Amidst a world filled with popular dieting methods for quick success, it is important to understand that losing weight in a healthy way makes all the difference. Speaking of healthy ways to stay fit, intermittent fasting revolves around limiting your body’s daily food intake to specific time windows. It essentially means that your food and beverage intake for the day is set for an 8-hour window. For the remaining 16 hours, abstinence from food is practiced, although no-calorie beverages can be had.
Intermittent fasting methods
While intermittent fasting mainly focuses on time management, here are 3 different methods of doing it the right way, for best results.
16:8 method – Also referred to as the Leangains protocol, this method of fasting revolves around completing your meals in 8 hours of the day.
5:2 method – This method of fasting requires you to eat meals normally for 5 days of the week, but limit your calorie count to 500-600 calories of 2 alternative days of the week, for example on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Intermittent fasting diet plan
When it comes to an intermittent fasting diet plan, there are majorly 4 groups of foods that are to be included in the regime. These are –
- Healthy fats – Nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils such as olive, sunflower, canola, soy and corn.
- Whole grains Quinoa, oats, brown rice, barley and buckwheat are some of the examples of whole grains that are a must to include in your intermittent fasting diet plan.
- Vegetables – Undeniably, vegetables such as broccoli, cucumbers, leafy and collard greens are an important addition to your diet.
- Fruits – Anything from bananas to berries and apples to mangoes, should be included in your intermittent fasting diet plan.
Intermittent fasting benefits
Many studies have shown the positive effects of this type of fasting that help control weight and other body functions as well. While there are many benefits of intermittent fasting, the most important ones are listed below.
1. Weight loss
As expected, one of the most important benefits of this type of fasting is weight loss. But how does it happen? The scientific reason behind intermittent fasting for weight loss lies behind hormone function. When you eat fewer meals, you end up taking fewer calories. Lower calories mean lower insulin levels and high ‘good’ cholesterol levels. Additionally, consumption of fewer calories can also increase the amounts of norepinephrine, a compound that helps break down fat in our body. This is precisely the reason why fasting can help increase your metabolic rate.
2. Helps reduce inflammation
Intermittent fasting benefits also include reduced inflammation. How it works is when there are free radicals in the body, they react with other existing molecules such as proteins and DNA, damaging them. This type of fasting helps reduce free radicals, leading to reduced oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
3. Helps facilitate cellular repair
Intermittent fasting helps cells remove waste. This involves the process called autophagy. When the cells break down and metabolize broken and dysfunctional protein strands that can build up inside the cells over a period of time. This build up can hamper the cells’ ability to perform their functions smoothly.
4. Intermittent fasting for women
Intermittent fasting for women also comes with the benefit of helping control diabetes. Some studies show that the Indian intermittent fasting diet plan helps lower insulin levels more in women. The Indian diet of intermittent fasting includes ample fruits, vegetables, along with full meals that barely feel like you’re dieting. It’s more about the time at which you eat than the choice of foods.
5. Helps with brain function
When we fast, the BDNF hormones (brain derived neurotrophic hormones) increase in the brain. These hormones help with better brain cognition and promote the health of it as well. To add to that, Omega-3 Fish Oil capsules is one such nutritional supplement that helps improve brain and eye health as well. It also helps reduce joint inflammation.
6. Helps benefit heart health
Undeniably, heart disease is the world’s biggest reason for mortality. As bad lifestyle choices unfold with each passing year, the effects of them on our bodies just keep getting worse. However, this particular fasting has shown to improve the following risk factors when it comes to the heart such as high blood pressure, bad cholesterol or LDL, triglyceride levels and blood sugar levels .
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