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What is Intermittent Fasting? & 6 Ways of doing Intermittent Fasting.

Intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular for its health benefits, yet it’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change to improve your overall well-being. Intermittent fasting involves periods of eating and fasting with set windows when you can eat and fast. With this method, you can retain control over what and how much you eat while still achieving the same health benefits without a restrictive diet.

It is important to understand what is Intermittent Fasting. Unlike traditional diets, intermittent fasting enables people to make sustainable changes in their eating habits as they don’t have to switch up their routines as often. They just have to stick to set window times when they can or cannot eat. Though it takes time for your body to get used to the pattern when done correctly, internal fasting has been known to reduce blood sugar levels, increase energy levels and help manage moods better.

Religious Fasting- Fasting is based on religious purposes i.e., Navratri, Ramadan, some fixed days in a week, etc. The purpose of these days is to eat only 500 – 600 kcal/day. It has been practiced in India for centuries, but there is no evidence that religious fasting aids in weight loss. This is because religious fasting often leads to overeating after the fast is over, which can lead to weight gain instead of weight loss. Additionally, nowadays various recipes are prepared during the fast. These recipes mostly involve lots of frying, starchy food, and sugars. Foods like sabudana/sago khichdi, potato chips, sweetened milk products, etc. have low nutritional value and can lead to nutrient deficiencies and weight gain if consumed for too long.

Fasting is the most effective way of triggering Autophagy. In several religions, there is a ritual for fasting for obvious reasons. However, currently,  Intermittent fasting is the most popular technique for getting rid of excess weight and inflammatory diseases worldwide. Fasting strategies can be individualistic depending on age, profession, stress, and lifestyle.

6 Ways of doing Intermittent Fasting?

1.     Time-restricted eating

In this method, eating and fasting are time-restricted.

  • 16:8–16 hours of fasting and eating frame of 8 hours
  • 14:10–14 hours of fasting and eating frame of 10 hours
  • 12:12–12 hours of fasting and eating frame of 12 hours

As we are already fast while sleeping, this method is convenient and popular. Hence can be repeated once or twice a week or even daily. During the eating window, it is advisable to avoid high-calorie-dense foods.

2. The twice-a-week method

With this technique of intermittent fasting, one should curb the calories up to 500 for two consecutive days a week. During the fasting days prefer to eat an ample amount of fiber and keep yourself well hydrated. During the rest of the five days of the week, one should consume a balanced diet.

3. Alternate day fasting

In this technique of intermittent fasting, one has to fast on alternate days.

On fasting day: Reduce calorie intake from 0 to 500

On the non-fasting day: Consume a balanced diet. Avoid highly dense calorie food.

4. The 24-hour fast

This method involves fasting for a continuous 24 hours. This can be incorporated only once or twice a week. It is advisable to stay well hydrated during fasting. In case of feeling drowsiness or irritability, consume any low-calorie food.

5. Only one meal a day

Consume only one huge meal in the entire day and for rest of the day stay well hydrated. If a person feels dizzy during fasting then they can eat extremely low-calorie and high-fibrous food. This kind of fasting can be done from two days a week to every day.

6. Eat when you are hungry

This technique of intermittent fasting is debatable. In this technique, it is advised that a person should not follow the breakfast-lunch-dinner plan. An individual should eat only if feels hungry. This technique has suggested skipping any meal of the day. One can choose to skip different meals on different days. Also, it suggests skipping the meal when there is no time to eat instead of eating in hurry.

Let us know your views and experience of Intermittent Fasting and which way of Intermittent fasting suits you in the comments below. Also, refer to our Complete Guide for Intermittent Fasting. Until next time Rewrite your Mind & Relive your Life. Thank You.

Further resources:

  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/intermittent-fasting/faq-20441303#:~:text=Intermittent%20fasting%20means%20that%20you,500%20calories)%20the%20next%20day.
  • https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work
  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide
  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-ways-to-do-intermittent-fasting
  • https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/intermittent-fasting/
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/intermittent-fasting-surprising-update-2018062914156
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3680567/
  • https://www.webmd.com/diet/a-z/intermittent-fasting
  • https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a29349587/intermittent-fasting-schedule/

About the Author:

Dr. Priyanka Mohol [BHMS, PGDEMS & CC, DDHN, MPH (Scotland)]

Public Health Consultant & Community Nutrition Specialist

1 thought on “What is Intermittent Fasting? & 6 Ways of doing Intermittent Fasting.”

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