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Scheduled Fasting: How Does Intermittent Fasting Work and 4 Benefits of Fasting

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
April 25th, 2022
7 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • The effects of intermittent fasting for women and men may differ
  • Intermittent fasting benefits your body by reducing inflammation
  • Plan your intermittent fasting schedule by talking to a doctor or dietician

Intermittent fasting is also known as scheduled fasting and involves partially or entirely abstaining from eating for a particular period of time. While it is a popular diet trend today, there are many health benefits of fasting periodically. These include weight loss of up to 5% in obese and overweight adults as well as other health markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol [1].

Creating an fasting schedule is not very difficult, but you should follow a routine that suits your body. In fact, studies show that intermittent fasting for women may not be as effective as for men. This is because women’s bodies are more sensitive to reduced calories. For this reason, it is best to understand the science behind the intermittent fasting trend and see if you can benefit from it.

Read on to learn about how to create an intermittent fasting plan for yourself and the health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Additional read: Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

scheduled fasting

How does intermittent fasting work 

With our usual sedentary lifestyle, we consume more calories than we burn. Intermittent fasting changes the game by forcing the body to burn fat once it has no other sugar stores to burn. These sugar stores come from food and due to lack of food during your fasting period, your body burns fat instead of the calories you consumed in your last meal. Simple, right?

Intermittent fasting schedule 

Fast for 12-16 hours daily  

This method is comparatively easier and is a great way to start your scheduled fasting journey as a beginner. Here, you adhere to a fasting window each day, between 12 to 16 hours, where you don’t eat anything. Fasting for 10 to 16 hours can help your body turn stored fats into energy, which releases ketones into your bloodstream [2]. This encourages weight loss. The easiest way to do fasting of this kind is to include your hours of sleep in the fasting window. 

Weekly 24-hour fast 

Fasting for at least one whole day in a week is considered a 24-hour fast. You can either fast from breakfast on day 1 to breakfast on day 2 or from lunch to lunch. You may choose drink liquids during the fasting period, such as water and other calorie-free drinks. Remember, a 24-hour fast can be challenging and may cause headaches, fatigue or irritability if you haven’t done it before. So, start slow. Many people find the effects of fasting become less extreme as your body adapts to this process.

food for Scheduled Fasting

Alternate day fasting 

There are many variations of the alternate day plan, which involves fasting every second day. You can either try consuming liquids on fasting days or you can eat up to 500 calories on these days. Alternate day fasting is effective for heart health and weight loss. Alternate fasting is on the extreme side of intermittent fasting and may not be suitable for beginners. 

Intermittent fasting benefits

Helps with weight loss 

A majority of people who try intermittent fasting do it to lose weight. It does result in you eating fewer meals. Unless you overeat during your other meals, you tend to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight. This kind of fasting also enhances your hormone function which also facilitates weight loss. Short-term fasting also increases your metabolism, helping you burn more calories [3]. Intermittent fasting works on two sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolism all the while reducing the amount of food that you eat!

Reduces inflammation in your body 

It can help fight inflammation, which is a key factor causing many other diseases. Fasting can reduce both inflammation and oxidative damage in your body. This is why the benefits of intermittent fasting include decreasing signs and causes of ageing in the body and reducing the development of numerous diseases.

scheduled fasting benefits

Improves your heart health 

Various health markers are associated with a decrease or increase in the risk of heart disease. This fasting shows a positive impact on various risk factors like 

  • Blood sugar levels 
  • Total and bad cholesterol  
  • Blood pressure  
  • Inflammatory markers 
  • Blood triglycerides

Boosts brain power 

Fasting helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and improves metabolic features, all of which improve the health of your brain. It may aid the growth of new neurons in your brain and protect it from damage due to strokes.

Additional read: Nutritionist Plays in Your Daily Life

There are many ways in which intermittent fasting can be done, and there is no single plan that works for everyone. You can get the best results when you try intermittent fasting according to your body type, age, and health needs. When doing intermittent fasting, listen to your body as fasting suddenly does not bode well if your body is unprepared. For the best and safest results, get medical supervision before trying any diet. Book a doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health in seconds to get a personalized intermittent fasting plan from the comfort of home!

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