One thing common between my grandma and twitter CEO Jack Dorsey – Intermittent fasting(know pros and cons)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been evoking curiosity and criticism about his habits aimed at wellness. Like no meals on weekends – Friday through Sunday, ice baths, using a near infra-red bulb near his standing workstation to promote cell regeneration and anti-aging, etc., besides practicing vipassana meditation.

Eating one meal per weekday and fasting through weekends like Jack Dorsey sounds extreme but intermittent fasting in different forms have been imposed by many cultures and religions since centuries. This involves either periodically fasting or restricting the type of foods we eat on certain days. My grandma did it all her life and lived a strong nonagenarian.

Let us understand the science behind fasting to understand this better.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It is more about controlling when you eat rather than what you eat. There are several different intermittent fasting methods, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods.

What are the different intermittent fasting methods?

  • The 16/8 Method: Fasting daily 14-16 hours restricting “daily eating window” to 8-10 hours with 2-3 meals.
  • The 5:2 diet: Eating normally 5 days of the week, while restricting calories to 500-600 on the remaining 2 days.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: One or two 24-hour fasts per week
  • Alternate-day fasting: Not eating anything or only eating a few hundred calories every other day
  • The Warrior Diet: Fast during the day(or eat raw fruits and vegetables) eat a big meal at night

Is fasting healthy?

Most medical experts agree that fasting is NOT a healthy weight loss tool. It is a quick fluid loss which is likely to come back as soon as you start eating normally.

If you are healthy fasting for a day or two is rarely a problem but you should avoid fasting if you have any of the following conditions

  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • A compromised immune system
  • On medication
  • Pregnant
  • Malnourished

Does Fasting really Detoxify the Body?

This is the controversial part where some Doctors think that there is no scientific evidence of this while a few others believe otherwise. And those who believe otherwise say that the body is unable to get rid of toxins if our is diet low in nutrients. With the consumption of processed foods, these toxins build up slowly leading to aging, diabetes, nerve damage, and the deterioration of organs. Along with improving the overall diet, fasting is another way to help reduce the build-up of toxins.

When you go without eating for more than a day or two, the body enters into ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body runs out of carbohydrates to burn for energy, so it burns fat. And fat is where the body stores many of the toxins it absorbs. Fasting may work if you are on good nutrition before and after the fast. For most medical conditions, if you stick to a strict diet, you don’t even need fasting

Whether you want to fast or feast get your facts right before you do anything!

Credits: Healthline, WebMD

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Ashwini Bhat

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