually become less severe.

6. The Warrior Diet

A relatively extreme example of intermittent fasting is the Warrior Diet.

During a 20-hour fasting window, very little food is consumed—typically just a few servings of raw fruit and vegetables—and then one substantial meal is consumed at night. Typically, the dining window lasts only four hours. It is not suitable for beginners.

People should be sure to eat a lot of veggies, proteins, and healthy fats during the 4-hour eating phase. They ought to contain some carbohydrates as well.

Even if some meals can be consumed throughout the fasting period, it can be difficult to adhere to the rigorous rules on when and what to eat over the long run. Additionally, some people find it difficult to consume such a substantial meal so close to night.

Additionally, there is a chance that those following this diet won’t get enough nutrients, like fiber. Cancer risk may rise as a result of this, which can also harm the immune system and digestive system.

Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Whether or not intermittent fasting works depends on who you ask.

According to research, intermittent fasting does more than only burn fat. Intermittent fasting helps shield organs from age-related neurodegenerative problems, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and many malignancies.

Numerous people have attested to the advantages of practicing intermittent fasting. The most popular advantage is weight loss. But not everyone should practice intermittent fasting.

It is advised against practicing intermittent fasting if you are a child or teen under the age of 18, a woman who is pregnant or nursing, has diabetes or blood sugar issues, has a history of eating disorders, or if you are one of these persons.

Remember that different people may respond differently to intermittent fasting. If you begin to experience unexplained anxiety, headaches, nausea, or other symptoms after beginning intermittent fasting, consult your doctor.

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