Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting
 What you need to know

You have tried various diet plans over the years. None of them has delivered what it promised. You are nevertheless determined to lose weight. You are set on leading a healthy and vibrant life, so you will continue to explore your options. 

The trouble with most weight loss plans is that they are based on myth, speculation, and unrealistic expectations. One of the most recent and most popular diet plans is different. It requires no purchase of expensive meals or membership in clubs. It is natural and healthy way of losing weight. It is known as intermittent fasting, and it has helped many people who have struggled to lose weight.

Some clarity is in order. Intermittent fasting is not the same as going on a starvation diet. The difference between the two is control and balance. To starve yourself is unhealthy and irrational. You will wear down both your physical and mental health if you do not eat for days on end until you meet a target weight.

Fasting, however, is a deliberate and controlled plan of action. It is the act of voluntarily refusing food for health and spiritual reasons. When you fast, you do so with a long-term plan in mind. You do so only after you have an in-depth understanding of your metabolism and the ways in which your body responds to various kinds of food. Then you choose the form and duration of your fast.

You might leave off eating a particular meal every day for a number of days. Or you may give up all food for a set period of time. Or you may choose a longer cycle, in which you choose not to eat at certain times of the month. 

5:2 diet
Although there is no set way to fast, there are popular forms of it. One of these is the 5:2 diet. In this program, you eat whatever you want for 5 days and eat next to nothing for the next 2. Nutritionists recommend that you take in a normal amount of calories for 5 consecutive days, and then 25% of that on the following 2 days. The 5:2 diet has become very popular, and those who adhere to it have testified to its many benefits.

5 Day Plan

The 16:8 diet is another popular diet plan. Under this diet plan, you are allowed to eat normally—that is, healthily—within an 8 hour period. You must then fast for the next 16 hours. Many people find this diet easier to follow as it precludes them from having to suffer through hunger pains for two days. Experts say that the 16 hour fasting period the body the chance to process nutrients and to burn away calories, which is what leads to the precipitous loss of weight.

Fasting is an old and powerful dietary act. It has been around since the dawn of civilization; and though it in ancient times it was used mostly for religious observations, the health benefits of this act are irrefutable. 

Fasting causes changes to the hormone level in your body. It makes stored body fat more accessible to the internal systems that work to find and burn energy. Your insulin level drop significantly (a good thing) and the level of growth hormones in your body sky rocket. When you fast, your body initiates cellular repair processes. This includes a process in which cells digest and remove old or dysfunctional proteins that have built up inside of them. When you fast, you also reduce your calorie intake, which makes it easier for your body to burn through the available sources of fuel rather than storing them. 

All of this leads to weight loss. In fact, recent studies have shown how powerful a tool fasting can be. A 2014 study showed that intermittent fasting led to a 3-8% drop in weight over a 3-24 month period. The same study pointed out that people lost between 4 to 7 percent of their waist circumference. 

Indeed, people who have engaged in intermittent fasting have been able to lose weight without weakening their muscle mass. This is one of its most important advantages, as it is better to replace fat with muscle. If you are determined to lose weight, intermittent fasting is the way to go.

This article  from
The Body Engineering team 
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