This is called Intermittent fasting which is not a diet actually, it’s a way of life where we do not change what we eat.
In the Indian scenario the equation – 14:10 works the best. The idea is to fast for 14 hours and eat a balanced diet within a 10-hour window every day, which may be better for both our health and our sanity. Also it’s easy to bring about this behaviour change especially in busy professionals.
How does this help us?
The 14:10 fasting approach for being able to help manage weight, burn body fat, gain lean muscle mass and reduce health issues that are linked to being overweight or obese, such as diabetes and heart disease.
This is also good because it activates our brown fat stores. This fat is like a furnace that when lit burns excess calories and the white fat that leads to disease. The daily mini-fast also activates brown fat.
How long do we fast?
A common time frame to fast is usually from 7pm to 9am. It can be modified to suit Indian lifestyle is by keeping a fasting period of 9pm to 11 am. Throughout the remaining 10 hours, you’re allowed to have three meals, but no snacks. It’s not about skipping breakfast, it’s about having it later. You can have your favourite breakfast food, but usually later.
Why 14:10 could be better for you?
A daily fast for 14 hours is more achievable once you take into account sleeping time. Usually the morning hours are rushed and no one usually has time to sit down to a large breakfast and hence the first meal can be easily delayed.
The 10-hour eating window can reduce mindless grazing and it is simple for most people to meet their nutrition requirements within 10 hours. People usually eat too much food. Restricting food intake to 10 hours per day helps people become more aware of eating less.
The usual healthy eating guidelines, such as limiting sugar, saturated fat and processed foods, and monitoring portion sizes, still apply. The non-fasting periods need a proper macro and micro nutrient breakdown so as to ensure proper and optimum caloric intake.
How do we start?
If you want to get started, a 12:12 mini-fast is recommended initially. Once you’re comfortable with that, you extend your fasting period by an hour at a time until your eating window is 10 hours.
The 14:10 diet is sensible and can be followed without too much alteration of daily lifestyle and will help with weight loss and weight management. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes. This diet needs personalised alterations especially in those with medical ailments and in diabetics who are on medications. It also needs tweaking in those who are athletes or weight training.