The diet has long been used in weight loss modalities. From Low Carb (low starch) to Keto (high fat), from Atkinson (mostly protein) to vegan or fruitarian using only fruit. However, these diets all have something in common. They ask us to be harsh with our food choices. And this is very difficult for many people.
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Luckily, there’s another way to moderate your calorie intake. That is fasting. Not fasting like the monks, just “drinking dew” to live through the day. Which is a mode of intermittent fasting. Call the Intermittent Fasting method.
Intermittent Fasting – What is Intermittent Fasting?
Sure, it’s not a diet. It does not restrict what you eat. It also does not limit the calorie intake of the daily meal. Of course, we all know that vegetable, low-fried, low-fat dishes are always the best choice. The only thing it controls is the timing of the meal. You can think of it as a way to schedule your body to recharge.
Basically, intermittent fasting extends the time between meals. Its goal is to help the body burn calories in the form of stored body fat.
When you’re fasting, you’re not refueling. This way, your body has time to detox. It will consume calories that come from fat. This is a normal process that takes place while we sleep.
However, the body only starts burning calories from fat 12 hours after your last meal. Therefore, fasting will help the body ensure enough time to burn fat.
What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Benefits include weight loss, stress relief, improved skin tone. And of course, it saves you time cooking every day. Scientific studies also show that people who fast in moderation have improved memory, enhanced brain reflexes, as well as less sluggishness or fatigue.
The most well-researched area is the application of Intermittent Fasting in weight loss. A recent study found that participants in intermittent fasting were able to reduce their waist circumference by up to 7%. In addition, fasting actually has the effect of burning fat cells. The results showed that people who intermittently fasted were less likely to lose muscle mass than those who fasted by restricting their calorie intake.
The method of weight loss through intermittent fasting does not limit your food choices. However, you should still prioritize healthy foods. Drink enough water, use tea and coffee, limit alcohol or sugary drinks. Photo: Instagram
Why is intermittent fasting used for weight loss?
First, you are essentially taking in fewer calories, but using more calories. Deep down, you’re changing hormone levels in your body. Intermittent fasting increases the production of the fat-burning hormone, norepinephrine, and regulates the hunger hormone, ghrelin. This method also reduces the amount of insulin in the blood. As a result, you can increase your metabolic rate (metabolic rate) from 3.6% to 14%, which means you consume more calories.
Intermittent Fasting helps your body become more efficient at metabolizing energy.
Roughly speaking, your body has two states: once “full” and once “used up excess energy”. The state of fullness occurs when you are eating, or digesting food. This state can last 3 to 5 hours after you start eating. In this state, your body produces high levels of insulin. The body is converting energy into fat, instead of burning fat for energy.
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After this 3-5 hour period, the body enters the “used up excess energy” phase. This is when it starts to use fat for energy. We can imagine the following. If you eat dinner at 7pm, your body will stop being “full” at midnight. While you sleep, your body burns energy from fat. Until you wake up and have breakfast.
So what is the right way to apply intermittent fasting?
There are many different methods. The beauty of Intermittent Fasting is: it allows you the flexibility to change the time to suit your liking. The most important thing is to maintain moderation. You must be able to stick to this schedule every day.
Leangains method, or 16/8 . method
That means fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours. For example, you would end dinner at 7 p.m., and start breakfast at 9 a.m. This is a simple way to incorporate intermittent fasting into your daily life – you simply eat dinner earlier and breakfast later. Of course, you can also choose to have an early breakfast (for example, 6 a.m.), an afternoon snack, and no dinner.
The Eat Stop Eat Method, or the 5:2 method.
You will fast for 24 hours, 2 days a week. It can be understood as eating regularly for 5 days, and fasting for 2 days. However, this method is more difficult to follow than the Leangains method. That’s because having to fast for 24 hours makes many people uncomfortable. The nagging feeling can make you feel like you want to “make up” the next day.
There are many other methods…
…but they are quite extreme. For example, in the 1980s and 1990s, there was a hospital in Russia that organized an “intermittent fasting resort”. The members will fast for 15 days! There’s a documentary, The Science of Fasting, talk about this resort camp. However, we agree that extreme methods easily make us crave high-calorie foods; for example fried and oily foods. Therefore, the two methods 16/8 and 5:2 are much simpler.
Is Intermittent Fasting Dangerous?
Research shows that intermittent fasting is not dangerous to health. Scientists even assert: this is the natural way of our body.
Human ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago did not have a stable amount of food like we do now. The bodies of prehistoric humans had to evolve to endure hunger for a long time, until they found food. Intermittent fasting is no different from this.
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Of course, to apply the method of intermittent fasting effectively, you need to slowly adapt. You could try a weekday first. It sounds scary, but actually the biggest barrier lies in psychology.
Also, don’t forget that this method of intermittent fasting cannot help you lose weight without being coupled with other healthy lifestyles: eating healthy foods; exercise regularly; drink enough water; Sleep 8 hours/day…
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