Posted in: carbohydrates, diabetes mellitus, digestion, healthy eating, intermmitent fasting, nutrition

How Intermittent Fasting Can Boost Your Weight Loss Journey

The act of eating has become so habitual that we often feel an urge to eat just by seeing food. It may seem impractical to go without food for a certain period, especially if you are used to eating whenever you feel like it. However, Intermittent Fasting has been shown to have various health benefits, including the management of arthritis, hypertension, PCOs, IBD, and prevention of several other cardiovascular diseases like type 2 diabetes.

What is intermittent Fasting?

You have the ability to consciously choose periods of time for eating and not eating. You can decide to fast for a certain number of hours during the day and then eat for a specific period. You are in control and can start or stop at any time. For example, you may choose to fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours. You can start by trying a 12:12 interval (12 hours of eating followed by 12 hours of fasting) and gradually decrease the fasting period.

How does it work?

Intermittent Fasting is a dietary approach that helps your body burn the stored fat by alternating between periods of eating and fasting. It’s common for us to eat not because of hunger, but for pleasure. However, if we want to shed a few pounds, we need to create a calorie deficit by reducing our food intake and increasing physical activity. Eating excessively without fasting can lead to weight gain. Periods of fasting help your body enter a state that promotes fat burning.

What are the basic rules of intermittent Fasting?

The rules for intermittent fasting are straightforward – you get to choose the schedule that works best for you. The most common schedule is 16:8, which involves having dinner as early as 6 pm and breaking your fast at 10 am the next day, leaving you with 8 hours of eating nutritious, portion-controlled foods. Once you can maintain this schedule, you can try longer periods of fasting and less eating. However, it’s important to proceed with caution to avoid extreme hunger, dehydration, fatigue, deficiencies, and sleep problems.

Longer periods of fasting can be dangerous, particularly for patients with diabetes on medication. If you’re on an intermittent fasting schedule, make sure to choose healthier food options and watch your portion sizes when you’re in your eating window. It’s counterproductive to fast for 16 hours and then eat too much unhealthy food, so be mindful of what you eat.

How many hours of Eating and Fasting?

It all depends on your personal schedule. You should consider your work and sleep routine in order to choose hours that work best for you. This will help you to sustain your fasting plan for a longer period of time.

For example, if you work a night shift, your schedule should include eating during the night when you are awake, rather than during the day when you are sleeping.

Can you also please let me know what the health benefits of intermittent fasting are?

The benefits of intermittent are so many;

  1. Weight loss.
  2. Prevention and treatment of several diseases like diabetes.
  3. Burns fat.
  4. Improves heart health.
  5. Reduced inflammation.
  6. Also pocket-friendly.

Are there any food restrictions during the eating window?

“We need to impose restrictions to achieve specific goals such as weight loss. Fasting for 16 hours and then consuming high amounts of fatty and sugary foods does more harm than good to our health. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain a balanced and healthy diet while sticking to a particular eating schedule.”

Which type of Intermittent Fasting is the best for weight loss?

Achieving weight loss is crucial for preventing and managing most diseases, especially for diabetics. Weight loss can significantly help in controlling blood sugar levels.

To achieve weight loss, you need to reduce the amount of food you eat. Consuming too much food too frequently and being physically inactive will lead to weight gain instead of weight loss.

While longer periods of fasting can help burn extra fat, it’s essential to consult with your doctor before getting into longer fasting periods. Consistency is crucial, regardless of your fasting schedule. You can only get substantial results by staying committed, choosing healthy foods, and practicing portion control.

Is intermittent fasting safe?

Before you start intermittent fasting, consult with a doctor. Intermittent Fasting is not safe for example for children with type 1 diabetes, it can get really dangerous as it can push them to many episodes of hypoglycemia.

Longer periods of fasting can also lead to;

  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme dehydration
  • Hunger
  • Poor sleep patterns

To make sure you stay safe always choose healthy foods during your eating window and hydrate even when on fasting periods.

What about intermittent fasting and diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, particularly type 2 diabetes, has a risk factor which is obesity. Intermittent fasting can result in weight loss, which can help prevent the occurrence of diabetes. Diabesity, which is obesity in people with diabetes, also needs weight loss to control their blood glucose levels.

However, for individuals with type 1 diabetes, intermittent fasting is not recommended. For people with type 2 diabetes, close monitoring is highly encouraged, and having your own glucometer is important to keep track of your blood glucose levels, especially during the fasting period.

How will you deal with the hunger pangs?

  • You will need to train your stomach to adopt your new eating schedule.
  • Keep yourself really busy, because bored eating can be very dangerous.
  • Drink tons of water, when fasting and even during your eating window.
  • Idol snacking is bad, go to bed early to reduce snacking.
  • Keep consistent, so that you don’t mess up with your results.
  • Choose healthy, nutrient-dense foods to avoid any nutrient deficiencies.
  • Do mild exercises on the days you are on intermittent fasting, to avoid getting extreme fatigue.
  • Eat enough proteins.
  • Avoid junk foods that contain lots of sugar and fat.

Who should not try intermittent Fasting?

  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding mothers
  • Children with type 1 Diabetes 
  • Diabetics on medication
  • People with a past history of eating disorders.

FAQs

1. What are some examples of healthy food options to choose from during the eating window? whole grains, green leafy vegetables, healthy fats, water and more water, smoothies, and legumes.

2. How long should someone be on an intermittent fasting schedule before consulting with a doctor? Always start by consulting with your doctor before even starting intermittent fasting,

3. Can intermittent fasting be dangerous for people with certain medical conditions other than diabetes?

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