Intermittent fasting: Fasting to lose weight | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 21, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:39 AM, February 21, 2020

Fitness & Travel

Intermittent fasting: Fasting to lose weight

Most of us are familiar with the idea of fasting out of religious faith, but have you ever heard of fasting for health? The idea is not so crazy if you think about how thousands of years ago you couldn't just go to the grocery store, but instead had to hunt and gather your food. There's no way we could've been midnight snacking back then.

That's how we evolved as a species and so, it is actually in our nature to fast for a while every day. For instance, eating right before bed can lead to gastric or other digestive issues because it takes about 3 hours to fully ingest food. If we are going by the circadian rhythm, our biological clock, we should ideally be fasting for about 13 hours by eating dinner at 7-8 pm or at least 3 hours before we sleep. Fasting according to the circadian rhythm is suggested for everyone to avoid the midnight snacking problem.

Intermittent fasting is a type of eating pattern built off of this concept to lose weight and improve one's overall health. There is an eating window and a time where one avoids all food items and only drinks water. The most popular fasting method is the 16:8 fast with an 8 hour eating period where fasting is usually done from dinner to lunch the next day.

By confining the time during which you eat, you will ultimately eat less than if you were eating around the clock. Thus, it helps one eat fewer calories by limiting calorie intake without a conscious effort to eat less. Intermittent fasting can help shed belly fat and lose weight in general. During these kinds of fasts, one should be eating nutritious food throughout the eating period so that they do not compromise the daily intake requirements. It is also advised to avoid highly processed or junk foods as they are digested faster therefore one feels hungry quicker. Eating fibre-packed foods with lean protein is the way to go. If you are in full health and looking to shed that extra pound, intermittent fasting could be a great option to go along with your workout routine.

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