DietPCOS DietWomen's Health

Intermittent Fasting (IF) – Everything Essential You Need To Know

2 Mins read

Intermittent Fasting (IF) has been gaining a lot of popularity of late. However, its popularity is rightly justified by the numerous health benefits that it brings along with it.

Is IF a newly found gem? Not really. If you recollect, our grandparents always tried finishing dinner earlier and fasted until breakfast the next day.

To understand intermittent fasting and how it can be beneficial for everyone (especially women with PCOS), let’s understand what happens to our body when we eat and likewise when we fast.

Intermittent fasting for insulin resistance

Our bodies use food as fuel to generate energy to carry out the various activities that we do throughout the day. Now, everything that you eat has to be digested, an integral hormone called insulin partakes in this digestion process. When we eat, an organ called the pancreas secretes this hormone called insulin. Insulin breaks down the glucose consumed through food and helps indigestion.

When this insulin is either not secreted or not well received by the Glucose in the food, we say that the person has insulin resistance. And what happens if there is insulin resistance? Your body will have crazy amounts of Glucose that is in the bloodstream. This, in the long term, is what leads to diabetes. Insulin also helps in converting the food to fat, which gets released when we are physically active.

Stay with me, while we unravel what happens when we fast. When we don’t consume food there is no Glucose, which in turn doesn’t trigger the insulin. This causes our body to not act as a fat-storing machine. Instead, this fat is released to help the body balance out the lack of food. Does this mean that you’re starting? Not at all! You’re just giving your body the time to rest and recoup before you have your next meal.

Intermittent fasting for reducing stress and inflammation

IF also helps reduce oxidative stress by reducing the number of monocytes or free radicals in the body. Less stress means a happier you and a less inflamed body. Reducing inflammation is key in maintaining good metabolism and ensuring that the body is not in a stressed state all the time.

IF for increased concentration

This also means you will have better levels of concentration in whatever you’re doing. The mind is more balanced and so is the body. You will be able to function better than you generally would.

So then, the big question is how do I begin IF? Well, there are many ways to do IF.

What we personally love, is the 16:8 method. Here’s how,

  • 1. 16 Hrs in a day you will be fasting.
  • 2. 8 hrs in a day you can have your meals.

While Fasting:

  • You can consume things like green tea, water, black coffee. Basically, anything that does not trigger your insulin. Avoid coffee if you have PCOS
  • Indulge in light workouts or some walking

While not Fasting:

  • Start small with your first meal, some almonds, berries are a good way to start
  • Eat greens, fruits, and all the good stuff
  • Avoid Junk food. Junk food is best avoided even if you are not on IF

If fasting for 16 hours seems difficult for you at the beginning, you can start with 12 Hrs and gradually increase it to 14, 15, and then 16. Let us know if you’ve tried IF before and have seen any benefits from it.

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