Nutritious food is medicine and it’s not just a saying, it is the actual truth. Here’s proof: A new study published in Endocrine Reviews claims that fasting may help prevent chronic conditions like diabetes and heart diseases. How? Well, this method is believed to aid weight loss which in turn reduces our susceptibility to health issues like diabetes and heart diseases. However, before making any changes to your diet, it is always advisable to consult your general physician. Intermittent fasting refers to a plan where you eat and fast on a regular schedule. Popular among celebrities, this method of eating is time-restricted and includes the 5:2 diet where you eat what you usually would for five days and consume about 500 calories on the other two days. Another way to try intermittent fasting involves fasting for 24 hours a few times a week.
The study claims that eating within a consistent eight to 10-hour window prevents the onslaught of diseases. Eating at erratic intervals breaks your internal schedule and can elevate your vulnerability to diseases. This is because your genes, hormones, and metabolism rise and fall during different times of the day. Aligning your eating habits with the body’s internal clock can improve the quality of life and sleep. It also reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The biggest benefit of time-restricted eating? It is super easy to follow. It could be as simple as pushing your first meal of the day back by a few hours to having dinner early. While fasting, you are only allowed to consume water and zero-calorie drinks like black coffee and green tea. Of course, eating right is non-negotiable. You have to make sure you’re having enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins at least 80 per cent of the time with an occasional cheat meal.
Different ways to get on the intermittent fasting bandwagon
The 16/8 method
This involves fasting for 16 hours and restricting eating to eight hours.
The 5:2 diet
This involves eating as usual for five days and restricting your calorie intake to 500-600 calories for the two days in a week.
The eat-stop-eat diet
This involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. During the fast, you can consume water, coffee, and other zero-calorie beverages.