Intermittent fasting or fasting diet is a diet method that divides time into two periods, namely periods of eating and periods of not eating. This method has actually been known for a long time and is practiced by several cultures and religions. Since being introduced by Michelle Harvie and Mark Mattson in 2012, this method has grown in popularity in the UK and Australia.
Even though it is similar to fasting in Ramadan, intermittent fasting is aimed at dieting, while fasting in Ramadan is to perform worship. Is that the only difference? Certainly not. Because there are many other differences. Therefore, let's find out some of the other differences regarding these two types of fasting.
The Difference Between Intermittent Fasting and Ramadan Fasting
Here are some of the differences between the two, starting from the duration and time of eating, consuming certain drinks, to consuming sweet foods:
- The difference in terms of duration and time of eating
Ramadan fasts vary in duration depending on locations around the world. Starting from the time of imsak until just before maghrib, the duration of fasting can range from 11 to 16 hours. Meanwhile, intermittent fasting is a fasting method that varies in duration between fasting and eating.
There are three types of intermittent fasting methods that are most commonly known, namely:
- The 16:8 method involves periods of 8 hours of eating and 16 hours without eating.
- The Eat-stop-eat method involves fasting for 24 hours, which is done one to two times a week.
- Whereas the 5:2 method allows you to eat normally for 5 days and limits the calories consumed on the remaining 2 days.
- Differences in terms of permissibility to consume certain drinks
During Ramadan, not only is it forbidden to eat, but one must refrain from drinking. However, on the intermittent fasting diet, you can still drink within certain limits. This is related to the type of drink and the number of calories allowed. In this context, it is important to note that you should only drink during the fasting period if the drink is low in sugar and calories.
- Differences in consuming sweet foods
As the iftar of Ramadan approaches, many are following the advice to start with sweets like dates. However, in intermittent fasting, there are no specific rules regarding the type of food consumed during the eating period.
However, several methods avoid consuming sweet foods or drinks that contain excessive sugar, bearing in mind that the higher the sugar content, the more calories. Excessive calorie consumption can damage the diet efforts that are being carried out. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to sugar and calorie intake in the diet when doing intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
As for some of the benefits of Intermittent fasting, namely:
- Improving the Immune System
Intermittent Fasting (IF) brings changes to eating patterns and several studies show that fasting can improve health. One of the benefits is boosting the immune system by suppressing the production of proinflammatory cytokines that trigger inflammation in the body. Not only that, IF can also lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, and inhibit cell growth which can indicate cancer risk.
- Lowering Blood Pressure
Adopting cycles of 12-16 hour fasting and not fasting for 8-12 hours can help control blood pressure without medication. According to research at the Buchinger Wilhelmi Clinic in Germany involving 1,422 respondents with hypertension, fasting for 4-21 days can lower blood pressure. The mechanism that occurs is periodic fasting can stimulate the activity of glutamatergic receptors and cholinergic neurons so that systolic and diastolic pressure can decrease.
- Controlling Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is very important to ensure that your daily activities are not disrupted. However, choosing the wrong type of diet can harm the body's health. One safe weight loss alternative is intermittent fasting. This method has been shown to be effective in losing weight because it helps you get used to regularly controlling your food intake and daily calories.
That's a discussion of the differences between intermittent fasting and fastingRamadan has become increasingly popular recently, mainly because this diet method is very flexible compared to other types of diets.
With intermittent fasting, you can limit mealtimes without limiting the types of food consumed too much. So, if you're looking for a way to stick to an effective diet without going too hard, intermittent fasting might be the right choice for you. Hopefully this information is useful for you.Read more on Ramadan Health Tips