intermittent fasting vs prolonged fasting

Intermittent Fasting vs. Prolonged Fasting

Fasting is a weight-loss and health-saving diet that has been scientifically verified. It aids in the loss of excess weight and the normalization of internal body processes.

However, if you look closely, you may notice several different fasting modes and become perplexed by the variety.

All fasting modes can be divided into two categories: Intermittent fasting and Prolonged fasting. Which is the better option for you? Let’s clear up the confusion!

Table Of Contents

Intermittent Fasting 

  • What is intermittent fasting?

Simply put, intermittent fasting means you stop eating completely, or almost completely, for a certain stretch of time (8-24 hours). Intermittent fasting helps you lose weight by naturally limiting your calorie intake and creating a calorie deficit that forces your body to burn body fat for energy. 

  • What are the time cycles of intermittent fasting? 

There is no single way to fast, meaning that the duration of your fast is up to you. 

Popular fasting regimens include:

– 5:2 Pattern: Restrict your calorie intake for two days per week (500 calories per day for women and 600 for men).

– 6:1 Pattern: This pattern is like the 5:2, but there’s only one day of reduced calorie intake instead of two.

– Eat Stop Eat: A 24-hour complete fast 1–2 times per week.

16:8 Pattern: This pattern involves only consuming food in an eight-hour window and fasting for 16 hours a day, every day of the week.

  • How does intermittent fasting work?

Intermittent fasting forces your body to use stored fat as energy instead of food. 

During a meal, carbohydrates in food are broken down into glucose (the major energy source). Excess glucose is stored for later use in the form of glycogen and fats. Intermittent fasting forces the liver to convert glycogen and fat back to glucose to keep supplying the body with energy. 

  • Is Intermittent Fasting Restrictive? 

Not at all. During the eating window, you are free to eat whatever you choose. Fasting with balanced meals that give good nutrients, on the other hand, produces the best results. It’s important to focus on healthy foods during your eating window, but you can still treat yourself 🙂 

One more point: your fast must be broken slowly. Overeating after a fast, especially with unhealthy foods, will only ruin your eating habits

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What are the benefits of intermittent fasting? 

  • A healthier relationship with food

Studies show that fasting periods help to get rid of the preoccupation with food and calories and develop a healthy relationship with food and your body instead. 

  • The better focus over time

Fasting causes modest stress in brain cells, causing the brain to strengthen and become more resistant to neurodegenerative illnesses. Fasting helps to strengthen your neural circuitry, improve your concentration, and sharpen your focus.

  • Weight loss

Intermittent fasting helps you lose weight in two ways: it restricts your calorie intake and encourages autophagy. So, you lose weight by eating fewer calories than before, and your body converts fat cells to energy. 

  • Numerous other health benefits!

Besides promoting weight loss, intermittent fasting reduces diabetes, metabolic diseases, and inflammation risks and improves your overall health. 

intermittent fasting vs prolonged fasting

Prolonged Fasting 

  • What is considered the optimal time for prolonged fasting?

Prolonged fasting is exactly what it sounds like: a period in which no food is consumed ranging from 24 to 96 hours.

During the fasting period, your caloric intake should be kept to a minimum. This implies that if you have a craving, you can drink some zero-calorie beverages like water, black coffee, or green tea, but that’s it.

  • What are the prolonged fasting benefits?

Prolonged fasting can help you lose weight, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce inflammation, all of which can improve your health. It may also help you live longer by slowing the aging of your cells.

  • Is prolonged fasting safe? 

If you are a healthy adult, fasting is unlikely to harm you, but if you have any health concerns or are on any medications, see your doctor before fasting.

Fasting is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, has children or has a history of eating disorders.

Shorter fasting intervals of up to 24 hours are the greatest approach to avoid these adverse effects, especially when you’re first starting off.

The second tip is to stay hydrated and know your physical limits while fasting. 

  • What are the long-term implications of prolonged fasting?

Fasting can also be unsafe if overdone or if not done correctly. Skipping meals and severely limiting calories can be dangerous for people with certain conditions, such as diabetes. 

Also, read – Intermittent Fasting vs. Calorie Restriction

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  • So, are long or short fasts superior? 

The answer is contingent on the cause for your fast. Intermittent fasting can provide you with the same physical benefits as prolonged fasting.

Intermittent fasting is equally as easy as extended fasting for achieving autophagy. Intermittent fasting is even more effective at increasing fat burning.

Intermittent fasting is better for physical health in general (you get the same results with less danger), but longer fasting may be better for emotional, psychological, or spiritual reasons.

Whatever you choose, fasting can become an important part of your wellness practice if you approach it properly and deliberately.

We are an Inspired team of writers who are passionate about writing on the topic of a healthy approach to Nutrition and Wellness. We are guided in our writing by our knowledge and experience as well as open official medical and health sources.

William is from Canada, he is passionate nutrition & wellness writer. William understands that the topic of wellness is still not well understood, so his goal is to enlighten and teach people how to live healthier and happier in their bodies.