The Concept Of Intermittent Fasting

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By -Pavas Shrigyan

The ritual of fasting has an ancient history. Fasting has been very common especially in Indian culture, where all the occasions, festivities, pooja, aradhana are started after a certain amount of time of fasting. It is considered as a holy concept and hence is practiced in every part of India with their own different approaches. However, these days fasting is not limited to culture only. It is now being practiced by people even during their normal lifestyle as well. The approach is to remain healthy and fit, and to intoxicate the body in every few weeks or months. One such approach of fasting is intermittent fasting.

What is it?

An eating pattern where one cycles between periods of eating and fasting. It is also known as intermittent energy restriction which is like an umbrella for meal timing of various schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting, or reduced intake of calorie, and non-fasting over a given period. Fasting for a particular number of hours at one day or eating just one meal for a couple days a week, would help your body burn the fat. Calorie-restriction diet is similar to an intermittent fasting and it has been studied in the 21st century as a practice for possibly reducing the risk of diet-related diseases. But still, intermittent
fasting has been criticized as a vogue. Intermittent fasting does not say anything about which food to eat or not, but instead it tells you when to eat them. There are various different intermittent fasting methods, and all of the methods split the day or week into the eating and fasting periods.

How does intermittent fasting work?

There are numerous different ways for intermittent fasting, but eventually they are based on choosing regular time periods for eating and fasting. If you’re a beginner at this kind of fasting then for instance, one can start by trying to eat only during an eight-hour period every day and then keep fasting for the remaining time. One can also choose to eat only one meal a day, two
days a week. There are a variety of schedules for intermittent fasting, therefore a person can choose according to his lifestyle and routine.
Mattson suggests that after a few hours without food, the body starts getting exhausted of its sugar storage and hence starts burning fat. He refers to this as a metabolic switching. This fasting only works by protracting the period when the body has got burned and exhausted by the calories consumed during intake of the last meal and then begins burning fat. At that point, an individual should intake more glucose related food items and sugar intake through natural items for getting to keep the body working essentially

How does it help?

There could be many benefits of the intermittent fasting all over, and here are few of them which have been revealed till now:

1. Memory- The studies related to intermittent fasting suggests that it helps in boosting the working memory in animals and verbal memory in humans.

2. Healthy heart- This fasting improves blood pressure and helps in resting heart rates in extreme circumstances and furthermore helps in other heart-related measurements.

3. Physical performance– Studies suggested that the young men who fasted for 16 hours showed fat loss while actually maintaining the mass of muscle. However, Mice, who were fed on alternate days showed better endurance during running.

4. Obesity and diabetes- In animal statistics, intermittent fasting prevented obesity, and in few studies it was observed for obesity patients to lose weight through the fasting.

5. Health of tissues- Mainly in animals, the fasting reduced the tissue damage in surgeries and results were improved.

Is intermittent fasting safe?

People try fasting to manage their weight, and few others use this method for addressing chronic conditions like high cholesterol, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and many more. But intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone. Researchers suggest that before trying any sort of diet, a person should cross check in with a primary care practitioner first. And some people are suggested to stay steer clear with trying of intermittent fasting and they are:
1. The teens and children under the age of 18.
2. People with sugar and diabetes problems.
3. Pregnant women or the women who are involved in breastfeeding.
4. The people with an old history of eating disorders.

Myths surrounding intermittent fasting

1. It will help you lose weight, no matter what
People have this misconception about losing weight when it comes to being diet conscious, but you need to understand that not every time fasting is about losing weight, and not in every situation it will do that. Sometimes it just intoxicates your body completely.

2. Fasting slows down the metabolism process
Intermittent fasting is not actually about calorie restriction, instead it just restricts the time for calorie consumption. And waiting for a few hours in order to intake your meal, like in this type of fasting does not make any difference in the rate of metabolism.

3. One can eat as much as wanted, once the fasting is over
So many people have this stereotype that they should control their diet when they are fasting, and when it is over, they can go on eating as much as they want. You should understand that any kind of diet you opt for should be to make your lifestyle healthier, and it should not just be a matter of dew days. Even after the end of the diet/fasting, you should eat a regular sized meal only.

4. One can’t exercise while intermittent fasting
It is said that working out in an empty stomach is the best way to exercise; that way you will be burning the fats that have already been stored in your body since the last meal, instead of the calories you have just consumed with the recent meal. Hence, working out during fasting is actually a positive and healthier approach.

5. One becomes extremely fit during intermittent fasting
Fasting with proper intake of essential and required food items, combined with proper exercise and work out time could only help you in getting fit and healthy. Any kind of fasting alone does not have the capability of keeping you fit, rather at some point it could weaken you as well.


Even if you know everything about intermittent fasting and you are so hell-bent on trying it, always keep in mind that it might have different effects on different people due to the difference in body structures. Except for some categories of people, it is mostly beneficial. It could be a change in your lifestyle if you continue to do it with proper guidance and knowledge. And if you  ever face any disturbance by your body in daily chores, don’t hesitate in consulting a doctor because there will always be a chance of facing a deterioration, caused during the whole process due to even a bit of lack of attention.

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