Intermittent Fasting and its Benefits
Intermittent fasting is extremely in lately. Everyone is talking about it or following it or trying to follow it.
I also followed Intermittent fasting 3 years back. It was a quick weight loss thing for me. In a period of around 6 weeks I lost about 8 kgs.
But if you really ask me does fasting work with weight loss? My answer would be no. Weight loss happens only with the simple formula of calorie deficit. As long as you are on a calorie deficit you would loose weight. Do read this post that I wrote about weight loss without any fad diets.
Intermittent fasting is a time restricted eating pattern and works best for people who are not able to control intake or having bad relations with food. It sort of bans entry in the kitchen for a certain period of time and thus helps cut down unwanted calories.
This exactly was how it controlled my food cravings and helped me loose weight so soon.
How I lost weight with Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting helped me be disciplined which I was lacking otherwise. I was fasting almost 16 hours so those 16 hours I did not deviate from my diet. I had this very bad habbit of midnight binge eating, but with Intermittent fasting I stopped that.
Somehow I managed to control the habit and maintain it thereafter. I do not any longer binge eat late at night.
So all in all it was the calorie deficit which lead to weight loss.
The diet I followed I only ate my 2 -3 meals and nothing in between. Not even a peanut. So obviously all mid meal snacking stopped. My tea and coffee during the day stopped. No snacks etc between the meals. All this created a huge calorie deficit and helped me loose weight.
Apart for that the meals I ate were very well balanced. I took sufficient protein, and fresh vegetables. Carbohydrates were also kept in control since I was somewhat following keto. So I did eat veggies but no fruits ( I did take a banana in my green smoothie once a day). I ate rice but very little. I could eat a chapati (flat bread) but only of jowar or Bajra.
Basically even when I ate I kept a strict check on my diet. So obviously weight loss had to happen. And I was excercising too!
People follow intermittent fasting in cycles of 12:12, 16:8, 20:4 etc. meaning that they fast for 12, 16 or 20 hours and eat in the remaining time. Also some people follow alternate day fasting or fasting for five days and leaving out two or vice versa.
Some people eat one meal a day. But one could choose to eat 2 or 3 times as well. This is something one has to see as per their convenience.
Benefits of Fasting
Fasting as such is very beneficial for us. Our ancient system of ayurveda recommends fasting at least once a week. Fasting also is recommended for people who are unwell as it helps them recover faster.
- It Gives a break to the digestive system thereby giving the body time to recover and repair itself. Thus fating helps reduce inflammation pains etc.
- IF reduces insulin resistance and thus helps in controlling blood sugar.
- It helps in weight loss by controlling our caloric intake and improving metabolic rate.
- Some studies have been conducted that show a link between fasting and longevity.
- I found more time to do other things because I was not all the time thinking of cooking or eating.
These are the benefits I felt or know people experienced. You may also read this article which gives evidence based benefits of fasting.
Why I do not follow Intermittent Fasting any longer
I do follow a circadian rhythm fasting, meaning that I eat my last meal around sunset and I do not eat anything before sunrise next day. Even ayurveda suggests one to follow this eating pattern. If we look around all animals and birds follow a similar pattern of eating.
I would not follow the strict fasting regime that I once followed, though I do not mind fasting once in a while to accrue the benefits of the process. But as a pattern of eating I surely do not see myself following it in a long time.
Socializing also becomes tough in a fasting state. It really is not possible to visit someone and refuse to eat.
As a mother too one needs to be more active in the kitchen. Kids have constant food demands. Something that does not function for the whole family becomes very difficult to follow for the mom.
To conclude i would say that intermittent fasting is good eating pattern if it finds a place in your life. It has many health benefits and it does make you feel good. But otherwise eating healthy and having good food habits is equally good and beneficial. One must adopt habits which become a lifestyle. Going after a fad for a short while to come back to your old bad ways is not going to serve any purpose in the long run.
I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z and this post corresponds to letter I!