Is intermittent fasting the new fad diet?
Intermittent fasting is the new rage in the weight loss world. Popularized and promoted by new names like Gin Stephens books like “Delay don’t deny” and Dr. Jason Fung’s ” The Obesity Code.” However, intermittent fasting is as old as humanity. Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Hindus practiced it to fend starvation when food was scarce. Religions encourage it; Yom Kippur in Judaism, a month of fasting during Ramadan, 40 days of Lent in Roman Orthodoxy, and many festivals, including Shivratri in Hinduism.
Is it scientifically proven to help?
Studies performed at Harvard University by Chenetal., published in cell metabolism, show that fasting alters the shape of the mitochondria and makes them more elastic and youthful, thus delaying aging. Our ancestors were onto the benefits of Intermittent fasting, which modern science and scientists are learning today.
How to do intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is fasting for specific periods followed by eating. It can be 16:8, 18:6, 20:4, or OMAD (one meal a day). What do these numbers mean? It implies that you fast for 16 hours and then eat in the 8 hour window. So, if you have your last meal at 7 pm and fast for 16 hours, you break your fast with the first meal the next day is at 11 am. Similarly, 18:6 implies fasting for 18 hours and an eating window of 6 hours. So if you had your last meal at 6 pm, then your eating period begins at noon the next day for 6 hours till 6 pm followed by a repeat of the same cycle.
Some people choose to do 5:2, which means you eat for five days and fast for two days. Fasting typically involves taking in less than 500 calories a day.
What to drink during the fasting period?
Plain water, unsweetened black coffee or tea are the drinks of choice. Soda, flavored juices, drinks, creamers, fruits, and even lemon water break the fast.
How can I get started with intermittent fasting?
Start slow. Start with overnight fasting, not eating after dinner till breakfast next morning. Another option is to start with 10:14, ten hours of fasting, and 14 hours of eating window period. Slowly increase it to 12:12, then 14:10, and bring it to the desired 16:8. You will find that it increases your mindfulness about food, and your body will crave wholesome fresh food.
When will I see the results?
Patience is the key. Your body will take time to adapt, and the results may not be in the form of scale victories but in the form of Non- scale victories such as decreasing your waist size, noticing that you can do small activities such as crossing your feet and tying your shoelaces.
What should I eat in my eating window period?
A good balanced diet consisting of moderate amount of protein, high quality fat, vegetables and fruit can keep you feeling full longer. High protein including salmon which are rich in 3 omega fatty acids nourish your body and are good for your hair and skin. Drinking water during the fasting can help extend your fasting window.
How does intermittent fasting help my body?
Intermittent fasting helps you to reduce insulin the hormone that is responsible for converting the sugar into fats. With fasting the insulin level is reduce thereby altering the chemical composition and readjusting the body. The body during fasting starts using up the stored fat in the muscle and liver for daily activity energy thereby reducing the weight. Fasting increases insulin sensitivity for the tissues. Other evidence based benefits include reduction of blood pressure, decreases inflammation, lower blood sugars, improved stress resilience, enhances autophagy, delayed ageing, and prevents cancers.
How can we help?
It is important that when you embark on your weight loss journey that you also have the guidance of an expert weight loss physician. Dr. Bassi at Bassi Clinic is a big believer in intermittent fasting who can guide you every step of the way. If intermittent fasting is not working there maybe other medical factors that you are unaware of, which will be addressed by our medical weight loss specialist. Set up an appointment to get an early head start on your weight loss journey with Dr. Bassi.
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