Intermittent Fasting Basics You Need To Know About

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Intermittent Fasting Basics You Need To Know About

A health and fitness trend that’s become globally acceptable is intermittent fasting (IF). It’s used by people interested in losing their weight, improving their health, or desiring to simplify their lifestyles. Different studies show that it has a very powerful effect on your body and in some cases, helps you live longer.

Intermittent Fasting Basics You Need To Know About
Unlike the average healthy diet, it doesn’t focus on what foods you should eat or not eat but rather focuses on when you should eat. In other words, with IF you can only eat within a specific period. Going without food for a certain number of hours every day or eating just one time some days per week, can help your body get rid of unhealthy fat. This is not just theoretical but has also been proven scientifically as having health benefits. 

Starting off this lifestyle is best if you’re not a fan of too many complexities. You don’t need to exercise except you want to or change what you love eating, you only need to change when you eat. The eating plans are also quite comfortable for just about anyone who is interested. Here are some basic knowledge about IF you need to know.

There’s A Science Behind It

Why should you limit the way you eat? Is it effective, and how does it really work? Here’s the science behind it. In order to lose weight, the human body needs more time to burn food energy which is possible when you fast. Your body in that period helps you to burn stored energy. When the body is eating, digesting, and absorbing food; it is in the fed state which starts when continues for a maximum of 5 hours. It’s not possible for your body to burn fat during this period because the insulin levels would be high. 

After that period is the post-absorptive state which lasts for 8-12 hours after your previous meal. That is when you enter the fasted state where it is possible for you to burn fat.

Taking Liquids Is Allowed

It’s easy to become dehydrated when fasting, but there’s no rule against taking liquids during fasts. There is no required limit to what you can drink during intermittent fasting like water or zero-calorie beverages. Dehydration and tiredness usually occur when you forget to drink water throughout the day. Coffees and teas are great options to consider since they’ve been known as an appetite suppressing beverages. You are encouraged to take them as long as no creamer or sweetener is added. 

There Are Different Ways To Fast

There are various plans or approaches to fasting you can follow once you want to go ahead. The 5-2 fasting is one approach where an individual can have their normal calories for just five days a week while for the remaining two days, the individual restricts their consumption to no more than 600 calories.

eThere’s also the 24-hour fast; you can decide to completely fast for a full day either once or twice a week then eat normally for the other days. A person is free to eat as they normally would any other day during the fasting days. Not everyone is advised to follow this, especially if they’ve got a medical condition. They’re required to speak with their doctor before doing so.

The time-restrictive approach is another way to fast where the times you can eat each day are limited. You can eat what you normally can within a 4-8 hours window and fast for the remainder of the day. 

The alternate-day type of fasting is one where you can eat  ¼ of normal calories every day.

It Affects Your Cells And Hormones

Fasting stirs up different reactions in your body down to a cellular and molecular level. It is a period where your body simplifies hormone levels to ensure that fat stored in the body becomes more accessible. As a matter of fact, your cells also begin repair processes and modify the expression of genes. Below are other changes that take place in your body during fasting:


  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH): Fasting increases the levels of growth hormones. This is beneficial in losing fat and muscle gain.
  • Insulin: Sensitivity of insulin improves in the body while insulin levels drop. Reduced insulin ensures stored fat becomes more accessible and would help in weight loss. 
  • Cellular repair: IF helps your cells commence cellular repair which includes autophagy, where the cells are digested and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells removed. 
  • Gene expression: Functionality of the genes in relation to longevity and protection against disease changes with fasting. 
Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

If you think deeply about it, fasting has always been part of the human lifestyle. It was just until a few decades ago that three square meals became a thing and obesity came to being. It’s a good way to become more intentional about your health and weight without thinking too hard about it.

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