Intermittent fasting is growing health & fitness trend, but it has deep roots in our religious practices.
The Background Of Fasting:-
For centuries, people of all religions & cultures have been fasting for spiritual reasons.
30 days of Ramadan fasting in Islam, 40 days lent is observed in Christianity, whereas in Hindu religion, some eat certain specific type of food, some go without food & water for certain hours on special days and others eat only one meal a day. That explains different kind of intermittent fasting.
The purpose of fasting was mainly to develop self-control, to purify the body, and to empathize with the poor and hungry.
Now, intermittent fasting is popular as weight loss diet.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Many diets focus on what to eat, but intermittent fasting focuses more on when you eat.
It is based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast.
Basically, it is time restricted eating, keeping the eating window from 8 to 10 hours.
How does it work?
Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the hours of fasting to make our cells deprived of energy. During energy demands, our body first exhausts sugar stores & later it burns stored fat resulting in weight loss.
It is not a magic pill:-
Even though a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, that does not mean that you can keep on grazing like crazy during eating window.
Intermittent fasting will not be hard if you stick to sensible plant based Mediterranean diet.
Circadian rhythm fasting approach:-
Intermittent fasting works best when it is in sync with our body’s circadian rhythm, which is its internal clock. In simpler words, start by cutting out night-time eating & snacking.
If you want to give intermittent fasting a try, start with 8-10 hours of fasting window to avoid its side effects & gradually you can increase your fasting window if your body permits.
Listen to your body, respect & act accordingly.
Science backed Benefits:-
A recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed data about a range of health benefits to explain how simple fasting improves metabolism, lowering blood sugar; lessens inflammation, which improves a range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma; and even helps clear out toxins and damaged cells, which lowers risk for cancer and enhances brain function.
Who should not attempt it?
Intermittent fasting is a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.