intermittent fastingintermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has been practiced for centuries in many different religions around the world, including Hinduism.

Although it is a part of widespread cultures on the globe today Intermittent fasting (IF) has gained immense popularity in recent years as a flexible and effective approach to weight loss, improved health, and enhanced well-being. By alternating periods of eating with periods of fasting, intermittent fasting offers a host of benefits for both body and mind. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the science behind intermittent fasting and delve into its myriad health advantages, shedding light on why this dietary approach has captured the attention of health enthusiasts worldwide.

In Hinduism, intermittent fasting is known as upavasa and is seen as a way to cleanse the body and mind. It is often practiced during religious holidays and festivals, as well as on a regular basis by some Hindus.

The Atharva Veda, one of the four Vedas of Hinduism, mentions upavasa as a way to improve health and well-being. It also states that upavasa can help to develop spiritual qualities such as self-discipline and compassion.

In addition to Hinduism, intermittent fast is also practiced in other religions such as:

  • Islam: Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan from dawn to dusk, eating only before sunrise and after sunset.
  • Christianity: Some Christians fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, as well as during other times of the year.
  • Judaism: Jews fast on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
  • Buddhism: Buddhists often fast during meditation retreats and on other special occasions.

Intermittent fasting is also mentioned in the ancient texts of other cultures, such as the Taoist Yoga Classics of China and the Yoga Sutras of India.

While the specific practices of intermittent fasting may vary from religion to religion, the underlying principle is the same: to give the body and mind a break from digestion and to focus on spiritual matters.

Here are some examples of how intermittent fasting is practiced in different religions:

  • Hinduism: Hindus often practice upavasa on Ekadashi, a day that is considered to be sacred to the god Vishnu. On Ekadashi, Hindus typically fast from all grains and legumes.
  • Islam: Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan from dawn to dusk. During Ramadan, they strictly follow not to eat, drink or even smoke.
  • Christianity: Some Christians fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, as well as during other times of the year. On these days, Christians typically abstain from eating meat and other rich foods.
  • Judaism: Jews fast on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. On Yom Kippur, Jews abstain from eating, drinking, and bathing.
  • Buddhism: Buddhists often fast during meditation retreats and on other special occasions. When fasting, Buddhists typically eat a light meal in the morning and then abstain from eating until the next morning.

Intermittent fasting can be a safe and effective way to improve your health and well-being. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting any new fasting regimen, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It does not specify which foods to eat but rather when you should eat them. In this way, it is more of an eating schedule than a diet.

Understanding Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting is not a diet in the traditional sense but rather an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. There are several methods of intermittent fasting, including:

16/8 fasting: This involves fasting for 16 hours each day and eating only within an 8-hour window. For example, you might eat from 12pm to 8pm and fast for the rest of the day. It is Also known as the Lean gains protocol; this method involves fasting for 16 hours and restricting eating to an 8-hour window each day.

16/8 fasting

5:2 fasting: This involves eating normally for 5 days of the week and restricting your calories to 500-600 on the remaining 2 days. With this approach, individuals eat normally for five days of the week and restrict calorie intake to 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days.

5:2 fasting plan

Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week. This method involves alternating between fasting days, where calorie intake is severely restricted or eliminated, and non-fasting days where individuals eat normally.

eat stop eat fasting

How does intermittent fasting work?

When you fast, your body goes into a state called ketosis. In ketosis, your body breaks down stored fat for energy instead of glucose from food. This can lead to weight loss and other health benefits.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting offers various health benefits, including:

The Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:

  1. Weight Loss and Fat Loss: Intermittent fasting can be an effective tool for weight loss and fat loss by reducing overall calorie intake and increasing metabolic rate. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting may lead to greater fat loss while preserving muscle mass compared to traditional calorie restriction.
  2. Improved Metabolic Health: Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve various markers of metabolic health, including insulin sensitivity, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels. This can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.
  3. Cellular Repair and Longevity: During fasting periods, the body undergoes cellular repair processes such as autophagy, where damaged cells are broken down and recycled. Inter-mittent fasting has been linked to increased longevity and a reduced risk of age-related diseases.
  4. Brain Health and Cognitive Function: Intermittent fasting may have neuroprotective effects and enhance brain health by promoting the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that supports the growth and survival of neurons. Some studies suggest that intermittent fasting may improve cognitive function, mood, and focus.
  5. Inflammation Reduction: Chronic inflammation is linked to various diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, potentially lowering the risk of inflammatory conditions and promoting overall health.
  6. Improved blood sugar control: Inter-mittent fasting can help to improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  7. Improved heart health: Intermittent fasting can help to improve heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  8. eased longevity: as per research on animals, Intermittent fasting shown increase of lifespan in animals. However, more research is in progress to determine its applicability for humans.

Lets get started with intermittent fasting:

If you are new to inter-mittent fast, it is important to start slowly. Choose a fasting schedule that is manageable for you and gradually increase the fast duration as you become more comfortable. It is also important to stay hydrated during your fast periods. Drink plenty of water, unsweetened tea, and coffee. If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or unwell during your fast period, break your fast and eat something. Implementing Inter-mittent Fasting Safely: While inter-mittent fasting offers numerous benefits, it’s essential to approach it safely and mindfully. Here are some tips for implementing intermittent fasting:

  1. Start Slowly: If you’re new to intermittent fasting, start with a less restrictive fasting window and gradually increase it as you become accustomed to the fasting periods.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water during fasting periods to stay hydrated and curb hunger.
  3. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s hunger cues and adjust your fasting schedule accordingly. If you feel unwell or excessively hungry, consider shortening your fasting window or breaking your fast.
  4. Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foods: During eating windows, prioritize nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats to ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs.

Here are some additional tips to start with intermittent fasting:

  • Choose a fasting schedule that fits your lifestyle: There are many different fasting schedules to choose from. Experiment to find one that works for you.
  • Listen to your body: If you feel hungry, break your fast. There is no need to push yourself too hard.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, unsweetened tea, and coffee during your fasting periods.
  • Eat healthy foods: When you do eat, make sure to choose healthy, nutritious foods.
  • Be patient: It takes time to see results with inter-mittent fast. Be patient and consistent with your fasting schedule.

Sample intermittent fasting meal plan

Here is a sample intermittent fast meal plan for the 16/8 fasting schedule:

Eating window (12pm-8pm)

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries and nuts
  • Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken or fish
  • Dinner: Salmon with roasted vegetables

Fasting window (8pm-12pm)

  • Water
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Coffee

This is just a sample meal plan. You can customize it to fit your own preferences and dietary needs.


Inter-mittent fasting is more than just a trend – it’s a scientifically backed dietary approach with numerous health benefits. From weight loss and improved metabolic health to enhanced brain function and longevity, inter-mittent fasting offers a holistic approach to wellness. By incorporating intermittent fasting into your lifestyle with the guidance of a healthcare professional, you can unlock the potential for better health and well-being. So, embrace the power of intermittent fasting and embark on a journey towards a healthier, happier you.

Intermittent fast is a safe and effective way to lose weight, improve your health, and increase your lifespan. If you are considering trying intermittent fast, be sure to start slowly and listen to your body.

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Prashant V