Bharti Singh lost 16 kg with intermittent fasting. Know its pros and cons from expert
- If you are aiming to lose weight like Bharti Singh, is it advisable to follow her diet? Senior Dietician Shruti Bharadwaj talks about its pros and cons.
Television personality and comedienne Bharti Singh is in news for her massive 16 kg weight loss in ten months thanks to intermittent fasting. The 37-year-old reveals in an interview that she has her first meal at 12 pm and doesn't eat anything after 7 pm. The Kapil Sharma Show star admits that she enjoys all her favourite food including paratha and butter in the limited window of 7-8 hours while not eating anything at all for the remaining 16 hours. Bharti in an interview to a web portal said that she has been able to control her midnight cravings now and her body has adjusted to the new diet.
While intermittent fasting has been trending ever since Bharti revealed her secret formula to weight loss, we spoke to Senior Clinical Dietitican, Narayana Hrudalayala Multi Speciality Hospital Ahmedabad to understand how effective it is, and the pros and cons of the diet. If you are aiming to lose weight like Bharti Singh, is it advisable to follow her diet? Scroll down to know all about intermittent fasting.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or intermittent energy restriction is an eating pattern where you don’t eat for a period of time each day or week. Fasting is an ancient tradition but thanks to intermittent fasting, it has become a fitness trend. Fasting and intermittent fasting are different.
There are different types of intermittent fasting that one can follow. In alternate fasting, there are two sub types - complete alternate fasting or modified alternate fasting. In the first type, you can eat whatever you want every other day, while in the second type, you take only 20-25% of your daily calorie requirement on alternate fasting days.
Time restricted fasting
In this type of fasting, one can follow:
16:8 diet - 16 fasting hours and 8 non-fasting hours or
5:2 diet - regular eating schedule for five days and restriction of calories for the rest of two days (upto 500-600 per day)
So can intermittent fasting help us lose weight à la Bharti Singh?
Bharadwaj says that intermittent fasting has many benefits and can help rid body of excess fat, visceral fat, may improve insulin resistance, gut health, detoxify body, promote heart health, reduce overall body fat percentage, prevent skin problems, relieve constipation, help in hormonal balance and reduce waist circumference.
"If you are taking the right guidance and following this diet in a correct way, it will definitely help. Everyone has different body tendencies, and a qualified dietician can advise keeping in view the lifestyle and eating patterns a person follow," says the dietician.
How intermittent fasting works
"Whatever we eat, it is broken down by enzymes in our digestive system. Carbohydrates, sugar, maida, refined grains, they all get broken down very quickly into sugar and get used by body for energy. If cells are not using energy, it is stored as fat and sugar can enter into cells with insulin. In intermittent fasting, since we do not snack in between the meals, insulin levels will go down and our fat cells will release their stored sugar for daily requirements of the body. Intermittent fasting allows insulin levels to go down and burn fat," says Bharadwaj.
Can we skip our workouts if following intermittent fasting?
The answer is an absolute no. Bharadwaj says that exercise has its own role to play in our overall health that includes muscle strength and flexibility. "Diet plays an important role in weight loss, but for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, physical activity is equally important as these days most of us have a sedentary lifestyle. It is advisable to take out 30 minutes every day for any kind of physical activity. It not only helps to improve body flexibility but also our immunity," says Bharadwaj.
Can we eat our favourite food like Chole Bhature, parathe during this diet?
"If one wants to avoid any deficiencies, they should try to include all food groups in their meals. For example if your first meal of the day is at 12 pm Include fruits, vegetables, dal, probiotics, etc to avoid falling sick," she says.
Who should take expert advice before starting intermittent fasting?
It is important to determine how your body responds to a specific diet keeping in mind your medical conditions. If someone has diabetes, they have to make sure they don't invite hypoglycaemia (low sugar), because it is very dangerous as compared to hyperglycaemia (high sugar). It is important to follow your dietician's advice on the type of diet you should follow, if you are suffering from diabetes.
Possible disadvantages of the diet
Some people may experience nausea, dizziness, hypoglycaemia in case of diabetes, nutrient deficiencies or headache.
When not to follow intermittent fasting?
"During pregnancy or after pregnancy, people are in a hurry to reduce weight. In the first six months (after becoming a mother), which are also very crucial keeping in mind the lactation period, one should not go for detox, keto or intermittent diet," adds the dietician.
Bharadwaj approves Bharti Singh's decision to go for intermittent fasting and reverse her borderline diabetes before she plans a pregnancy as it could help prevent passing on the health problem to the child.
So, guys if you are planning to follow intermittent fasting for weight loss, it's probably not a bad idea, but you must consult an expert first.