What is Intermittent Fasting?

There are various ways of reducing weight and maintaining health. And the most trending and accessible means of reducing weight is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is also known as intermittent energy restriction.

As the word itself says, Intermittent fasting is cycling between periods of fasting and eating. This concept is not new in trend but, in fact, the most ancient secret of health. We have studied it in history. But since there have been many transformations in the changing trend of the world, the intermittent fasting rules remain the secret.

Different Ways of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is different from regular fasting. Regular fasting does not allow calorie food and sugary drinks. But in intermittent fasting, you can choose to have caloric food between the period. There are different ways of intermittent fasting. Sometimes it can be non-caloric and low-caloric food. There are the following three methods of intermittent fasting:-

Alternate-day Fasting

As the name suggests, alternate-day fasting means to fast for 24 hours and then no fasting for the next 24 hours and then continue fasting. This means to fast for Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and rest days are for consuming the energy-giving foods. It has two sub-types:

  • Complete alternate day fasting is also known as the total intermittent energy restriction, and the rule for this fasting is not to consume any single caloric food on a fast day. Those who choose to do complete alternate day fasting may decide not to have anything on that particular day or only water on a fast day.
  • The second one is modified alternate-day fasting, which is also known as partial, intermittent energy restriction. In this fasting, the rule is to consume up to 25% of daily calories on the fast day instead of an entire day fasting. This means Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday will be the days for the low-calorie days and rest days to have anything. This type of fasting is suitable for foodies and people who love traveling. Fasting is not a cup of tea for everyone, but the modified alternate-day fasting is easy to follow.

Periodic Fasting

Intermittent fasting means fasting on one or more than one day per week. One of the ways of this periodic fasting is 5:2, wherein two days are for fasting days, and five days are for non-fasting days. This is hugely reverse to the traditional fasting for five or more days continuously. But the exception is that during the fasting days, you are allowed to have 500 to 600 calories or about 25% of regular daily caloric intake instead of complete fasting.  

Time-Restricted Fasting

This is the growing trend in the younger generation and also might be the easiest one to follow. Time-restricted fasting, as the name says, is hourly fasting, which means to consume the energy-giving foods for the number of hours a day, and the rest of the hours are the fasting hours. Some of the examples of time-restricted fasting are skipping a meal and the 16:8 hours fasting (where the 16 hours for the fast and the 8 hours are the non-fast hours). Another example of time-restricted fasting is skipping a meal, which means skipping lunch or dinner, but one should be careful not to skip breakfast. Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day.

Intermittent fasting may lead to immediate weight loss and health gain, but there is no science for long-term benefits. But there have been cases where people have gain good health and reduce their weight through regular intermittent fasting. One of the benefits of following any one of the methods of intermittent fasting is that it detoxifies the body, which is needed at regular intervals. This fasting also improves self-control during the fasting time, which results in an improvement in mental health as well as physical health. Those who are food lovers may try intermittent fasting for reducing their weight and maintaining good health. This is probably also the easiest way among other ways of reducing weight. 

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