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What Is Intermittent Fasting?
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What Is Intermittent Fasting?

The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a common word that can be seen virally on the internet. Mainly on Social media like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube with attractive headings like “I lost fifty pounds through Intermittent Fasting”, “Better lifestyle after intermittent fasting.” Or “Losing weight healthily through Intermittent Fasting”. Celebrities, social media influencers, and big personalities too have put out positive feedback on this intermittent fasting, so it has become a sensational topic discussed among the people. Not only celebrities but also doctors and nutritionists too have recommended this fasting process as the most beneficial.

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So you may wonder what exactly intermittent fasting is, intermittent fasting means the absence of food for a prescribed time in a day. The time period of not taking any calorie for some time. The time period of not taking any calorie may vary, it might be twelve hours of fasting or fourteen hours of fasting. There are three types of intermittent whole day fasting, alternate-day fasting, and time-restricted fasting. It differs from person to person. When a person tries intermittent fasting for the first time, she or he may face some difficulties. As practice makes perfect, over a period of time, they may not feel these difficulties.

 Fasting is a process that can be seen throughout history. Fasting had been a tradition carried out in ancient history for the reasons of physical and spiritual renewal. Before the twentieth-century man did not have access to food twenty-four-seven because back then refrigerator was not common like now. The man before the twentieth century had only three meals per day. For example, if he had his dinner around nine in the night he would have his morning meal around eight, so for a couple of hours, the stomach is empty which is considered fasting. That’s why the morning meal is called breakfast. Unlike the now man who has access to the food twenty-four-seven, so he consumes food more than three meals per day. Recent research in the USA showed most Americans consume meals twice and snack three times in a typical day. This is a common eating habit seen throughout other countries. This habit of overeating causes various illnesses both mentally and physically. Clinic research has found that the people of this century have more health issues than the past last century. As always the saying goes too much of anything is good for nothing. Intermittent fasting has become a successful solution to this problem.

The common misconception about intermittent fasting is that some consider it as starving themselves but it is not.  Intermittent fasting is that not having any calories for a period of time and then consuming a healthy amount of food but starving means not consuming any calories that your body needs daily to grow. Normally when we consume food, it reaches the stomach. The stomach digests the food, the carbohydrate in the food breaks into glucose. The stomach and the small intestine absorb this glucose and then releases it to the blood system. Since the modern man is binge eating it spikes blood sugar levels and the body produces more insulin than usual to keep blood sugar level at a healthy range. This excess amount of insulin causes us to gain more weight which leads to obesity. Obesity is linked to diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, depression, and anxiety.

Intermittent fasting helps us from this serious illness. Let’s see how, when we are fasting, your body is using the stored nutrients and stored energy to make your body function. The main advantage is that there is an increase in growth hormone and a decrease in insulin, which helps in weight loss. Intermittent fasting is healthy and effective when it comes to losing weight. This fasting process is a sought solution for the following diseases lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduces inflammation. It also improves one’s mental sharpness and helps to keep a person young and healthy.

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During the fasting process, one should dehydrate oneself always. Water is free from calories so the person can drink filtered water lavishly. Plain tea is recommended most since it consists of zero-calorie. Plain coffee does have less than three calories so one can consume these plain drinks. By drinking these one can be hydrated for the fasting period.

The other important part of fasting is the time of breaking the fast. To break the fast one should consume healthy food which includes fruits, vegetables, fiber, and healthy protein. One should avoid processed food and junk food. Since the calories in taking had been controlled, the cells in the body release their stored sugar to be used as energy. Since insulin level goes down most of the fat is burned off. Eating healthy after breaking the fast keeps the body and mind well engaged.

When one practices intermittent fasting, at the beginning stage they might feel headache, bloating but over time one adjusts oneself to the process. The main concern is that intermittent is not suitable for everyone. Normally a person of eighteen and older can try but for smaller children or any other patients who have illnesses like anorexia, better consult their doctor or their nutritionist regarding intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting has proved an effective and safe diet than any other way. Intermittent fasting mainly focuses on losing weight and diabetic prevention. Not only that one gets to engage energetically through the day, but one must remember to hydrate themselves often. Though the results of the diet are not shown immediately on the scale, it would at least take a month to show the proper results of the fasting. Also one should not force themselves for fasting, they can fast for the time period when they feel comfortable the most.

Intermittent fasting is not about starving oneself, it’s about not consuming food for a period of time in the day but they should hydrate themselves. Intermittent mostly contributes to losing weight and to prevent diabetes. There are great advantages in trying out intermittent fasting. After fasting one should consume a healthy amount of food and avoid overeating.

What do you think?

Written by Khaira Wafa

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