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Understanding Intermittent Fasting: A Comprehensive Guide.

Many individuals seeking meal kit subscriptions are drawn to the advantages of preportioned meals, weight loss, and minimizing food waste. Meal kits can assist in managing portion sizes, promoting healthier eating, and reducing calorie consumption, contributing to a more healthful diet. As previously mentioned, the Ketogenic Diet has been explored. Another method to decrease calorie intake and facilitate weight loss is Intermittent Fasting.

Intermittent fasting (IF), also referred to as ‘periodic fasting,' focuses on when you eat rather than what you eat. This eating pattern involves alternating between fasting periods (e.g., 16-24 hours) and eating periods.

The fasting period is always longer than the eating window. During fasting, you're allowed to consume non-caloric beverages like water, coffee, and tea (without milk and sugar).

Hence, both intermittent fasting and the keto diet share the common objective of reducing overall calorie intake.

There are several variations of intermittent fasting, but the following three are the most popular:

1. 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

The 16/8 schedule is the most widely adopted variant. It's easy to incorporate into daily routines. The concept is to fast for 16 consecutive hours each day and then follow a regular eating pattern for the remaining 8 hours.

For instance, if you begin fasting at 8 PM, your next meal can be at 12 PM the following day, allowing you to conveniently have lunch with colleagues or family. Dinner can also be enjoyed as usual.

This approach ensures that your daily energy intake is concentrated within the 8-hour eating window, which can be divided into either two or three meals.

2. The Intermittent Fasting 5:2 diet

The 5:2 diet is another variant. Followers of this pattern abstain from fasting five days of a week and maintain a normal calorie intake based on their dietary needs. On the remaining two days, they adhere to a strict calorie restriction, which doesn't entail complete fasting but rather consuming fewer calories.

The recommended intake on these two days is 600 kcal/day for men and 500 kcal/day for women. It's important to ensure that the two days of calorie restriction are not consecutive.

3. 24 hour intermittent fasting.

The final widely practised variant is the 24-hour fast. This entails scheduling one or two fasting periods per week, lasting 24 consecutive hours each. On non-fasting days, it's crucial not to exceed the recommended calorie intake based on your needs.

When to Opt for Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting primarily aims at weight loss. Adopting this eating pattern leads to reduced daily or weekly calorie consumption, resulting in weight loss.

Each variant works slightly differently. In the 16/8 schedule, meals are spaced closer together, and the satisfaction derived from one meal contributes to reduced hunger in the next. Consequently, overall food intake decreases.

During a 24-hour fast, various physiological changes occur. Notably, human growth hormone production increases fivefold. This hormone is advantageous as it plays a pivotal role in repairing cells and tissues within the body. Muscle tissue, for example, benefits from this repair process, resulting in less muscle breakdown compared to other calorie-restricted diets. Moreover, the growth hormone draws energy from fat reserves, facilitating easier fat-burning.

Intermittent fasting enhances insulin sensitivity due to its reduction in carbohydrate intake frequency and quantity, leading to lower insulin levels. This lower insulin level facilitates more straightforward utilization of stored body fat. Increased insulin sensitivity also offers protection against type 2 diabetes.

Fasting leads to heightened insulin sensitivity and an elevated release of the fat-burning hormone noradrenaline. This hormone signals the body to release fatty acids from fat cells for energy. Consequently, body fat percentage decreases.

Elevated concentrations of cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in the bloodstream are detrimental to health, contributing to heart and vascular diseases. IF results in decreased levels of these three substances. Additionally, circulating glucose, insulin, and homocysteine levels decrease, reducing the risk of heart and vascular diseases.

Considerations for the Intermittent Fasting Diet

Whether weight maintenance is sustained after the fasting period remains somewhat uncertain. The primary reason intermittent fasting proves effective is its reduction in calorie intake. However, this assumes a regular food intake during eating periods. If excessive food consumption occurs during these windows, weight loss might not happen, or weight gain could result.1Intermittent Fasting: Focus op wanneer je eet, niet wat je eet, Gezondleven.be

Disclaimer:
The content presented here is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. It aims to provide insights into intermittent fasting. If you have medical concerns or require guidance, please consult a healthcare professional or your doctor. Individual health needs vary, and personalized medical advice is essential for your well-being.

Not everyone can exercise sufficient restraint during these eating periods. If you anticipate indulging once eating is ‘allowed,' intermittent fasting may not be the most suitable choice.

Maintaining a healthy and varied diet remains crucial despite the lesser focus on food content. This ensures adequate nutrient intake and prevents deficiencies.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes must exercise caution during fasting, particularly those taking blood sugar-lowering medications. Proper insulin dosage adjustments are necessary during IF. Incorrect adjustments could lead to low blood sugar levels during fasting, increasing the risk of hypoglycemia. It's essential to discuss Intermittent Fasting with your treating physician beforehand to ensure medication alignment.

Hunger is the primary side effect of intermittent fasting. You may also experience weakness or a temporary reduction in cognitive function. These effects typically subside as your body gradually adapts to the new eating pattern.

References

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