Pros and cons of Intermittent fasting explains nutritionist Ritu Khaneja

Looking to start intermittent fasting? Here are a few pros and cons to keep in mind explained by Nutritionist Ritu Khaneja.
Pros and cons of Intermittent Fasting explains nutritionist Ritu Khaneja
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Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you fast and eat in an allocated time window. This way of dieting focuses on when to eat rather than what to eat. There are various ways of intermittent fasting, mostly set down by your dieticians after minutely analyzing your body type and requirements. This could be 14:10 (14 hours fasting, 10 hours eating), 20:4, 16:8, Alternate-day fasting, the 5:2 diet, Eat Stop Eat, or The Warrior Diet.

Like every coin has two sides so does this way of diet. If done under proper guidance, intermittent fasting has been a blessing to a lot of people and has also gone wrong in ways worse than your nightmares.

Pros of intermittent fasting:

- Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight especially belly fat:

Short-term fasting helps you increase your metabolism rate thus the body starts losing excessive fat at a rapid rate. It will do an increase in growth hormone and decline insulin levels which will help in losing weight.

-Intermittent fasting can help to reduce cancer:

Fasting has been shown to have several beneficial effects in healing certain cancers, tumours, and cysts as during fasting body goes into autophagy which is when only the healthiest of all cells survive.

-Intermittent Fasting helps in reducing insulin resistance and protect against type 2 diabetes

Every time we eat food it gets digested and the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats causes a rise in blood sugar. When this happens, your pancreas will produce insulin which carries glucose from your blood to cells. Sometimes these cells get resistant to insulin and lead to type 2 diabetes. The Fasting period allows the body to burn excess sugar for energy and then the cells become responsive to the insulin.

-Intermittent Fasting can be beneficial for heart health

A few of the major risks for heart disease are high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low cholesterol, inflammation in arteries, diabetes and obesity. Research shows fasting has helped to reduce these concerns.

In our society, where we are prone to eating too much of wrong carbohydrates, sugar, fat, smoking and overconsumption of alcohol, a fasting period will not harm you but help the body in detoxifying itself and will make you healthy.

Cons of intermittent fasting:

- Overeating: One ends up eating more when given a certain time window probably because of many reasons like they might be excited about their new diet, or they might have the perception that calories don’t matter. There is no hard and fast rule and the correct way of following it.

-Irritability- Feeling hungry is real, and it sucks. It's not easy to fight off cravings during fast. One can easily get irritated by constant headaches due to hunger and low energy. You can deal with this by avoiding situations and people that might make you more annoyed and by focusing on doing things that make you happy.

-Heartburn, bloating, and constipation:

The human body requires acid in the stomach to digest the food. If there is no food in your stomach, excess acid can cause heartburn, bloating and acid reflux. This could range from mild discomfort to burping all day to experiencing abdomen pain. It can also cause constipation because of the consumption of less food or skipping meals. To correct this make sure you drink the right amount of water and avoid eating spicy and greasy foods.

- Low energy-Your body is no longer getting the constant source of fuel you used to get from eating all day long, so expect to feel a little sluggish for first couple of weeks but after that, you will start to experience the benefits and feel much better. Try to keep your day as relaxed as possible so you can exert the least amount of energy.

In the end, please seek professional advice before starting but it is your body and you will always know better than anyone else, so it’s not necessary to keep following it you can quit whenever you feel uncomfortable and discuss it with your dietician.

Also Read: 3 Effective ways to STOP food addiction to stay away from empty calories

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