How To Fast For Health , Healthy Fasting , Intermittent Fasting , Weight Management

Intermittent Fasting

Complete Guide To Intermittent Fasting For Health And Weight Loss

Introduction To Fasting

Intermittent fasting refers to an eating plan that switches between eating and fasting periods, which results in fat loss and many other health benefits. It is an ancient technique that is still recommended and practiced in many religions.

Intermittent fasting is a systematic and scientific approach to abstaining from eating for a specified period of time to prompt the body to burn body fat to get the required energy.

Fasting generally offers plenty of health benefits and allows the body to detox and heal faster. Each individual has a unique body constitution. Therefore, despite immense health benefits, fasting may not suit every individual.

What Is Intermittent Fasting , Fasting For Weight Loss

There is not one single fasting method that works like magic and suits everybody. Therefore, the fasting plan is customized by a health care professional based on the specific needs and health condition of a person.

Understanding the basics of human physiology and how the body works can help you figure out the fasting method that works best for your situation. It is advisable for a person to understand the scientific approach to fasting and avoid the mistakes caused by a lack of knowledge.

This article is specially designed for a complete beginner who wants to understand the science of fasting, how fasting works, the health benefits of fasting, a diet plan during fasting, risks and common mistakes to avoid.

Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach where a person alternates between periods of eating and fasting. It has become increasingly popular in recent years as a weight loss and health improvement strategy.

Intermittent fasting has been associated with several health benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, increased autophagy, and weight loss. However, it is important to note that intermittent fasting may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with certain medical conditions or who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It is recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional before starting an intermittent fasting regimen.

Intermittent Fasting For Health And Fitness

What Is Intermittent Fasting ?

Intermittent fasting refers to an eating pattern that alternately switches between eating and fasting periods. The main objective of the fasting is to systematically starve the body long enough to trigger weight loss. Fasting is considered one of the highly effective and healthy method for weight management

The term “fasting” is defined as the voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual, health, religious, or other reasons. Since it is a conscious, voluntary act, you are in full control of the fasting and eating periods.

Fasting is different from starvation. The person can always adjust the pace of fasting as per his or her individual needs and tolerance. Eating healthy food, engaging in physical activity, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are other crucial components that can significantly enhance the health benefits of fasting.

Fasting For Health

What Is Intermittent Fasting , How Fasting Works
  • Fasting Starts.
  • Stop Eating Food For 12 Hours Or More.
  • Lowers Blood Glucose And Insulin Levels.
  • Body Starts Using Fat Reserves For Energy.
  • Increases HGH – Human Growth Hormone.
  • Ketosis Starts The Fat Burning For Energy.
  • Fasting Result – Weight Loss And Other Health Benefits.

When we fast for a long period of time, exceeding 12 hours without any food intake, the body is forced to look for other alternate sources of energy.

During the fasting period, the body burns the fat reserves in the liver (glycogen) and other parts of the body to get the required energy. This results in weight loss due to fat reduction, improved brain function, and many other associated health benefits.

Weight Loss Tips , How To Loose Weight , Weight Reduction Plan

Fasting simply means we stop eating food completely during the specified period. Most people can comfortably fast for 12 to 24 hours. However, a minimum period of at least 12 hours of fasting is recommended.

During the fasting period, it is advisable to completely avoid any food that might increase the blood sugar level and subsequently the need for insulin. You can at best take a shot of water, lime water, mild black coffee, or green tea without any milk, added sugar, or artificial sweetener.

Naturally Heal Your Body With Fasting

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting, when done correctly, leads to weight loss, decreases blood pressure and cholesterol, helps control and prevent type 2 diabetes, improves brain function, and lowers the chances of other major diseases, according to numerous medical research and case studies.

Intermittent fasting has several key health benefits, including:

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting , Benefits of Fasting
  • The simplest and highly effective weight loss method.
  • Helps to manage and sustain healthy weight.
  • It helps to lower blood pressure.
  • It is an important part of the diabetes reversal program.
  • Helps to improve brain health and functions.
  • Helps to lower insulin resistance and improve sensitivity.
  • Helps To reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Fasting lowers the risks of many serious diseases.
  • Helps slow down the ageing process.
  • Helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Fasting triggers autophagy, which is important for cell repair.
  • Fasting triggers ketosis, which is important for fat burning.
  • It increases HGH, which helps build muscles and lowers fat.
  • Improves mental health.


In order to maximize the health benefits of fasting, it is important to combine the fast with other crucial healthy habits necessary for healthy living.

Fasting needs to be combined with other healthy habits. Eating healthy food, engaging in physical activity, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are other crucial components that can significantly enhance the health benefits of fasting.

Intermittent Fasting For Health And Fitness

How Intermittent Fasting Works?

In order to understand how intermittent fasting works, we need to first understand human physiology and how food is digested.

How Digestive System Works?

Our body needs food, nutrition, vitamins, and minerals on a daily basis for essential body functions and to keep supplying energy to sustain daily physical activities. The food that we eat essentially contains carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and other nutrition required by the body.

Our body’s digestive system breaks down the nutrients present in food into different parts that can be readily absorbed into the body and used as a source of energy, growth, and cell repair.

Food , How Food Is Digested

The digestive system brakes down the three main components of the food as under :

  •   Proteins break into amino acids.
  •   Fats break into fatty acids and glycerol.
  •   Carbohydrates break into Glucose.
How Digestive System Works

Each Meal Spikes Blood Sugar Level

The glucose gets absorbed into the blood and supplied to various organs of the body, where it is used as a source of energy. The excess glucose is stored in the liver and adipose tissue as glycogen and fat. Therefore, when we eat food, the blood glucose level goes up.

The glycogen stored in the liver is converted back to glucose in between meals during the fasting period in order to continue the supply of energy. These glycogen stores usually get consumed between ten and twelve hours for a physically inactive person. For an active person, the stored glycogen is consumed much faster.

Blood Sugar Levels , Fasting

Blood Glucose Levels And Insulin

Whenever a person eats food, the blood glucose level goes up, which is the body’s primary source of energy. The body responds to increased blood sugar (glucose) levels by secreting a hormone called insulin.

The pancreas responds by producing insulin, which allows glucose to enter the body’s cells to provide energy. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows our body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates for energy or to store for future use. Therefore, insulin is also referred to as a “fat-storing hormone.”

How Insulin Works , Weight Management , Fasting

What is Insulin Resistance ?

Because insulin is secreted after each meal, eating throughout the day frequently keeps the insulin level high most of the time. The sustained high levels of insulin in the blood adversely affect the normal function of the body’s cells. The decline in the cells’ response to insulin is called “insulin resistance” or “insulin sensitivity.”

Insulin resistance is the root cause of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it is crucial for diabetes patients to control the frequency of meals. Similarly, minimizing the number of meals during the eating period is equally important for a person on intermittent fasting.

Therefore, what we eat and when we eat are both equally important to maximize the effectiveness and health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Insulin Resistance , Type Two Diabetes , Insulin Insensitivity

Intermittent Fasting For Health And Fitness

Who Should Not Be Fasting ?

Fasting might not be suitable for everybody. Each individual has a unique body constitution. A person suffering from any disease or taking some daily medication after eating food, or someone with a specific health condition, should not be fasting.

Therefore, despite immense health benefits, fasting may not suit every individual. The safer approach for such a person is to first consult a health care professional before getting into fasting.

If you are taking any medications that affect your blood sugar levels, you should refrain from fasting. Similarly, children, pregnant women, and senior citizens with a history of medical conditions should also refrain from fasting.

Who Should Not Be Fasting , Risks Of Fasting
  •   Person suffering from disease.
  •   Children below the age of 16 years
  •   Pregnant women.
  •   Type 1 diabetes patients.
  •   Person with an eating disorder.
  •   Senior citizens with medical conditions.
  •   Person under specific medications.


Most individuals believe that fasting is reasonably harmless. However, it is not advised for persons who have certain health issues or medical disorders. As a result, it is strongly advised that you consult your medical professional before beginning the fast.

Intermittent Fasting For Health And Fitness

Fasting Methods

Types Of Intermittent Fasting

There are several approaches to intermittent fasting that can help you achieve your goal. The choice of the fasting method depends upon the individual’s preferences and the advice of the health care specialist.

The sustainability and consistency of the fasting plan are the key factors that deliver the best health benefits. Fasting is not a diet plan; rather, it should become a part of your healthy lifestyle to maximise the intended health benefits.

Some of the most commonly used fasting methods include:

Who Should Not Be Fasting , Risks Of Fasting
  •  Number of fasting hours method.
  • Alternate day fasting method.
  • Time restricted fasting method.
  • Modified fasting method.
  • Meal skipping fasting method.
  • Restricted fasting method.

Number Of Fasting Hours Method

The “number of fasting hours” method is one of the most popular, highly effective, and widely practised fasting methods. Most beginners find this method easier to start fasting with.

In this method, the fast is observed for a specified number of hours per day. This is one of the simplest and most beginner-friendly methods that offers enough flexibility for those who are just getting used to fasting.

As per this plan, the beginner can start fasting after a minimum of  10 hours. The fasting period is gradually increased as per the individual’s tolerance. Most beginners find this method relatively easy to implement.

This method’s most popular fasting plans include the 12: 12 plan, the 16: 8 plan, and the 20: 4 plan. For example, as per the 16:8 method, a fast is observed for 16 hours, and the eating window is allowed for 8 hours.

Alternate Day Fasting Method

This is another highly effective fasting method. There are several variations of the alternate-day fasting method, which involves fasting on every other day.

As per the alternate-day fasting plan, most people fast for the entire day with minimal food and a restricted caloric intake not exceeding 500 calories. On the feeding day, a healthy diet is recommended to maximise the health benefits.

Alternate-day fasting is quite strenuous, especially for beginners or people with certain health conditions. This fasting plan is not considered sustainable and is difficult to maintain over the long term.

Time Restricted Eating Method

Time-restricted eating is an intermittent-fasting plan under which the eating period is restricted to a minimum duration for eating within each 24-hour period. This fasting method has gained popularity because it is relatively easy to implement and leads to weight loss.

Time-restricted eating is a type of eating plan that focuses on restricting the maximum time allowed for eating. This plan allows a limited, short-duration eating period and a long fasting period to maximise the health benefits.

Instead of limiting the types of food or number of calories that people consume, the main focus of this fasting method is to restrict the eating window.

Intermittent Fasting For Health And Fitness

Fasting And Cancer

Obesity and overweight are widely recognized as major risk factors for a variety of diseases, including cancer. Weight management is important, according to medical studies and research, and a healthy diet and fasting that aims to lose weight may help reduce cancer risk.

Fasting aids in the reduction of obesity, which is a proven risk factor for cancers such as breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer. Fasting and its health benefits for cancer patients have been highlighted in numerous case studies of cancer survivors.

There is some evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting may have potential benefits for cancer prevention and treatment. However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between fasting and cancer.

Some studies have suggested that fasting may help to reduce the risk of cancer by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, promoting DNA repair, and enhancing immune function. Additionally, fasting may make cancer cells more susceptible to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, while protecting healthy cells.

However, it is important to note that fasting should not be used as a substitute for conventional cancer treatments, and individuals with cancer should always consult with their healthcare provider before starting any kind of fasting regim.

While the potential benefits of fasting for cancer prevention and treatment are promising, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between the two.

Intermittent Fasting For Health And Fitness

Fasting For Weight Management

Intermittent fasting can be an effective strategy for weight management. By limiting the time window for eating and fasting for the remaining hours, it can reduce overall calorie intake and promote weight loss.

One of the ways intermittent fasting works is by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and helps store excess calories as fat. When insulin sensitivity is improved, the body is better able to use glucose for energy instead of storing it as fat.

Intermittent fasting can also increase the production of growth hormone, which helps to preserve lean muscle mass and burn fat.

Fasting For Weight Management , weight loss

It is important to note that while intermittent fasting can be an effective tool for weight management, it should be combined with a healthy food and balanced diet and regular exercise for maximum benefits.

Additionally, it may not be suitable for everyone and should be approached with caution, particularly for those with a history of disordered eating or certain medical conditions. It is recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional before starting an intermittent fasting regimen.

Intermittent Fasting For Health And Fitness

Other Useful References

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The contents are for general awareness and educational purpose. Please consult your medical professional regarding your health issues. 

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