An increasingly popular dieting method, intermittent fasting involves alternate cycles of fasting and eating. A proven way to cause weight loss, there are different ways to perform the diet. The diet requires you to fast from 16 to 24 hours, which can also lead to a slower metabolism rate.
The easiest method of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 method, which requires one to restrict their eating time to 8 hours a day and fast for the remaining 16 hours. For example, you can skip breakfast or eat your first meal at noon and the last meal at 8 pm. During the fasting period, you aren’t allowed to have any solid food but can have water, coffee, tea or any low-calorie food.
The 5:2 version of the diet allows you to eat normally for five days of the week and fast for the other two days. In this version, you can eat normally on all days except Mondays and Thursdays, which is when you can eat just two small meals containing 500-600 calories only. Also known as the Fast Diet, this was popularised by British journalist and doctor, Michael Mosley.
The most difficult method to follow, the “Eat-Stop-Eat” was popularised by fitness expert Brad Pilon. It involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week. For example, you can fast from dinner one day to dinner the next day. During this time, you can have water, coffee and other low-or no-calorie food items. But it is also crucial to eat normally during the eating periods as it boosts the weight loss process. The only problem with this method is that a full 24-hour fast can prove to be very difficult for many people, especially those who aren’t accustomed to fasting much. One needs to follow some serious self-discipline in order to follow this diet.
Is intermittent fasting worth the hype?
While this diet helps lose weight and belly fat, longer periods of fasting can lead to slower metabolism levels, which in turn can lead to weight gain. Besides, while breaking the fast, one still needs to keep an eye on your calorie intake. Since eating high-calorie foods like burgers and fries can add a lot of fat to the body, they need to be avoided. Apart from that, this form of fasting supposedly helps control blood pressure levels, type-II diabetes and prevents cancer.
Dr. Stephen Freedland, associate professor of urology and pathology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, conducted a similar dieting experiment on mice with prostate cancer. “In the study, mice fasted twice a week for 24 hours, but were otherwise permitted to eat at liberty. During non-fasting days, the mice overate. Overall, they did not lose weight, counteracting whatever benefits they might have seen from fasting. Intermittent fasting with compensatory overeating ‘did not improve mouse survival nor did it delay prostrate tumor growth’, the study concluded.”
Doesn’t sound very promising, but if you’ve tried this diet, write in and tell us whether it worked or not.