Intermittent fasting: A holistic approach to fitness and well-being

Media has totally influenced the way we look at ourselves. You see advertisements of perfectly shaped models dressed in trendiest clothes trying to sell you everything from garments, shoes, bags, cosmetics to somthing as simples as pens.

By the visual impact of media, our minds get conditioned to be happy only when we grab the latest dress or shoes in trend. We strive and desired hard to be in prefect shape only to wear the best in trend.

Fair enough! But, nobody can manage to stay in perfect shape throughout life. And, that’s life which takes you through inevitable changes due to aging or changes in lifestyle or responsibilities. So, instead of embracing every stage of life and enjoying it to the fullest, we are left sulking about not being in perfect shape.

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More than 70% of the global population is obese and is desperate to lose weight. So, I thought of writing about a great remedy not just for weight loss but also for overall well-being. The remedy is called as ‘Intermittent Fasting.’ The most common form of intermittent fasting is when you fast for 16 hours, and you have 8 hours of eating window. During 16 hours of fast, you cannot eat anything except black tea or coffee without sugar.

Alternately, people also do a 5:2 fasting where you eat for 5 days and fast for two days in a week. The other and the most difficult form of fasting is alternate day fasting where you eat for a day and you fast for the entire following day in repetition.

Intermittent Fasting has plenty of benefits to offer, like:

Weight Loss: When you don’t eat for long hours, your body dissolves the stored fat reserves to convert it into energy which promotes weight loss. The body targets visceral fat which is highly unhealthy and is found around visceral organs of the body. The result is that you see reduction in your waistline and your belly size within the first few weeks of intermittent fasting.

Another strategy that works here is that, you are building a calorie deificit diet. If we talk about 16:8 fasting methodology, when you eat in 8 hours you easily fit in only two meals and two snacks, skipping the third large meal of the day. This automatically brings down your calorie intake, helping you lose weight much faster.

Cell Reparation: Our bodies are perfectly designed with a self-healing mechanism. But during the modern evolution, it was believed that we need to feed our body through the day within small intervals. A usual eating routine involves:

  • Tea/coffee in the morning with few cookies or biscuits
  • Breakfast
  • Mid-morning snack with tea
  • Lunch
  • Evening tea with snacks
  • Dinner

Do you see that through the day we are just eating something or the other? As a result, our body is always engaged in digesting and assimilating the digested food.

Human bodies can either perform the so-called ‘digestion process’ in which we engage it through the day, or it can get into reparation of cells when it is rid of digesting food for prolonged hours. But, in these modern days, we have plenty of food theories doing the rounds. Most of the theories suggest to keep eating in frequent intervals to ensure a constant supply of energy to our body through the day.

Though frequent eating has been around for decades, people are now beginning to realize the importance of fasting once or twice in a week that was profoundly present in the old Indian tradition. When we are fasting for 16 long hours, then the body is automatically getting into reparation of cells making us healthier.

Removes Toxins: Intermittent fasting stimulates the toxin removal process from our body cells. The body identifies and removes the toxins from the body cells.

Promotes metabolism: Intermittent fasting promotes metabolism until up to 14% naturally. The body automatically dissolves the fat reserves to maintain energy levels.

Stimulates Human Growth Hormone production (HGH) naturally: The human growth hormone (HGH) is usually secreted when we are fast asleep which is a rare feature in adults. In adults, the amount of HGH secreted takes a dip. But, while you are fasting for such long hours, the HGH is secreted up to 5 times more which promotes new cell formation and neurogenesis. In short, the health and well-being of the body are automatically taken care of.

Lowers Insulin resistance: Many people have diabetes right from an early age. Whenever we eat, the body has to release insulin to check the sugar level in the blood. Due to over functioning of Pancreas, to release insulin in short intervals, the body develops insulin resistance.

In order to check diabetes before developing it, intermittent fasting can do wonders. It can make you diabetes-free for your entire span of life.

Prevents cancer: It is said that cancerous cells multiply in the body when there is a regular food supply to provide them with nourishment. These cells die out of hunger when you fast for 16 long hours. Even patients who have developed cancer can be significantly benefitted and can speed up their recovery if they follow intermittent fasting under their medical practitioner’s guidance.

Better quality sleep: When you stay light in the stomach for most of the day, you get a much better quality of sleep at night.

These are a few benefits that you get if you get into intermittent fasting. You can try fasting for two weeks to see the magical results. What better way there could be to lose weight with so many other benefits coming your way along with it. Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle change, and it automatically corrects your hunger and portion size to your body needs.

I find this therapy amazing, and I have been doing it for the past one month. It has helped me lose 5 kg in just 20 days. Of course, I also engage myself in a regular 25 minutes of high-intensity workout for at least 5 days a week to attain mental and physical fitness. Just try this on, you may find the first few days a bit tough, but soon your body gets into your new fasting routine and you stop feeling hungry in your fasting period.

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