One thing that for sure is never going out of fashion is the novel ways that one can lose weight in. While there are plenty of ways, tips and ideas to lose weight, Intermittent Fasting is one of the hottest trends of the season doing rounds. While fasting is a concept which is not uncommon to most of us, Intermittent Fasting is something that has gained quite some popularity for its multiple health benefits.
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that is spread over regular periods of short-term fasts. This method allows you to consume fewer calories by fasting for shorter periods while regulating appetite and weight control related hormones.
Whether you are looking to try it out for experiment sake or whether you find this particular type of diet-lifestyle method more convenient to follow with a demanding schedule- if you plan out well and set up your fasting diet pattern effectively in combination with the right amount of workouts you should be able to see amazing results.
Benefits of intermittent fasting:
When the body undergoes fasting, there are several changes that take place in the nervous system activity as well as in the hormonal functioning. Here are some of the metabolic changes that you may notice with fasting:
- Insulin: This hormone increases with the consumption of food. During a fast, insulin goes down thereby aiding the fat burning process.
- Human Growth hormone (GH): During a fast, the level of Growth hormone increase almost by 5-fold thus improving muscle gain and improving fat loss.
- Norepinephrine: With fasting, this particular hormone is released by the nervous system into the fat cells, thus helping the break down and release of free fatty acids that the body will utilize as a energy source.
In humans the fasting-diet has been credited with helping people lose weight more effectively as well as research links fasting to a reduction in the risk factors for heart diseases and cancer and in some animal-based trials, it has also shown to have a positive effect in case of diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2 both. As per researchers, the whole idea is to help the body go into reprogramming mode with fasting and overtime, it helps replace the inactive cells with new, active ones.
How to go about it?
Once you set up a specific time period that you are going to fast (for e.g. 5 am-7pm set up), you can then place your workouts post the fast-breaking period. It is better to place your workouts towards the evening after you will have broken the fast rather than during the day time. Since you will need to eat something prior to your workout (focus on making this a combo of protein + carbs) it is a more viable option.
If you train in the evening, you can place the bulk of your overall calorie intake after your workout. This helps facilitate in the muscle repair and muscle building process.
Finally, to help support the fat burning-muscle building process, it is important to eat something as soon as you wake up. Aim to have a meal that has a slow-digesting protein (like meat/ paneer/ cheese, etc) along with some carbs.
The key to success with intermittent fasting:
While you will be busy scheduling up your meal-fasting timings, here are a few points to keep in mind to reach your goal efficiently-
- Pay attention to the quality of food that you eat; even though you might be eating less frequently, ensure that you are eating mostly wholesome, nutritious food only.
- Consistency is the key in any case. While it most certainly will need some getting used to initially, stay committed to the plan once you get started and you will notice results coming through just fine.
- You will need to be careful when eating during the non-fasting period. Try to eat as healthy and normal meals as possible and not go overboard with the calories to compensate for the fasting period.
- Most importantly, as you keep in mind the above points, avoid attempting to extremely intense exercises or heavy workouts while you take in fewer calories (due to prolonged fasting). This will not only drain you out completely in terms of energy but there’s also a higher chance that it will backfire on you.
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