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Is Intermittent Fasting for weight loss?

Myth buster...
intermittent-fasting-for-boosting-immune-system

Want to lose weight? Why don’t you try intermittent fasting?”
This has made intermittent fasting more of a weight-loss fad more than anything else.

Looking at the current COVID-19 pandemic, I would say more than all the medicines or more than worrying about trying a new fad, try INTERMITTENT FASTING (IF) for boosting your immune system.

Surprised? Why would I want to diet or follow Intermittent fasting for a COVID-19 pandemic?

Intermittent fasting has a lot more benefits than just weight loss. Let’s start by going back to our roots and understanding fasting in general.

Going back to the roots

Fasting has been part of our culture since ancient times. Look at how farmers worked? They ate before sunrise and before they left for the fields.

all-religion-fastingPost the morning meal, they would only have meals in the evening when they were back from the fields. The other aspect to this is that every religion talks about fasting in its way – Christians have Lent for 40 days, Muslims have the month of Ramadan when they fast for more than 12 hours and finally, Hindus have various days of the year that are marked as fasting days.

This tells us that fasting has been a part of our culture and lifestyle since ancient times. The only difference is that earlier it was embedded into our lifestyles; currently, with changing times our eating pattern also changed.

Eating smaller meals at shorter intervals and the constant nibbling has led to higher amounts of food being consumed by the body. Another crucial point to note over here – our body is not designed to be able to consume the amount of food we consume.

Instead of providing us with a healthy lifestyle, this kind of lifestyle has to lead us to overeat, in turn, this leads to obesity. Obesity is the cause of most of the diseases that we know of today.

What does intermittent fasting do for the body? How does it work?

Understanding Fasting

Also, it’s not just the physical well being that we are now talking about. Fasting is known to be the cause of better spiritual and overall health, in general. How is that? Let’s first understand how your body works. Your body generates a certain amount of energy every day. And like any efficient system that energy is divided across the various bodily functions.

Now when we consume food, 80% of the energy is sent to the stomach for the digestion process. And the rest of the 20% gets divided across the rest of the functions. When we eat or nibble at frequent or smaller intervals, every time digestion takes place; the body prioritizes digestion over all the bodily functions and hence the energy is withdrawn from the various functions and fed to the stomach for digestion.

Now think about the other bodily functions, like muscle repair {especially if you are a fitness addict}, fighting diseases/viruses in the body, and finally let’s think about the brain. The brain is one of the most complex parts of the body; to the extent that even artificial intelligence has been trying to understand and depict the functioning of the brain for years and has still not been 100% successful.

Such a massive muscle being provided less than 20% of the bodily energy to function – would that work? Not at 100% efficiency.

Brain and Fasting

human-brainIn our day-to-day life, even with less than 20% of the bodily energy, your brain is working and that’s how most of us run our daily lives. Now just imagine what if the brain could be provided with more than 50% of the bodily energy or even put to 80% of the bodily energy –what would happen? To answer this question, if the brain is provided with that much amount of energy, the results would be PHENOMENAL. You would experience –

  • Faster brain processing
  • Improved concentration
  • Increase in energy and so on.

Remember this, the brain is the most important muscle of the body and hence when you give it energy and importance, you start to see overall effects in every facet of your life.

Is this even possible? YES. This is exactly what happens is when we fast or go into the fasting phase. Fasting means willing refrainment from eating for a certain period. The moment you stop eating and once the previous digestion process is complete, the body now has 80% of the bodily energy that is available.

Since the body no longer sees food coming in, this energy now gets diverted for the other bodily functions to be completed. So along with the above-mentioned brain benefits, the body now has energy for

  • Detoxification
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Repair and recovery of the muscles; and
  • Rejuvenation and growth.

How intermittent fasting is effective?

Our bodies are designed to survive without food for up to 24 hours. After 12 hours of fasting, when there is still no food provided to the body, the body goes into ketosis – the same effect we achieve with a keto diet, where the body started breaking down the carbs.

After about 20-24 hours of fasting is when the body starts going into starvation mode and then the breakdown of the protein stored in the body begins. So it’s not that if there is no food, you will die. Your body has various reservoirs of energy that are available for it to sustain.

Takeaway

In today’s world and the conditioning that we have received from the outside world has caused a complete change in the functioning of the body.

Instead of bettering our body, we are preparing our body for diseases and various other issues that affect our overall well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown us how badly our bodies are being treated.

What we need now if basically moving away from the myths & misconceptions that we have been feeding ourselves and moving back to our roots, towards a healthier body and lifestyle.

So what is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent Fasting is finding a balance between fasting & eating periods depending on your body type and your own internal systems.

About the author

Sheetal-Makhija
Sheetal

I am Sheetal Makhija aka Crazy Pulchritude, as most of the handles say. Currently, a trainer and a Kriya Yoga Practitioner and personally on a mission to be able to add values to people’s lives and just tell everyone out there that “No matter how hard it gets there is always hope. You don’t have to give up.” My mission and motto in life remain – Even if I can give hope to people, my life has been a success.

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