Interval fasting for loss weight

Interval fasting for weight loss

In 2016, the world began to talk about the benefits of short-term fasting. The reason was the awarding of the Nobel prize to the Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Osumi. He discovered a set of genes responsible for autophagy in yeast. Autophagy is a natural process of processing unnecessary or non – functional components by the cell, and outside of the scientific world, it is often associated with the ability of the body to self-repair.

Interval fasting for weight loss

 Interval fasting for loss of weight 

Studies on mice have shown that short-term fasting triggers the processes of autophagy. Therefore, short periods without food began to attribute miraculous properties: rejuvenation of the body, strengthening of the immune system, and much more, forgetting that this approach is based on research conducted not on humans, but on yeast and mice. Is it necessary to specify that the physiology of a mouse and a human is significantly different? However, interval fasting has still shown its effectiveness as a method of weight normalization.

What is interval fasting?

This is a diet that involves alternating periods of eating and fasting. In a broad sense, it is a diet, if we consider any diet to be a diet. However, from conventional diets for weight loss, interval fasting is fundamentally different in that it does not require giving up some foods in favor of others, but only regulates the time of eating.

It is not necessary to count calories, protein, fat, or carbohydrate balance. Also, this technique can be followed in the long term. As a rule, interval fasting involves giving up food for 16 or 24 hours once a week. The maximum number of fasting periods per week is two.

Supporters of periodic hunger strikes claim that such a regime is natural for a person. After all, our distant ancestors did not have refrigerators, and they did not have shops at hand where you could always get ready-made products. They had to forage for food by gathering and hunting, and so from time to time, they went hungry. However, like all theories about distant ancestors, when they are put forward by non-anthropologists, this argument has little to do with reality. It is not that humans have had an exceptionally well-fed life for centuries, but we have learned to store food for the future long before we have mastered agriculture.

Methods of interval fasting

  • "16 by 8". This is the most common scheme, which involves skipping Breakfast or dinner so that there are only 2 main meals left per day. Between these two meals, 8 hours must pass, and 16 hours is the time between the last meal on one day and the first meal on the next day. Since it is difficult to survive without food for sixteen hours while remaining active, usually try to calculate so that 8 hours of this period will fall on a night's sleep. Given the fact that some people in the morning literally a piece does not go down their throat, this mode can be very comfortable for them. The main thing is to endure eight hours without food between lunch and dinner.
  • "Food-stop-food". One or two days a week you limit yourself to eating, and the rest of the time you stick to your usual diet. Most often, periods of fasting coincide with weekends, when it is easier to stay without food.
  • "5 by 2". This scheme is similar to the previous one, but it implies that for 5 days you eat as usual, but for 2 consecutive days you eat no more than 600 calories per day. The extremely low energy value of the diet is not equal to a complete hunger strike, but it is still much less than the physiological norm, so the body perceives these periods as stress. It is important not to try to compensate for the lack of calories on other days, not to overeat. However, this is true for all methods of interval fasting.

The effect of interval fasting on the body

High-quality scientific studies that describe the results of periodic fasting or prove its benefits do not yet exist. To be sure that interval fasting is healthy, it is necessary to conduct long-term studies in humans. Moreover, the sample should include people of different genders, ages, nationalities, and lifestyles. The number of participants should exceed one thousand, and it is advisable to focus on meta-analysis rather than on a specific study. A meta-analysis combines and analyzes the results of a whole set of studies.

Of course, we do not yet have much information about the results of interval fasting. It is not included in the list of diets recommended by who. Studies examining the effects of periodic fasts on the body have so far been conducted only in mice and rats, and this is not enough to draw far-reaching conclusions. However, the available scientific evidence is promising. But you need to treat them with caution.

So far, scientists talk about interval fasting at best as a way to lose weight. But this nutrition scheme has won many fans around the world, and they attribute is not just the ability to normalize weight, but the benefits for the entire body. Supporters of periodic hunger strikes claim that they stimulate the production of growth hormones, trigger fat-burning mechanisms, and help build muscle mass. This nutritional scheme is also credited with the ability to increase the body's sensitivity to insulin, restore cells. But the most fantastic thing that you can hear from the advocates of interval fasting is the ability of such a food scheme to affect the genes responsible for " longevity and immunity."

While periods of starvation can actually help you lose weight and feel better, the situation is best described by the "but it's not accurate" meme. It is possible, but it is not certain. Therefore, promises of amazing results should be treated with great caution.

How to lose weight using interval fasting

Periodic hunger strikes have proven to be a good way to lose weight. There have even been attempts to compare how this approach to nutrition helps to lose fat tissue in the waist area. Hunger strikes at intervals were compared with other popular methods of weight loss, and in the short term, this scheme proved to be the most promising.

The essence of this approach to the diet is that you begin to consume fewer calories. Unlike long-term diets, you don't drive the body to such a point of exhaustion that it begins to feel the need to compensate for the caloric deficit by eating. But at the same time, fat tissue is actively "burned", and even during periods when you eat normally, you start to eat a little less, so your calorie intake is reduced anyway.

To normalize your weight, you can choose any of the interval fasting methods listed above. The main thing is that it is not too difficult for you to stick to this food schedule.

Who doesn't like interval fasting?

This is not a universal nutrition system, it is contraindicated for people with insufficient body weight (who have a body mass index below the norm). It can also not be used in the presence of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, endocrinological problems, including impaired sensitivity to insulin.

People who suffer from insulin resistance should be extremely careful, because they experience severe attacks of hunger, and from lack of food, their well-being deteriorates dramatically. Also, do not try interval fasting if it does not fit into the diet prescribed by your doctor. For problems with insulin and sugar, there is usually a doctor-prescribed diet aimed at maintaining stable blood sugar levels, and fasting helps to reduce glucose levels.

Finally, periodic hunger strikes are categorically contraindicated for children. Preschoolers and schoolchildren can not arrange "hungry" days, they must eat fully every day. For them, such experiments with the menu will definitely not be useful, but the harm can be considerable, and the consequences may be irreversible. Therefore, children should not be transferred to this diet in any case.

Is it possible for women to starve?

One of the most sensitive and controversial issues associated with interval fasting is its safety for women. The fact is that the results of the research that scientists now have are quite contradictory. Some claim that this system of nutrition is suitable for ladies and gentlemen in equal measure. Other studies show that it is useful exclusively for men, but representatives of the fair sex can cause harm.

For example, there is information that men with periodic hunger strikes improve their insulin sensitivity, and women, on the contrary, begin to have problems with blood sugar. Experiments on rats showed that female specimens from periodic starvation developed infertility, the menstrual cycle was disrupted, and exhaustion began. Moreover, scientists say that when trying to conduct research on humans, they faced similar consequences for participants.

Pay attention: as in the case of the benefits of fasting, so in questions of its harm, there is no accurate information. From a practical point of view, this means that girls can try this approach to the diet, but it should be abandoned if there are the slightest negative reactions from the body. Also, periodic hunger strikes are categorically contraindicated for pregnant and lactating mothers.

Risks and side effects of interval fasting

The main problem with this diet is the feeling of hunger. It is accompanied by weakness, inability to concentrate, memory problems, fatigue, and other unpleasant symptoms. Of course, the feeling of hunger is temporary – it will only torment you during "hungry" intervals. And over time, the body will adapt to the new schedule, and the hunger will lose its sharpness.

But if you have health problems, it is better to discuss changing your diet with your doctor. This is especially true for people who have problems with blood sugar, and especially if we are talking about diagnosed diabetes. If you are prone to low blood pressure, it is also better to first discuss your diet with your doctor and carefully experiment with fasting. After all, blood pressure can drop dramatically, and then a person will simply faint.

If you have had digestive disorders in the past, you should also be careful about limiting your caloric intake. This is also true for people who suffer from eating disorders. Periodic hunger strikes can not only not solve the weight problem, but also worsen RPP.

Common errors in interval fasting

  • A sharp change in diet. Remember: a hunger strike is always a stress on the body, even if it is short-term. Also, the body needs time to get used to the new nutrition system. Therefore, do not try to switch to a new diet immediately, but enter the alternating cycles of food and hunger gradually. Take your time, this is not an Express diet.
  • Poor nutrition. During periods when you eat according to the usual system, you should not eat too much fast food, fat, fried, and high-calorie in the hope that the cycle of hunger strikes will "burn" all the accumulated calories.
  • Sleep deficit. Lack of sleep increases the feeling of hunger, the exhausted body tries to get energy from food. Also, lack of sleep slows down the metabolism and causes temporary insulin resistance: a decrease in the body's sensitivity to insulin.
  • Overloads. You don't have to give up physical activity, but the hunger cycle is not the best time to exercise. If you are used to running in the morning, and now you are testing a system with a 16-hour fast and skip Breakfast, it is better to replace the jog with a walk. Do not load the body additionally during hunger strikes.

How to eat at different intervals

You should start fasting with the most sparing methods. Do not try to immediately arrange a fasting day, try first to go without food for sixteen hours in a row, and at night. If the body responds positively to this experience, you can try to arrange a fasting day once a week.

Before starting a hunger strike, prepare your body: gradually eliminate fried, fatty foods from your diet, and give up fast food and alcohol. After switching to a new diet in "full" cycles, try to eat cereals, nuts, legumes, greens, fresh vegetables, and fruits. From meat, you can eat poultry and veal, as well as dairy products and eggs.

To achieve a result in the form of normalization of weight and improving well-being in "hungry" cycles, do not give up water in any case. Drink clean, non-carbonated water. Other drinks are also allowed: coffee, tea, but they should be drunk without sugar. It is advisable to add milk to coffee because black coffee drunk on an empty stomach causes an increase in the level of insulin. But coffee with milk perfectly blunts the feeling of hunger.

With periodic hunger strikes, you can train, play sports, but during the first month, the regime should be sparing. At the initial stage, avoid exertion on the day when you are fasting. Do not run long distances on the day of a hunger strike. Many athletes like to run on an empty stomach, even though they are fraught with a feeling of nausea at a distance. However, this is later compensated by a snack or lunch after training. But if you arrange yourself grueling physical activities on the day of fasting, there is a risk of fainting.

If you are building muscle mass, expect that your progress will slow down as you switch to eating and starvation intervals. To compensate for this, increase the proportion of protein in the diet.

During "hungry" cycles, it can be difficult to take your mind off what you want to eat. Try to find a place for yourself on such days or hours for yourself, if you are busy with something important or interesting, you will forget about it feeling hungry. Also, when eating, chew your food carefully. Opt-out of eating habits in front of the TV or computer focus completely on food. This will contribute to a faster sense of satiation, and you will become eat in smaller portions.
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