ADOPTING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE WITH INTERMITTENT FASTING
- Author Ain Thaqifah
- Published May 17, 2021
- Word count 960
The term “Intermittent Fasting” (IF) may have been heard by almost all people around the world. Nevertheless, many of us tend to ignore this awesome method because we think that IF was designed for obese or those who want to lose their weight. If only we know the incredible benefits of IF, we will never miss the chance to adopt this method.
What is Intermittent Fasting? IF is an eating pattern that regulates the cycle of eating and fasting. There is no specific food that we need to consume, how much calories intake and all. Basically, we can eat anything during that eating period but once we start fasting, we can consume only a small calories food or nothing at all. Not to worry, we can still drink water or zero calorie water like a black coffee or green tea during the fasting period to avoid hunger.
There are so many ways to practice intermittent fasting. For example,16:8 method, alternate day fasting, 5:2 diet and so on. But, the most prominent practice is 16:8 method, where we need to fast for 16 hours and eat for the next 8 hours. For example, if we start fasting at 8 p.m. today, then we can have our very first meal at 12 noon of the following day and the cycle repeats. You may think that 16 hours fasting period is too long but bear in mind that these 16 hours period is also comprised of 6-8 sleeping hours. Hence, we are fasting for around 8-10 hours only.
There are too many reasons on why most people love intermittent fasting. Firstly, it comes with several method. As mentioned earlier, IF can be done in various ways. We can choose any type of IF method that perfectly suit us. Most people love 16:8 method because it is simpler and easier to practice daily, as compare to alternate day fasting also known as every-other-day diet. This approach requires a-day-fasting for several days per week while eating what we want on non-fast days, which might be harder to follow. Thus, we can choose any method we prefer.
Furthermore, IF is flexible and not restricted to a fixed method. For instance, while practicing 16:8 method, but there is a family party or dinner invitation by friends, we can happily join them without worrying our IF schedule. This is because we can cover it back with 24 hours fasting on the following day to keep us back on track.
In comparison to other diet type such as high protein diet, we may need to spend a lot of money to buy those high protein foods which normally quite pricey. With IF, we can just eat anything that we have in the kitchen. It does not matter what kind of meal or dishes i.e., our mother cooks, our own DIY recipe or food given by others. We can just eat them all.
After all, what are the benefits and good purposes of intermittent fasting? As a normal human being, we always do something to gain back something better. We will never sacrifice ourselves for something useless right? So first and foremost, of course IF has been acknowledged to successfully contributed to losing one’s weight.
Moreover, intermittent fasting also play a role in reducing risk of diseases. Intermittent fasting will keep us away from many diseases for example diabetes mellitus and any heart problem. These are among the top chronic diseases in Malaysia. Back to our eating and fasting cycle, noticed it or not, we are reducing our calories intake. In contrast to our normal daily life, we may consume an excess carbohydrate, fat, protein, salt and so on.
Excessive carbohydrate will cause a condition named as ‘insulin resistance’ which may lead to the diabetes mellitus. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the action of carbohydrate in our body in the form of glucose. If we have excess glucose, insulin will convert them into a molecule named glycogen to be stored in the body cells hence reducing our blood glucose level. Thus, reduced the risk of diabetes mellitus. If we consumed a lot of carbohydrates or sugar, these insulin would become resist, likely they become inactive and could not do their work properly, causing high glucose level in blood. Hence, we will be diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. Moreover, fasting will reduce the bad cholesterol level in the body and as a result will not cause any harm to the heart.
Besides, there are several studies that run experiments on rat or mice to observe their brain performances while getting IF practice. They found that intermittent fasting will keep the brain active and healthy because IF will increase brain hormone, namely Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that is vital to the survival, growth, and maintenance of neurons in the brain. Hence, IF will keep the brain to stay healthy and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
In the similar setting experiments, the results also showed that the fasting mice or rat survived a bit longer than the other mice. Hence, we could say that IF may extend our lifespan if we practiced IF since our early age.
As a concluding remark, always keep in mind that intermittent fasting is just another way to live a healthy life. It works differently on different people. Above all, there is no harm in trying. Initially, we may face some difficulties to adopt a new lifestyle, but just keep it going and train our mind to see the best and beauty of it. If the method suits us well, then embrace it. Contrarywise, do not push ourselves too hard. There are a lot more ways for us to give a try. Just remember that everything is going to be fine. All the best for your journey in finding a healthy lifestyle that suits you!
I'm Nur Ain Thaqifah, a second year medical student from University Science Islam Malaysia. Here is my contact details:
Name: Nur Ain Thaqifah Mohd Yusof
Contact number : 0199256512
E-mail: Natmythaqi@gmail.comArticle source: https://articlebiz.com
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