Intermittent fasting diet plan also referred to as short term fasting is considered to be one of the most effective ways of losing weight. Whilst intermittent fasting diet helps lose weight, it also proffers a host of other benefits which include improving metabolism and has a protein sparing action which allows only fat to be burned down while maintaining the muscle mass.
Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
There are several independent research studies that have been undertaken which have shown that intermittent fasting has several effective benefits,
- It helps reduce blood glucose levels by prompting the production of insulin naturally.
- It increases fatty acid oxidation and thereby increases the production of growth hormone, glucagon and adrenaline.
- It has a sparing action on muscle tissue and lean mass.
- It has other health benefits like lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammatory response, reducing oxidative stress and protecting against neuro-degenerative disease.
- Intermittent fasting also enhances body metabolism.
Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan
The basic philosophy of intermittent fasting is based on dividing the day into “window of eating” and “period of fasting”. The window of eating refers to the time when you consume your meals, while the period of fasting refers to the time between two consecutive meals.
The window of eating and period of fasting may vary from an individual to an individual depending upon their preferences and lifestyle schedules.
Intermittent fasting diet plan comprises of the following steps,
- Skip a meal when you are not hungry. Follow your body’s signals rather than following a routine schedule. When you don’t feel hungry at lunch time, don’t have a meal or rather delay the meal for a few hours.
- Whenever you eat food do not stuff yourself. Eat only as much is required to satisfy your hunger.
- Ensure that you undertake a twenty four hour fast at least once a week. The fast may continue from one evening to the other evening or from morning to morning. The idea of the fast is to give rest to your gastrointestinal system for about twenty four hours.
- Try to reduce the window of eating and maximize the period of fasting. Always try to do this in a way that doesn’t affect your energy levels and ability to perform routine functions.
Intermittent Fasting For Losing Weight
Intermittent fasting diet can help lose weight, however if the tips are not followed rigidly, it can have detrimental effects,
- There is a high risk of overeating, especially after a 24 hour fast. This may make weight loss difficult.
- Making healthy choices each day might be slightly difficult and the person may not be able to remain focused.
- Long term fasts are also associated with higher stress on the body and hence not recommended in individuals with chronic ailments like diabetes or cardiovascular disorders.
Following the regimen along with reducing intake of trans fats and saturated fats can improve the benefits of intermittent fasting diet. Also including fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and raw foods in the diet is considered very beneficial in weight loss and makes the entire process more effective.