What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

Updated: 09 October, 2020 17:10 IST | IANS |

Nutritionist Honey Thaker discusses Intermittent Fasting and its benefits

Photo used for representational purposes only.
Photo used for representational purposes only.

Fasting has been practiced for centuries and it's one of the preferred ways to rid your body of all toxins. Modern twists to this ancient practice come in different styles, forms, and methods. Intermittent fasting is one them; it has gained popularity, especially among millennials in recent years, as it is considered less restrictive and offers more flexibility.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

The ratio of 16:8 is one of the most popular styles of fasting and is also known as intermittent fasting, a sustainable way to burn fat in order to lose weight. There are many diets which often set strict rules and regulations, but 16:8 intermittent fasting is easy to follow and can provide real results with minimal effort. It shows an effective result and can easily fit into anybody's lifestyle. Intermittent fasting involves eating only during an eight-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. One can repeat this cycle as frequently as they would like to. One can start with once or twice per week to every day, depending on the nutritional needs and personal preferences.

Benefits of the 16:8 Diet:

16:8 fasting boosts metabolism, it cuts down the calories and this helps the weight loss process.

Intermittent fasting can help keep the cholesterol in check when combined with a nutritious diet and regular exercise.

It manages food habits, controls calorie intake, and keeps the cholesterol level in check. These are the contributing factors for a healthy heart.

It helps in reducing insulin resistance which helps in diabetes management.

It helps to enhance brain functioning, improve concentration, and also protect against age-related memory loss.

The diet plan helps to reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, which means less stress.

The diet plan helps prevent and manage diseases such as diabetes, certain heart conditions, some types of cancers, and some neurodegenerative diseases.

One doesn't have to count and restrict the calories, as long as you eat healthily in the given 8 hour time frame. While the 16:8 diet does not specify what food to include and what to avoid, it is beneficial as it maximises the potential of the diet, if one sticks to healthy and nutritious options in the eight-hour window.

Balancing your meals with a good variety of healthy whole foods is very important. One must include food such as:

Fruit: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges, pears, etc.

Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes, etc.

Whole grains: Barley, quinoa, rice, oats, etc.

Healthy fats: Avocados, coconut oil, and Olive oil

Sources of protein: Eggs, fish, legumes, meat, nuts, poultry, seeds, etc.

While fasting, avoid, junk as well as processed foods. One should consume water regularly throughout the day; this will help control the appetite. Try meditation during the fasting period, to allow hunger pangs to pass and exercise just before or during the eating window as it will trigger hunger and ensure that you are full.

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First Published: 09 October, 2020 17:03 IST

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