Intermittent Fasting: Methods and Its Benefits
Before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Now: It's okay to miss breakfast. It's actually one of the most popular methods of Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent fasting, the trend which gained popularity, and pushed many to update their lifestyle & eating habits. It also brought up questions like, isn't skipping breakfast harmful? Aren't we supposed to eat every three hours? These questions are logically answered by the same trend. We will come back to it later.
For now, let's simplify Intermittent Fasting. It means breaking and scheduling your meals. It broadly concerns with "when" to eat. It is an eating pattern that bounces between the period of feeding and fasting.
Why it gained popularity so quickly?
Because of its amazing benefits:
- Helps in weight loss
- Boosts metabolism
- Simplifies your lifestyle
- Gives you more energy
- Easy to follow than a diet
These benefits get justified when we clarify the popular methods of Intermittent Fasting.
- The 16\8 method: You can eat in between the period of 8 hours and then fast for 16 hours. Sounds a bit difficult to follow? Let's simplify. For the 8 hours, when you are allowed to eat, you are suggested to eat big meals. Include fiber, protein, and carbs in your meals. The healthy proportions will keep you full for a long time.
Note: Don't full yourself on junk. The goal of achieving a healthy lifestyle will go in vain.
You can choose from these timelines:
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- noon to 8 p.m.
You are allowed to drink non-caloric beverages while fasting. Green tea, water, coffee without sugar works wonders for boosting the metabolism and keeps you away from cravings.
- Eat Stop Eat method: The advanced method of Intermittent Fasting. Here you fast for 24 hours once or twice a week.
- The 5:2 method: Another advanced method. Here you eat normally for 5 days but intake 500-600 calories for two consecutive days.
When you take long breaks between your meals, your body's insulin level drops. Lower insulin levels result in the breakdown of your stored body fat for energy. This results in fat loss. When your body gets 16+ hours to repair itself and not only focus on digestion, your body works better and becomes healthier.
We suggest you start with the first and the easiest method - the 16\8 method. Don't stick to the timelines. Experiment and discover what works for you.
Once you follow the 16\8 method, you have one less meal to be worried about, and your lifestyle becomes easier. The start will be difficult. Stick to a healthy diet, and you will see the benefits yourself.
Finally, coming back to the questions -
- Skipping breakfast is unhealthy if you follow an unhealthy lifestyle. If you eat healthy for the rest of your day, you will be fine.
- If our body is in a feeding state after every three hours, the fat or energy stays stored. For losing weight, our body needs to shed the fat it stores for the time when there's nothing to eat. And it happens when you fast for 16+ hours.
Start slow and move your way towards the goal of 16 hours of fasting. Your body will start adjusting to the new eating habits.
Best of luck! You can do it.