Standing in 2020, we need to learn a lot of things but unlearn a lot more. Unlearning is necessary from time to time as every day there are new and more effective ways to deal with old problems, and if we cling on to the ancient methods of doing things, we are not moving ahead in time. For the same reason, we bring you the most interesting and most effective diet of all time, Intermittent Fasting or Intermittent Diet.
What is intermittent fasting (IF) or Intermittent Diet? Why exactly should you approach this method? How it is superior to other diet methods like Keto? We will discuss each and everything and make it simple for you because that’s what we do- we make fitness & health science simpler for you to understand.
Related Post: Pros And Cons Of Different Types Of Diet To Lose Weight
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Basically, the word ‘Intermittent’ means something which occurs at irregular intervals. So it is a kind of fasting which occurs at irregular intervals, precisely.
Intermittent Fasting is basically a continuous cycle in which you keep a fast for 16 hours and eat your food within an 8-hour window in the day. There’s no hard and fastened rule that you have to eat for 8 hours only. You can also moderate with 12-hour fasting and 12-hour eating cycle. You can also switch to 20-hour fasting and 4-hour eating cycle. That is something you need to figure out according to how your body is responding.
Intermittent diet is the most useful way of dieting in modern times. For the people who want to shed fat from the body, this will create a fat-burning machine. For the people who want to have muscle mass, this diet will help you.
If you want to get a healthy life, you should definitely approach this fasting & diet plan. But before we get into the learning part, let’s unlearn first.
Why Is It Okay To Skip The Breakfast?
Why shouldn’t you? Tell us honestly, how many of you actually feel hungry and the urge to have breakfast after waking up in the morning? You all eat breakfast less because you feel hungry, and more because you are told by your parents “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. One should not skip it, otherwise, he will get weak.”
And our parents had been told by their parents. It is not their fault as they just care for you a lot. But it is time that we unlearn this breakfast myth in India.
The entire ‘Eat Breakfast like a King’ concept is an ancient concept which used to fit for the British and western countries. Understand one thing, the British people anyway used to eat their dinner by late 7 pm at night. And the next day when they eat breakfast like a ‘King’, they are actually done with an almost 12-hour Intermittent Fasting already.
Here, back in India people eat dinner late, on average not before 10-11 pm. So does it actually make sense to eat Break Fast when your body already has fuel to go for some more hours? No, right?
So eating breakfast is not at all needed. It’s time you unlearn. And educate your parents, your friends, and your loved ones.
What Happens When You Eat When You Don’t Need To?
There’s another concept which says, you should only eat when you are hungry. Wrong. You should only eat when it’s been quite a time since you are hungry. Hunger is not an indication that your body has no food, it is an indication which says the energy levels have started to get low, they are not low yet.
What happens when you re-fuel a machine when it already has fuel? It overflows. Your body doesn’t overflow like a machine, but the excess food gets stored as fat in your body. Over a period of time, when the fat increases, it gets visible from the outside.
When you eat when you don’t need to, you are giving your body an excessive amount of resources to which your body gets comfortable and it can not figure out what to do with the excess. And that is bad.
You will understand why Intermittent Fasting is so important.
Is Intermittent Fasting A New Concept?
It may seem that Intermittent Fasting, the cycle of not eating for 16 hours and eating all the needed calories in 8 hours, is a new concept. No, it’s not. Our ancient Yogic gurus have been practicing the same for ages. Ayurveda also advises the same. So in no way, it is new. Intermittent Fasting is actually a very old concept that got tagged and acknowledged by the west and that is why we think it is ‘validated’ now. But it has always been around.
Well, these were the major unlearning you must have done to proceed toward some amazing learning of Intermittent Fasting.
What Is The Science Behind Intermittent Fasting?
Okay, so after the unlearning is done it is time to learn one of the coolest ways to keep your body healthy and fit.
Your body is designed in such a way that it works at the optimum level when you are at rest, and when you are in an empty stomach. When you eat food and it reaches the liver, the liver breaks it down and stores something called ‘Glycogen’, you may also call it the fuel of your body. It burns and produces energy for which you can act upon your physical activities.
But overeating or eating when you don’t need to act adversely to your body. When you are hungry, it is your body telling you are running less on ‘fuel’, not that you don’t have fuel. So one should not eat right away after feeling the tinge of hunger. One should wait.
Except for this Glycogen factor, there other important factors that work wonder when you undergo intermittent fasting.
1. Human Growth Hormone :
Human Growth Hormone is the hormone that is responsible for your growth. It helps in the growth of bone structure for up to 21 years, in girls which are 18 years. HGH is also responsible for your metabolism system. The same hormone is responsible for boosting up the cell repairing process.
Since HGH Is responsible for your metabolism, it helps the young kids to eat digest the junk food and getting away with it. But as you grow older, beyond 23-24 years age, your HGH level automatically falls as so does your metabolism. So you don’t get away with the junk anymore.
With Intermittent Fasting, you can boost up your HGH level 20times more. Sometimes, 30times. So you can figure out what it does to your body with a higher metabolism rate.
But is that all HGH do? No. It also helps you to mobilize fat from your body. When your body has high HGH levels due to IF, your body is able to mobilize the excess fat, burn it in the liver, produce energy and use it for day to day living. That is how you can become a fat-burning machine.
People, who tend to fast longer, may have 50 times more HGH levels than a person who is not fasting.
2. Body’s Self adjustment Of Hormone Levels :
However, your body acts upon is due to some of the other hormones. Now understand one thing, your body is built in such a way that even if you don’t eat for 4 days, and starve, your body will not use any of the muscle mass to produce energy. Beyond that, it will.
But when you get into the habit of IF, you shock your body. And your body automatically adjusts its hormonal levels to combat the possibility of starvation. As a result, your body starts to retain the proteins in-store and use the fats to burn off and produce energy for day to day living.
So if you want to put on muscle mass and burn off fat at the same time, you must boost up your HGH levels. Because HGH itself is a protein sparer. As your body undergoes the shock, HGH level strikes up which further instructs your body to spare the protein for ‘future use’, and burn the fat instead.
The same way you would react if you are given less resources to live for the upcoming days, you will save the good resources for future usage and would want to live on the average resources for the starting, your body enacts in the same way.
3. Your Insulin Sensitivity :
Insulin is another hormone that helps you to put on muscle mass and break down fat. Insulin also enables you to take the glucose from the carbohydrates and use it as energy. It also helps you in energy distribution in your body as well as creating healthy cells in the body. And the most famous thing, which is controlling the blood sugar level is also done by the insulin hormone.
When you are on IF, it doesn’t change your Insulin level. But what it does is more amazing which is changing your insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is increased when you are on Intermittent Fasting.
This means your body will put on the same amount of mass but use less insulin from the body. Which will automatically help you to put on more muscle mass than before.
4. Nutrient Repartitioning :
The Insulin hormone and HGH together helps your body to repartition the nutrients you are getting from the food. Basically, it uses the food you are eating more to create muscle mass and less to create and store for the future to produce energy. It enables your body to act the way it was designed to act in general.
5. Adrenaline & Noradrenaline :
These two hormones are also affected by the IF diet. Adrenaline is the hormone that is responsible for you to stay alert. To act upon something in a much quicker way. The boost you get after having three cups of espresso? You get the same alert mind with your adrenaline level boosted up, all the time. So you perform better. It improves your focus.
It improves your fat-burning process, it keeps you alert all the time as well as healthy. It improves your reflex system. So naturally, you get to act better.
6. Improves Your Brain Health :
BDNF is a hormone in the brain which is responsible for reaping neurons. Neurons are responsible for the entire communication system of your body. Your brain instructs and the instructions flow through the neurons, and also the feedback goes back to the brain using the same transmitter.
Intermittent Fasting improves the level of BDNF. So your brain doesn’t age. It stays young. When it stays young, you live longer. You don’t get Alzheimer when you get old.
7. The Overall Effect On Your Body :
When you choose to take Intermittent Fasting, your body undergoes a lot of positive changes. Your blood sugar level is in control. Your cholesterol levels are in control. So you get a healthy heart. There is a reduction in inflammation in the body.
So in no way it is doing any bad to your body.
As already said, your body is designed in a way. And if you run your body in the same way, it will stay healthy. That is why a lot of unlearning needs to be done that you should eat always. You should only eat when your body needs food.
How To Use Intermittent Fasting As A Tool?
To use intermittent fasting as a tool, you must know what is your maintenance calorie level in the body. You can easily find out from here: https://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html
It depends upon your body weight, height, and some other factors.
If you want to lose weight, you will need to stay a little below your maintenance calorie.
If you want to gain weight and muscle mass, you need to stay a little above your maintenance calorie.
If you want to stay how you are, then just hit the maintenance calorie every day.
Now, the question is, how to get the calories when you are fasting for 16 hours a day. The trick is to eat as many small meals possible in the 8 hours window every day and nourish the good protein, complex fibers, and other nutrients in your body. Utilize those 8 hours to put in ‘good’ fuel in your body.
What You Should Have In Diet While Doing Intermittent Fasting?
As already said, you must eat either below your maintenance calorie level or above, to either lose weight or gain muscle. But what exactly you should have? In what quantity you should have? Quantity is something you need to figure out on your own according to the calorie intake. Do some research and you will have an idea about one cup of rice contains how much calories. But we will definitely help you will ‘what’ to eat.
1. Complex Fibres :
Ditch the white rice and flour. Instead, go for brown rice, oats, whole wheat. All these complex fibers are responsible to maintain a good and healthy body. You can also add some sweet potato to your diet.
But it is better if you stay away from flour and white rice.
2. Protein & Fat :
On average, a normal person will require 100 grams of protein on a regular basis. It can vary if you work out, in that case, you can easily know what should be your protein intake.
Your protein can come from Chicken breast, Eggs, Fish and meat. In case you are vegetarian, there’s nothing better than soya chunks. One thing you should always include in the diet is Almonds.
You can start your day (The 8-hour window) with an omelet or boiled eggs with whole wheat bread toasts.
You can always add some healthy ghee in your diet.
3. Greens :
This is the most important part for people in 2020 who have seen a life of junk. Greens are important to your meals, so make sure you have them. Boil some green veggies or have them raw, it’s completely your choice. But have them.
4. Fruits :
Starting your day with a bowl of fruits is always a good idea. Remember, don’t have citric fruits in an empty stomach, have something before taking them. Stuff some banana, apple, watermelon, papaya, and any other seasonal fruit every day. The raw sugar from the fruits are the most beneficial.
In fact, don’t have the white sugar but shift to brown sugar or jaggery powder. You can also have ‘Gur’ as a supplement of sugar in your day to day lives. Cut the sugar and replace it with healthier alternatives, you will see the results.
Your brain reacts in the same way to sugar how it does to cocaine. Sugar is like an addiction, so for the first 21 days, you will have a hard time.
What Can You Have In The 16-hour Fasting Window?
Yes, you can have things in 16-hour fasting window. You can have green tea, black coffee, both without sugar. Any kind of sugar. You can have apple cider vinegar in hot water. And have loads of water!
Is Intermittent Diet For Everyone?
If you have any health conditions like diabetes, liver dysfunction, or hormonal imbalance in the body, or any kind of health complication, you should always ask your doctor first. Suppose you need to take medication, you will need food. So it’s a no for you.
Other than that, yes, it is for everyone. And you can continue it as long as you want, forever. It will NOT hamper your health, but make your body a very nice habitat for good health.
Disadvantages Of Intermittent Fasting?
Of course. There are. Your social life will get a little jeopardized. You need to say bye to those breakfast dates. You can not eat anytime you want. So yes.
Another thing, when you are getting into the habit of IF, it will take 4-5 days for your body to adjust. As your body was accustomed otherwise, it will take this time, so don’t worry.
This is it. This is all you need to know about Intermittent Fasting or Intermittent Diet ever. So unlearn to learn the most advanced way of dieting. And educate others, your family, your friends. Make a good, healthy and prosperous living out of this gift of life by treating our body just the way it should be treated.
Disclaimer: This article does not represent the views and opinions of medical professionals. It is solely based on research and reference by the author. It does not offer any medical suggestions or advice.
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