Intermittent fasting can be overwhelming, especially when it is your first time. It is, however, a lot easier than many other types of eating plans out there. You eat less food since you are on restricted eating hours, and during the periods you eat, you are more likely to focus on healthy meals especially if your goal is to cut weight.
Below are ways you stand to benefit of intermittent fasting:
Intermittent fasting enhances Heart Health
Intermittent fasting lowers heart disease due to its ability to lower triglycerides and blood pressure and boost HDL cholesterol.
- Improves Autoimmune Conditions
Studies have established that consuming fewer calories improves symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions like lupus and multiple sclerosis.
- Improves Blood Sugar
Intermittent fasting plays a considerable role in managing blood sugar. It can increase metabolism and lower insulin resistance, making it the best tool for people with blood sugar problems.
- Encourages Weight Loss
Underlying hormone imbalance can cause weight-loss resistance. Leptin resistance occurs when your brain stops receiving leptin’s signal to use your body stored for energy causing your body to store fat instead of using it. Intermittent fasting improves chronic inflammation that dulls the brain’s receptor sites.
- Heals the Gut
Intermittent fasting reduces inflammation in the gut and improves gut problems like Crohn’s disease, IBS, and ulcerative colitis.
- Improves Lung Problems
Intermittent fasting significantly reduces asthma symptoms and reduces oxidative stress.
- Boosts Cognitive Function
Intermittent fasting can improve degenerative brain disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
- Curbs Cravings
Intermittent fasting decreases the hunger hormone ghrelin, which increases dopamine levels in the brain. Intermittent fasting can also curb emotional eating and cravings by transitioning your metabolism from unstable sugar-burning to steady fat burning.
There are a few different ways to fast. Intermittent fasting meal plan often depends on the period you have been fasting and other factors. Nonetheless, these are the most common plans:
- The 16/8 Plan: This method involves fasting every day for 4-16 hours and restricting your eating hours to 80-10 hours during which you can 2 or more meals.
- The 5:2 Plan: involves eating 500-600 calories for two days of the week, and eating normally the other five days.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: involves a 24-hour fast, once or twice a week. For example, you can fast from one dinner to the other.
- Alternative Day fasting: Involves fasting every other day, either by not eating anything or by only eating a few hundred calories.
- The warrior Diet: Involves eating only a small portion of fruits and vegetables during the day, then eat one huge meal at night.
- Spontaneous Meal Skipping: You skip one or two meals when you do not feel hungry or do not have time to eat.
In all these plans, non–caloric beverages are allowed during the fasting hours, but no solid food. It is also important to eat healthy foods during the eating period.