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The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is skipping breakfast and having two meals, the first at 1pm and the second at 8pm. Then followed by fasting for 16 hours till 1 p.m. the following day.

How did this happen? Isn’t skipping breakfast detrimental to your health? Why would someone want to fast for sixteen hours a day? What are the advantages? Is there any scientific basis for this, or are you simply insane? Is it hazardous?

If these are the questions that are revolving in your head, you can calm yourself down as intermittent fasting is completely legitimate. It’s simple to incorporate into your daily routine and has a plethora of health advantages. 

Is It Worthwhile To Alter Your Eating Habits With Intermittent Fasting?

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Intermittent fasting is an excellent technique of intermittent fasting for weight loss without resorting to extreme dieting or calorie restriction. Indeed, when you begin intermittent fasting, you will typically attempt to maintain the same calorie intake (The majority of people have larger meals in a shorter period of time.) Thus, intermittent fasting is an excellent strategy to maintain muscle mass while losing weight.

Having said that, the primary reason people attempt intermittent fasting is to lose weight. Intermittent fasting is usually one of the simplest ways to lose excess weight while maintaining a healthy weight, as it needs very little behavioral modification. This is a really good thing since it suggests intermittent fasting is “easy enough to undertake but meaningful enough to make a difference.”

Intermittent Fasting: How Does It Work?

To comprehend how intermittent fasting results in fat loss, it’s necessary to first understand the distinction between the fed and fasted states.

When your body is digesting and absorbing food, it is in the fed state. The fed state often begins when you begin eating and it lasts three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just consumed. When you are fed, it is extremely difficult for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are up.

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Following that time period, your body enters what is called the post–absorptive state, which is a fancy way of expressing that it is not processing a meal. The post–absorptive stage lasts for around 8–12 hours following your last meal, at which point you enter the fasted state. Because your insulin levels are low, it is much easier for your body to burn fat in the fasted condition.

When you are fasting, your body is able to burn fat that was previously inaccessible during the fed state. Due to the fact that we do not enter the fasting state until 12 hours following our last meal, our bodies are rarely in this fat-burning condition. This is one of the reasons why many people who begin intermittent fasting lose weight without altering their diet, exercise regimen, or frequency of activity. Fasting induces a fat-burning condition in your body that you rarely achieve on a regular eating plan.

Intermittent Fasting's Benefits

While fat loss is an excellent advantage of fasting, it is not the only one.

  • Intermittent fasting simplifies your day

Intermittent fasting permits one to eat one fewer meal compared to the usual three meals a day, which also means planning one fewer meal, making one fewer meal, and stressing about one fewer meal which simplifies your life.

  • Intermittent fasting promotes longevity
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Scientists have long recognized that calorie restriction is an effective method of extending life. This makes rational sense. When you’re hungry, your body looks for ways to prolong your life.

There is only one problem: who wants to starve in order to live longer?

The good news is that intermittent fasting engages many of the same processes that calorie restriction does for extending life. In other words, you gain from the benefits of a longer life without having to go hungry.

In 1945, it was observed that intermittent fasting increased the lifespan of mice. More subsequently, this study discovered that intermittent fasting on alternate days resulted in longer lifespans.

  • Intermittent fasting may help lower your risk of developing cancer

This one is debatable because little research and experiments have been conducted on the association between cancer and fasting. However, initial reports appear to be good.

This research of ten cancer patients reveals that fasting prior to treatment may help mitigate the negative effects of chemotherapy. Another study, which employed alternate day fasting with cancer patients, showed that fasting before chemotherapy would result in a higher rate of cure and fewer deaths.

Finally, this systematic review of numerous studies on fasting and disease determined that fasting appeared to reduce not only the risk of cancer, but also the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  •  Intermittent fasting is far more convenient than dieting
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The reason most diets fail is not because we eat the incorrect things; rather, it is because we do not adhere to the diet over time. It is not a dietary issue; rather, it is a behavior modification issue.

This is where intermittent fasting excels, as it is incredibly simple to practice once you overcome the belief that you must eat constantly. For instance, this study discovered that intermittent fasting was an efficient method of weight loss in obese people and concluded that “subjects quickly adapt” to an intermittent fasting routine.

The majority of us have considered going on a diet. When we discover a diet that appeals to us, it appears as though following it will be effortless. However, when we get down to the real gritty, it becomes difficult. Thus, a diet is simple to contemplate but difficult to maintain over time.

Intermittent fasting is difficult to contemplate, there is no doubt about that. “You go 24 hours without food?” startled onlookers would inquire when we described what we were doing. “That is something I could never do.” However, once begun, it’s a breeze. No worry about what to eat or where to eat one or two of the three daily meals. It is a tremendous liberation and your food costs will decrease significantly. 

The simplicity of intermittent fasting is the best incentive to give it a try. It gives a plethora of health benefits without demanding a drastic change in lifestyle.