Intermittent fasting has been much talked about since 2012. It gained a lot of attention when in 2016, Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi won a noble prize for making some remarkable revelations about intermittent fasting.
One of the most common questions asked about intermittent fasting is, ‘How long does it take intermittent fasting to work?’
According to scientific evidence, it takes up to 10 weeks to show some positive changes. However, everyone’s body and mind are different, so everyone has their own journey of weight loss and fitness, just like in any other diet.
Another popular question is, ‘Which is the best way to pursue intermittent fasting?’
Well, I follow 16:8 hours of fasting pattern where the eating window I limited to 8 hours, and my fasting window stretches till up to 16 hours. As per the experts, this kind of fasting daily brings consistency in routine and is easiest to follow.
The other pattern, alternate day fasting, can be complicated as you are eating freely one day with a complete absence of food on the following day. In this case, the fasting days may be challenging as you may develop plenty of hunger pangs.
The third popular pattern of intermittent fasting is 5:2 fasting patter, where you normally eat for 5 days, and you fast for the remaining two days in a week.
Out of all the three, following 16:8 is most comfortable because it sets a consistent routine for your body, and after a few weeks, you stop feeling hungry during your fasting window. Whether you are able to lose weight merely by intermittent fasting or not is a different thing; what is more important is to focus on other immense benefits of it that no other diet can provide.
Now, this is something you might have read a couple of times online. But, here are a few benefits that you might not be knowing about intermittent fasting:
- It reduces your appetite naturally: If you fast for a couple of months, you will notice that your desire to eat is naturally reduced. Portion control is a big thing that everyone needs to keep a check on these days. Due to a sedentary lifestyle, we don’t shake our leg as much as we should. More than 80% of people tend to put on weight if they don’t watch what they eat and how much they move.
Moreover, when you fast for a long time, your body heals itself, which means your digestion, circulation, mental, and physical wellbeing improves. A fitter body knows its requirements better and urges you to eat only as much is required.
2. It increases your will-power: Complete abstinence of food for as good as 16 hours is no joke. A lot of people attempt to practice intermittent fasting, but they fail miserably in it. Those who succeed definitely has conquered their hunger pangs, and severe food eating temptations.
Practicing fasting improves your will-power and confidence. You will notice that you have become more dedicated, focussed, and determined in your goals, which could be personal and professional.
3. Fasting provides rest to your body to focus on body healing and reparation: We are eating way too much than what our body needs. You see, many people are facing the problem of organ failures or malfunctioning. Diseases like kidney failure, liver failures, heart failures, insulin resistance, etc. are rising at an alarming rate.
Not many people know that our bodies are incredibly designed to heal themselves. But, we engage our bodies so much through the day by munching something or the other that never gets time to heal or repair itself.
When you follow intermittent fasting, your body gets ample time to focus on the healing and reparation part of it. When you make intermittent fasting a lifestyle change, your body is continuously repairing itself every day or every week, depending on your fasting pattern.
So, intermittent fasting is making your system highly efficient, whether you lose weight doing it or not. However, in the longer run, you will definitely notice a shift in your weight as the body fat is used as an energy source during fasting.
4. It rejuvenates you: Feeling bored, feeling distracted, feeling stressed, and depressed are some things that vanish away to a great extent when you fast. These days maintaining concentration in work is a big problem for most people who get distracted by mobile phones or social media.
You would notice that when you fast, you develop a fantastic clarity of mind. You are able to make better decisions quickly. You would also see that you no longer feel lost, lonely, or depressed. Your mental wellbeing further influences your physical wellbeing and makes you a happier person.
5. You are saving nature: With the ever-growing population, you would be aware of how difficult it is getting for the environment to support lives. Many pesticides and fertilisers are used for multiple agricultural produce to meet the growing demand for food. When you eat only as much as you need, you are serving nature and millions of others who struggle to eat even one meal a day.
It is a social service of its kind. We have gotten into the wrong practice of overfeeding our bodies with food all through the day. Because of this, our bodies are giving up sooner. If we try and correct our lifestyle by taking these small steps, we will lead a much healthy, happy, and fulfilling life.