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Intermittent Fasting

Medically reviewed by Dr. Unsa Mohsin.

Intermittent fasting has become one of the most popular health trends quite recently. It involves when one should eat, not which foods to eat so Intermittent fasting cannot be considered as a diet but rather a pattern of eating. Recent studies have shown that intermittent fasting can have strong effects on your body as well as your brain. It may also even help you live longer. 

  • The popular 16/8 method: It is also called the ‘Leangains protocol’, this involves skipping breakfast eventually restricting daily period to 8 hours. One fasts for 16 hours in between. 
  • Fasting for 24 hours also known as Eat-Stop-Eat: As the name suggests it means fasting for 24 hours twice a week but another 5 days should be managed with a balanced calorie diet. 
  • The 5:2 diet plan: In this diet plan, one consumes only 500-600 kcal on 2 consecutive days of the week maintaining a normal diet the other 5 days. 

Eventually, the body gets used to not eating for a certain period of time. Does it really help with weight loss?

Basically, in intermittent fasting your insulin levels lessen remarkably and human growth hormones rise spectacularly. This action signals the body to start producing energy by burning already stored up fat to make up for the lack of food. As a result, the blood glucose levels decrease and the body starts using the glucose stored in the body to gain enough energy, by burning extra fat. 

In intermittent fasting, one loses weight and fat by restricting the total amount of calories you eat in a day. 

According to recent studies, about 4-8% weight can be reduced over 5-24 weeks with intermittent fasting. Drinking plenty of water is recommended to keep the body hydrated and drinking coffee or tea with less milk without sugar can also be taken. 

Let’s read about a few changes that occur in the body when you fast: 

  • Insulin: Levels of insulin drop dramatically and Insulin sensitivity improves so low insulin levels make stored body fat more reachable.
  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH): Levels of growth hormone increases by 5-fold. Few benefits include muscle gain and fat loss. 
  • Gene expression: Genes function changes which are related to protection against disease and longevity. 
  • Cellular repair: When you are fasting, your cells initiate cellular repair processes, where cells remove and digest old proteins that build up inside cells. 

By taking fewer meals, intermittent fasting eventually leads to reduction in calorie intake. Studies have shown people who tried intermittent fasting have also lost a significant amount of harmful belly fat as we all know stubborn belly fat is! 

However, always bear in mind that the root cause for its success is that intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories all in all. If you binge and eat enormous amounts during your eating periods, you may not lose any flesh at all. 

Intermittent Fasting Is A Very Powerful Weight Loss Tool! 



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