Everybody loves to lead a healthy lifestyle and weight loss is a part of it. People across the globe search for different ways to burn extra fat in their body.

But many of the popular diet plans, like Keto diet and GM diet, restrict calorie intake and focus on a change in eating habits. Many people find it difficult to follow such diet plans, as they struggle to give up on their favorite dishes.

In such situations, intermittent fasting (IF) comes handy. It does not restrict calorie intake or change your eating habits. Knowingly or unknowingly many of you might have already tried out this weight loss technique at some point in your life.

What is intermittent fasting?

It is one of the easiest and simplest ways of burning extra fat in your body. In intermittent fasting, it is not necessary to eat less but to only reduce the available window of eating. 

What are the health benefits of intermittent fasting?

We know many health benefits of fasting. Let us now examine some of the benefits of intermittent fasting-

Weight Loss and improved life expectancy 

Weight loss is the prime benefit of periodical fasting. Apart from that, this diet plan has several other health benefits. When it comes to health benefits, it is always good to hear it from experts. Check out what experts have to say about it:

Longer life expectancy: A group of researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has highlighted the importance of periodical fasting to improve health and increase lifespan in their latest research work.

The scientists used nematodes, which are also known as roundworms with two weeks lifespan, for the study. The researchers restricted the worms’ diet and even mimicked dietary restrictions in them in order to maintain the energy-producing structures in cells called Mitochondria. They did it by manipulating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) – an energy-sensing protein.

After observing the worms for few days, the researchers found that periodical fasting has increased their lifespan and promoted healthy aging. In addition, they also found that this weight loss technique can reduce the development of any age-related diseases.

Reducing risk of chronic illness

Intermittent fasting plays an important role in stabilizing blood sugar and blood pressure levels, which can reduce the risk of several chronic illnesses like cardiovascular diseases, various types of cancer and diabetes.

A group of researchers from The University of Manchester has highlighted the connection between weight loss and risk of chronic illness in their study titled The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers.

The scientists observed over 100 obese women, who were going through their premenopausal period, for six months. The experts divided the participants into two groups and asked them to follow two different types of diet plans.

A group was asked to follow 25 percent energy restriction in a week i.e., 2266 kilojoules (kJ) per week. This method is known as intermittent energy restriction (IER). Meanwhile, the other group was asked to reduce 6276 (kJ) in a week and this method is called continuous energy restriction (CER).

After observing the participants for six months, the researchers found that intermittent fasting is as effective as continuous fasting in weight loss, insulin sensitivity and reducing the risk of chronic illness.

Stronger willpower

Intermittent fasting is more flexible than other diet plans and this feature makes it more sustainable. With great liberation to choose what to eat, this weight loss technique helps a person to have stronger willpower.

How to begin with intermittent fasting?

There are different types of intermittent fasting. A person who is not willing to compromise with their daily meals can go for 5:2 ratio of intermittent fasting. This pattern allows the person to eat normally for five days in a week and then to reduce the calorie intake to 500-600 calories in the other two days.

For those who do not really care about every meal in a day, 16:8 ratio of intermittent fasting is the best method to follow. In this pattern, a person can eat only during eight hours window a day. For the next 16 hours, he or she will have to go for fasting. 

This method may seem a bit tough. But when we closely analysis it, we are not even fasting for eight hours in a day. After eight hours of sleep, we take some time for our daily activities and exercise.

In this pattern, it is just important to choose a comfortable timing. For a person who wakes up early in the morning can choose 8 am to 4 pm schedule for eating. Meanwhile, a person who loves going to bed late can choose 3 pm to 10 pm schedule for daily meals.

Intermittent fasting also allows a person to go on fasting on every alternate day. This pattern allows a person to lose weight quickly and consume fewer calories.

Intermittent fasting for women


Women easily get attracted to diet plans and they find fasting as the most effective way to burn extra fat in their bodies. Whether to stay healthy or look younger, they often try out various weight losing techniques.

Although intermittent fasting has become one of the most trending diet plans, it may not be really beneficial for women if it is not done properly. It is mainly because women are highly sensitive to body senses that produce signals of starvation.

So, intermittent fasting can trigger hormonal imbalance by rapidly increasing the production of hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin. This may halt ovulation and cause many fertility problems.


However, there is nothing to be worried. Women can try out intermittent fasting by slightly changing its rules. To begin with, reduce the fasting time from 16 to 12 hours and try out fasting only on non-consecutive days. In order to keep the body senses engaged, try out yoga during fasting time and drink plenty of water.

Now, the biggest question that comes to your mind could be about the results. The results will be the same if you engage in intensive workouts during nonfasting days.

What are the side effects of intermittent fasting?

One of the major drawbacks of intermittent fasting is that it does not restrict calorie intake. So, experts say that it is not recommended for people with active eating disorders. It is also not recommended for young children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and elderly individuals.

Meanwhile, nutritionist Karen Ansel, who is also the author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer, has explained the side effects of “eating junk” during the non-fasting period.

One of the main drawbacks of intermittent fasting is that it doesn’t provide any guidance relative to what you should be eating. That means you could literally eat junk during your non-fasting periods, which isn’t exactly a recipe for good health. If you do choose this kind of diet, it’s key to make sure that you eat as healthily as possible to make up for the nutrients you may be missing out on during fasting days,” shape.com quoted her.

In a nutshell

Intermittent Fasting is good for your health as long as you choose nourishing food during your eating hours and not indulge in junk food bingeing.