You Must Know Intermittent Fasting Or 2-Hourly Meals : Which Is Designed For You !
Intermittent Fasting Or 2-Hourly Meals ?
In the past 30 years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of people facing multiple health concerns and so, many health influencers as well as qualified nutrition professionals have come up with their ideologies of how to tackle these health concerns. Some support intermittent fasting – eating only when hungry, eating no more than 2 meals per day, following a 14 or 16 hour fast etc.
Now you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already tried one or more restrictive diets in an effort to lose weight. If so, you’re not alone. Popular diets such as paleo, keto, weight watchers, Whole30, or plant-based diets have one thing in common, they restrict certain foods and can be hard to stick with long term. While others choose to believe in the 2 hourly system of eating. Well, both these systems are absolute opposite and hence the outcome is – majority of us have ended up feeling confused and indecisive with respect to making the right choice! This article is all about pros and cons of intermittent fasting and 2-hourly eating pattern.
Intermittent Fasting - is traditionally rooted into our lives. It is woven deeply into our Indian culture in form of fasting on auspicious days. Intermittent fasting doesn't involve changing what you eat, but rather modifying when you eat. It involves going 12 to 16 hours per day without food or for extreme fasting, consuming less than 800 calories 1 to 2 days a week. But when you do eat, the components of your meal are completely up to you.
Latest research in nutrition science points out to the many benefits of intermittent fasting (5/2). Let’s look at the top few –
Better blood sugar regulation
Prevents obesity and weight gain
Improved mental abilities and performance
Increased resistance to stress
Leads to insulin sensitivity – best for those facing hormonal issues like PCOS
Benefits those with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an easier, more sustainable way to lose weight. It’s flexible, so you can fit it into your schedule. and it allows you to enjoy your favorite foods, so you can pair fasting with any eating pattern.
INTERMITTENT FASTING SIDE EFFECTS
While this pattern of eating is very beneficial for those who have poor portion control, it is not a recommended choice for those who have low blood pressure or low blood sugar levels. It is also not feasible for those on medications. The food window is restricted with this diet and hence, it is not a good option for people who work at night shifts.
The idea of filling the gaps with fluids like caffeinated beverages puts one at risk of developing hyper-acidity and ulcers. It is best to avoid trying intermittent fasting if you cannot give up on those cups of teas or coffees or lattes.
Make sure that you stay hydrated throughout the day and don’t forget to start slow.
2-Hourly Eating pattern – is the boon of modern nutrition science and aptly fits into our busy lifestyles. How? Let’s see…While we might not have adequate times to cook full and extravagant meals, simple one dish meals like a vegetable pulao can constitute our main meals, while fillers like fruits, nuts, corn, makhanas, coconut etc. can constitute the mid meals. This makes the meal plan fuss-free and easy to carry (5 meals per day). It is best for those who have sitting jobs. Let’s look at some more benefits of following this pattern –
Quick satiety and feeling of fullness
Increased diet diversity - Keeps away nutritional deficiencies
Helps avoid hunger pangs and junk-eating
Reduces risk of obesity and heart diseases
While it is convenient to have small and frequent meals, however, with lack of self-control it could lead to junk-eating, especially between 4-6 pm. Also, this pattern calls for making healthy choices 5 times a day and that comes upto 35 – 40 times per week. It is challenging to stay consistent.
Besides, with 5 or 6 meals a day pattern, many people tend to fall for what I term as the “Eating Inequality”. They opt for lighter meals in the first half of the day (either intentionally or due to work) and go for heavier and larger meals in the second half of the day, sometimes even late in the night. This pattern is associated with many lifestyle disorders and even some complex disease conditions. Hence, it is super important to be mindful and not fall for the “Eating Inequality”.
From a nutritional perpective, it is best to opt for either intermittent fasting or 2-hourly eating pattern based on what you can stick to, in the long term. The pros and cons of both, when considered, will help in making your choice simpler.
For those who are spiritually inclined, keeping a fast on auspicious days would be a good idea. Most of these days fall during the time of the year when seasons transition. Fasting during this period, is known to work well at keeping our immunity stronger.
Niti Dhulla is the Owner and Founder at Online Nutrition Consultancy “NutriDietByNitiDhulla”
Winner of Dr.K.U.Naram Award -AFSTI. Currently she is a Nutritionist and Lifestyle coach and has proudly achieved the degree of Gold Medalist in Foods Nutrition and Dietetics. Niti Dhulla is a fitness enthusiast, a Certified Yoga Instructor and a Certified Acupressure Therapist. Feel free to take her guidance by contacting her at the below links.
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