What is Intermittent Fasting? Things to keep in mind to ensure that you are doing it safe & healthy
Updated: Feb 18
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that involves cycling between periods of eating and periods of fasting.
There are several different ways to practice IF, but the most common methods include:
Time-restricted feeding: This involves limiting your eating window to a specific number of hours each day (e.g. 8 hours) and fasting for the remaining hours (e.g. 16 hours).
Alternate-day fasting: This involves alternating between days of unrestricted eating and days of either complete fasting or restricted calorie intake.
5:2 diet: This involves eating normally for 5 days of the week and restricting calorie intake to 500-600 calories per day for 2 days of the week.
The idea behind IF is that by restricting calorie intake during fasting periods, the body is forced to use stored fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss. Additionally, some studies suggest that IF may have other health benefits, such as improving blood sugar control, reducing inflammation, and improving brain function.
It's important to note that IF may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with certain health conditions or a history of disordered eating. It's also important to ensure that you are consuming adequate nutrients during the periods when you are eating, and to stay hydrated during fasting periods. If you are considering trying IF, it's a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to determine if it's safe and appropriate for you.
If you are considering trying intermittent fasting, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you are doing it safely and effectively:
Start slowly: If you are new to fasting, it's a good idea to start with shorter fasting periods and gradually increase the duration as your body becomes more accustomed to it. This can help reduce the risk of side effects such as fatigue, headaches, and dizziness.
Stay hydrated: It's important to drink plenty of water and other fluids during fasting periods to prevent dehydration. Herbal teas, black coffee, and calorie-free beverages can also be consumed during fasting periods.
Ensure adequate nutrition: While it's important to restrict calorie intake during fasting periods, it's also important to ensure that you are consuming adequate nutrients during the periods when you are eating. Focus on nutrient-dense, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.
Listen to your body: If you experience any negative side effects such as nausea, headaches, or dizziness, it's important to listen to your body and stop fasting if necessary. IF may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with certain health conditions or a history of disordered eating.
Combine with a healthy lifestyle: Intermittent fasting can be a useful tool for weight loss and other health benefits, but it should be combined with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, stress management, and adequate sleep.
If you are considering trying intermittent fasting, it's a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to determine if it's safe and appropriate for you.
Mrs. Prachi is a Consultant Dietitian from Pune. She has a rich and varied experience in the field of nutrition. She has successfully motivated thousands of people to reach their nutritional goals. Prachi has a master's degree in nutrition and Dietetics, and she is able to successfully treat and give preventive measures to Chronic Diseases, Weight Management, Heart Diseases, Metabolic Dysfunction, etc.