Updated on Dec 12, 2022, 14:36 IST

Weight Loss with Intermittent Fasting: Should You Commit Or Steer Clear?

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Are you a foodie who wants to lead a healthy life? Do the fancy diets seem too complicated to keep up with, especially if you're swamped with work?

The answer to all your fitness woes is intermittent fasting.  You don't have to burn your money on expensive gym memberships! You don't even have to give up your love for rice! You can lose weight, improve your health and simplify your lifestyle, all while eating home-cooked food. 

'Intermittent fasting for weight loss is one of the world's most popular health trends, and we bring you the ultimate intermittent fasting guide. Read on.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

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Most diets focus on "what" to eat. However, intermittent fasting focuses on "when" to eat, which makes this type of fasting a pattern of eating rather than a diet plan. This involves following a specific eating pattern wherein one avoids consuming calories for an extended period. Typically, this fasting period is between 12 to 40 hours. 

Intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies to shed excessive weight. It requires simple lifestyle changes that make it easy to follow while reaping significant results. 

How does Intermittent Fasting work?

When one consumes three meals throughout the day with other miscellaneous snacks, they derive energy from all the calories consumed. Without exercise, they only use up a part of those calories and never get to burn the fat stored in the body. 

Intermittent fasting works by delaying the gap between your meals so that when the body has burned enough calories consumed during your last meal, it will begin burning fat, thereby helping you lose weight. This is referred to as metabolic switching.

What are the different methods of intermittent fasting?

  • Daily Intermittent Fasting: This divides your day into an 8-hour long eating period and 16 hours of fasting.
  • Weekly Intermittent Fasting: This involves a 24-hour fast once a week. 
  • Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting: This one incorporates longer fasting periods on alternating days throughout the week. 

Who should take up Intermittent Fasting?

1. People who like Simplicity

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Complicated meal plans and diets can be difficult to maintain. Intermittent fasting makes things easier as you have to cook and clean less. You can easily continue this type of fasting using your usual home-cooked food using the same ingredients.

2. People who want to Lose Weight

Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool for weight loss, as per studies. It helps to reduce your calorie intake, as you have fewer meals while following this type of fasting. It also regulates hormone levels that aid weight loss.

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3. People who want to Live Longer

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Studies have revealed that intermittent fasting can help extend one's lifespan by improving brain health and aiding the growth of new nerve cells. It may also help to protect against the deterioration of cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease. Ongoing studies also claim that it may prevent cancer.

4. People who hate diets

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If you do not like to monitor everything you put in your mouth, then going for intermittent fasting for weight loss is your best option. You don't have to keep calculating the calories every breathing second.

5. People dealing with type 2 diabetes and obesity

It has been observed that intermittent fasting can help people lose body weight and lower their insulin, glucose and leptin levels while on an empty stomach and in general. It also increases the levels of adiponectin.

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6. People who want to improve their Heart Health

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Intermittent fasting improves blood pressure and resting heart rates along with other heart-related measurements. It also lowers blood pressure.

Who Should Not Take Up Intermittent Fasting?

1. People with sleep problems

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People who have trouble sleeping might face more difficulty while fasting. Going to bed hungry might not allow your body to relax and fall asleep. Hunger keeps your brain alert and, thereby, leaves your body restless.

2. People with eating disorders

If one has had a history of disordered eating or eating disorders, limiting the eating window might trigger disordered patterns. They need to listen to their body and be mindful of their physical and emotional well-being.

3. People engaged in intensive training

One needs to eat something before and after exercising to power through workouts. If someone is training to gain muscle, they should consume protein throughout the day rather than in one eating window. The body won't be able to metabolize so much protein properly.

4. People with digestion issues

Dealing with digestion issues can be quite a task in itself. Changing your eating schedule can mess with your gut. Periods of fasting can disrupt the normal activities of the digestive system and can cause constipation, indigestion and bloating.

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5. People with type 1 diabetes

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Intermittent fasting for weight loss is not recommended to diabetic patients, especially the ones on medications like insulin. They must have timely meals to maintain adequate blood sugar levels. 

6. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

If any woman in your family and friends is pregnant or breastfeeding, you should advise them to avoid intermittent fasting for weight loss, as they are eating for two. Adequate intake of calories is imperative for the proper development of the baby and milk production. 

7. People on medication to be taken with food

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Some medicines are to be taken after food, as they can make you nauseated or lightheaded, among other side effects. Intermittent fasting can disrupt the timings of medicines, thereby messing with your body. 

8. People with cancer or a weak immune system

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People who are recovering or suffering from major illnesses should not take intermittent fasting without consulting a doctor. Sufficient calorie intake is imperative when trying to maintain body mass and build a healthy immune system.

9. People whose lifestyles can't accommodate fasting

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Your professional life has a great impact on your daily routine. If you are a person engaged in a profession that demands intense focus and concentration, fasting can divert your attention away. Hunger can hamper your productivity and not allow your brain to work to its optimum capacity.

Intermittent fasting for weight loss can also be a difficult task if you work nights or work different shifts every day. Fasting during inconsistent schedules can potentially give you headaches and make you moody and less productive.

The Bottomline

The different intermittent fasting methods require mental strength and commitment. You need to listen to your body and not suffer just to lose weight. Intermittent fasting for weight loss can respond differently for different people. It all comes down to what you feel is right for your body.

Follow this intermittent fasting ultimate guide and write to us about your weight loss journey.


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