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Intermittent Fasting: A Beginner Guide to Understand In 2022

Snehil Sharma

Written by Snehil Sharma

Intermittent Fasting

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An intermittent fasting diet plan or fasting of food for a period of time is extremely in trend these days. Intermittent fasting involves either a long period of fasting followed by short windows of feasting. 

Intermittent fasting is one of the favourite health trends of the past decade. Nevertheless, it might not be beneficial for everyone either for medical reasons or due to different nutritious and sustainable diets.  

Here let’s take a close look at some of the accepted ways to do intermittent fasting diet plans. The information shared here will help you understand what is intermittent fasting, is it good, does it really works for weight loss. Let’s find out.

What is Intermittent Fasting Meaning?

It is an eating pattern in which a person can refrain from consuming any calories for an extended period of time. Usually, this interval lasts between 12 and 40 hours. In this process, water, tea (without sugar), coffee, and other calorie-free beverages are allowed but no solid foods or calorie-containing drinks are permitted.

Let’s understand this process with the help of a suitable example: 

On Sunday, you finish dinner at 7 p.m. 

On Monday: You will not eat again until 7 p.m. (12 Hours Gap)

Tuesday, you have completed a 24-hour fast. Many people choose to fast from lunch to lunch or from breakfast to breakfast. 

But have you ever wondered which time frame works best depending on the individual?

Let’s have a look at the most popular five eating patterns for adding such fasting to your diet:

Eating Patterns to Follow While Fasting

Below is a list of a few eating patterns for intermittent fasting:

  • Time-restricted Eating Pattern

This plan involves fasting every day for 12 hours or longer and eating in the remaining hours. For instance, the 16/8 method. It accredits a daily 16-hour fast and an 8-hour eating window. Whereas you can also fit in 2, 3, or more meals within this window.

  • The 5:2 Diet

In 5:2 diet plan, involves normal eating as you do 5 days a week and restricting calorie intake to 500–600 on the remaining 2 days (weekends).

  • Eat-stop-eat

Here, in this diet plan, an individual can involve 24-hour fasting once or twice per week. But people who need physical strength in their demanding jobs can replace this fasting pattern and involve other diet patterns in their fasting period.

  • Alternate Day Fasting

As the name says in this diet plan, alternate-day fasting is involved. The aim is to fast every other day. It will help you to have a strong metabolism and will help you in your weight loss journey to lose good calories.

  • The Warrior Diet

This diet pattern is one of the most popular intermittent diet plans that involves eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and one large meal at night.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan

Let’s share a few advantages of intermittent fasting that have been discovered by many applicants: 

Health Benefits of Intermittent
  • Weight Loss: Intermittent fasting may help you in weight loss and belly fat without having to limit calories actively. 
  • Insulin Resistance: Fasting helps you to decrease insulin resistance. It reduces blood sugar by 3–6% and fasting insulin levels by 20–31%, possibly protecting against type 2 diabetes.
  • Memory and Thinking: In many studies, research has found that it improves working memory in animals and verbal memory in adults.
  • Improves Cardiovascular Health: Following intermittent fasting can prevent high blood pressure, resting heart rate, and other heart-related measures.  
  • Improves Physical Ability: Fasting for 16 hours or more reduces fat while retaining muscle mass in young males. 

Achieve Remarkable Results from an Intermittent Fasting Protocol

There are a few things that you need to keep in your mind if you want to lose weight with intermittent fasting:

Food Quality

  • The foods you consume during fasting should be nutritious and healthy. Therefore, always include rich food quality in your regular routine. 

Calories 

  • While intermittent fasting, you must take care of each calorie intake. Consume normal and counted calories during the non-fasting periods, not so much that you compensate for the calories you missed when fasting.

Consistency

  • As with any other weight loss method, you need to stick with this process for an extended period if you want it to work.

Show Patience

  • Sometimes your body takes time to adapt to an intermittent fasting protocol. So, try to be consistent with your scheduled meals, and it’ll get easier.
  • Many popular intermittent fasting protocols recommend exercise as well. Such as strength training. This is crucial if you want to burn mostly body fat while maintaining your muscle mass. 

3 Potential Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting

A general rule for fasting is that sometimes people get mild symptoms. These symbols indicate that you should immediately break your fast. But fortunately, these are very rare. If you want to continue your fast it is crucial to plan ahead and anticipate how you will respond if you do experience side effects while fasting.

So, let’s learn how you can understand you need to stop fasting immediately:

1. Craving and Hunger

  • It is no surprise that hunger is one of the most common side effects related to intermittent fasting. When an individual reduces calorie intake or goes long periods without taking in calories, may experience increased hunger.
  • In a study, a few people assigned some participants to an intermittent energy restriction group. They consumed 600 or 700 calories on 2 non-consecutive days every week for one year.
  • These studied groups reported higher hunger scores than those who all are having a low-calorie. Through this study, researchers came to know that hunger is a symptom people typically experience during the first days of a fasting regimen.

2. Headaches and Dizziness

  • Headaches and dizziness are common side effects of fasting. Typically occurring during the first few days of a fasting protocol.
  • These are the symptoms of weakness and may be prevented with hydration and salt intake. However, severe headaches or dizziness are not typical and indicate it is time to break the fast.

3. Weakness and Low Energy

  • A few people find they become weak while fasting. It may require decreasing the intensity or duration of exercise, but if you are on time-restricted eating then you should not prevent yourself from exercising at all.
  • People who have physically demanding jobs, however, may find this to be an issue. Always stay well-hydrated and take proper salt intake. These are the two potential ways to prevent feelings of weakness.

Bottom Line 

An intermittent fasting diet plan generally offers a food-flexible approach to dieting and has unique metabolic benefits for health. From a fat loss aspect, it can be an excellent tool, mainly due to controlling calorie intake. Fasting can be used in the known format of 16-hour fasting which is followed by an 8-hour fasting window. Whereas, the alternate-day fasting approach is with a 24-hour fast that is followed by a 24-hour feast. This fasting cycle is easy to follow and does not limit you. Even allows one to eat without tightly tracking calories.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hours a day can a person fast?

It totally depends on your choice. But normally, a fast day is 36 hours. For instance: If you finish your last full evening meal at 08.00 pm on Sunday, then Monday is your fast day, and you are not going to be eating normally till Tuesday morning at 08:00 am. That is 36 hours. 

Can we lose weight on non-fast days?

Yes, you can. Only have to look at the calories you are getting from drinks on your nonfast days. Juices, alcohols, lattes, fizzy drinks, and smoothies all contain a lot of calories. 

Fun Fact

Well, it is not about losing weight always, isn’t it? There are many individuals who want to gain weight and look perfect in whatever they wear. So, Fitelo has the best weight gain diet plan for you, which will surely satisfy health your needs. For more, you can, however, get in contact with the dietitians of Fitelo as they are the experts and the best to satisfy your needs.

Contact Us Today

Your search to find the right guidance to be a part of all those fat-to-fit stories ends here. So, contact us today if you are looking for a diet plan with cheat meals. Also, we will discuss how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Disclaimer

This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your own health before starting a diet that is restrictive. Therefore, always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy. Enjoy a long happy life.

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