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Intermittent fasting is another ever-green diet plan, much like the keto or the low carb diet. It is widely practiced and has actually shown amazing results. The only way a diet can be helpful to you is if it suits your body. The intermittent diet focus on your eating patterns and timings. It guides on ‘when’ to it rather than ‘what’ to eat. It dictates the various intervals of fasting and eating. The main aim is to activate hormones that aid fat burning during the times you fast.
How does it work? There are many hormones that affect your weight. Insulin is one of the most important among them. To understand how intermittent fasting works, let us first look at the effects of insulin on our body. Insulin increases the absorption of glucose from the food you eat which sooner or later converts into stubborn starch. Likewise, insulin is produced in response to foods high in carbohydrates. When we eat our body simultaneously produces insulin. Low levels of insulin means less absorption of glucose. When can insulin levels in your body be lowered? A- if you consume less glucose-rich foods (that’s exactly how low-carb diet helps in losing weight) or B- When you fast. In intermittent fasting, when you fast your body is low in insulin making it easier to burn fat. Also, when you a rut of glucose during the fasting state, the body recruits fats for energy production. Since the feeding hours are less, this diet also works by the method of going ‘calorie deficit’. And if you eat clean and healthy without compromising on your calories, it’s a win-win! Because you are sure to lose weight that way.
Types of intermittent fasting: 1. The 16:8 pattern: Much as it sounds, it involves 8 hours wherein you can eat your meals and a fasting period of 16 hours. It is the most widely followed pattern as it is more convenient than the other patterns. Eg: If you decide to skip breakfast and go for brunch at 12 pm, then 12 pm -8 pm is your eating time. One can have their regular 3-4 meals during this time. And 8 pm-12 pm is your fasting time, which makes it 16 hours of fasting. You can modify these time according to your work schedule. 2. The 20:4 – Here, you only have 4 hours to eat. So it would require you to feast in such a small window period. 3. 24 hour fast: This involves eating after 24 hours!
How to go about it? Although there are no restrictions on what to eat, if we set some flexible boundaries, we’ll be at an advantage! Eat smart because we don’t want to give up to cravings during the fasting hours. Eating a high-fiber meal will ensure that you feel fuller for longer times. This is also the time to have all the essential minerals and vitamins that will keep you going throughout the day. Starting few days may seem exhausting as your body might not adapt to it quickly. If you are suffering from any medical conditions like PCOD, Thyroid, Post-partum weight gain and other cardio-vascular and metabolic disorders, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before changing your eating schedules. Snacking healthy along with following these eating patterns one is sure to achieve their weight loss goals!