Intermittent Fasting – What is it and What are the Benefits?

Intermittent Fasting – What is it and What are the Benefits ? Additionally,  intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular health and fitness trends in the world. People use intermittent fasting to lose weight, improve health and simplify their healthy lifestyle.

intermittent fasting

Many studies show that intermittent fasting can have powerful effects on your body and brain, and can even increase your life expectancy.

What is Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting is a term that refers to an eating pattern that uses cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Intermittent fasting doesn’t say anything about what foods you should consume, but when you should consume them.

Therefore, it cannot be defined as a “diet” in the conventional sense, it is more accurately described as an “eating pattern.” Common methods of intermittent fasting involve 16-hour fasting days, or fasting for 24 hours, twice a week. Humans have actually lived on intermittent fasting  during evolution, sometimes because there wasn’t enough food available, and also because some of them were part of major religions such as Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism.

If you start to think about it, you’ll realize that our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t have supermarkets, meatpackers or food available year round. Sometimes they couldn’t find anything to eat, and their bodies evolved so that they were able to function without food for long periods of time.

In any case, fasting occasionally is more “natural” than eating constantly 3-4 (or more) times a day.

Conclusion: Intermittent fasting is a term that refers to an eating pattern that uses cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Right now, it is very popular among the health and fitness community.

How to Do Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting has been very popular for many years and can use many different methods. They all imply the division of the day of the week into “eating periods” and “fasting periods”. During periods of intermittent fasting, one should eat very little or nothing at all.

Most Popular Intermittent Fasting Methods:  There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, all of which divide the day or week into “meal periods” and “fasting periods.”

  • 16/8 Method: Also called the “Leangains” protocol, this consists of skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, for example from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm. And then “fast” for the next 16 hours.
  • Stop Eating: It is a 24-hour fast, once or twice a week, for example, not eating from dinner time one day to dinner time the next day.
  • d5-2 Diet: On two non-consecutive days of the week, you only eat 500-600 calories, you can eat normally on the other 5 days.

Because you’re eating fewer calories, all these methods of intermittent fasting  should make you lose weight, while they don’t make up for the fact that you eat a lot more than you need during eating periods. The 16/8 method tends to be the simplest, most sustainable, and easiest to follow, and it is also the most popular.

How Intermittent Fasting Affects Cells and Hormones: When you are fasting , several things happen in your body on a cellular and molecular level. For example, your body changes hormone levels so that stored body fat is more accessible, your cells also initiate important repair processes, and alter gene expression. Here are some changes that take place in your body when you’re on intermittent fasting:

  • Human Growth Hormone: Growth  hormone levels increase by up to 5 times. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain.
  • Insulin: Increases insulin sensitivity and insulin levels drop dramatically. A low level of insulin makes stored body fat burn more easily.
  • Cell Repair: When on intermittent fasting, cells initiate cell repair processes. This includes autophagy, in which cells digest and eliminate old, dysfunctional proteins that accumulate inside cells.
  • Gene Expression:  There are alterations in the function of genes related to longevity and disease protection. These changes in hormone levels, gene expression and cell function are the health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss: Weight loss is the most common reason people try intermittent fasting. By making you eat less food, intermittent fasting leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.

Additionally, intermittent fasting changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss. In addition to lowering insulin and causing a spike in growth hormone levels, intermittent fasting increases the release of the fat-burning hormone, norepinephrine (noradrenaline).

Because of these hormonal changes, intermittent fasting can actually increase your metabolic rate from 3.6 to 14%. Intermittent fasting will help you consume fewer calories and burn more calories, this triggers weight loss by changing both sides of the calorie equation.

However, keep in mind that the main reason for this work is that it helps you ingest less calories overall, if you eat too much and in large amounts during meal periods then you will not be able to lose weight at all.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting: Many studies have been done in relation to intermittent fasting. These studies have shown that you can have powerful benefits for weight management and the health of your body and brain, it can even help you live longer. Here are the top health benefits of intermittent fasting:

  • Weight Loss: As mentioned above, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and belly fat without having to consciously restrict calories.
  • Insulin Resistance: Intermittent  fasting can reduce insulin resistance by lowering blood sugar by 3-6% and increasing insulin levels by 20-31%. This can protect against type 2 diabetes.
  • Inflammation: Some studies show reductions in markers of inflammation, a key factor in many chronic diseases.
  • Heart Health: Intermittent fasting can reduce LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance. All of these are risk factors for heart disease.
  • Cancer: Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may help prevent cancer.
  • Brain Health: Intermittent fasting increases a brain hormone called BDNF and can help with the growth of new nerve cells.

Intermittent Fasting For Healthy Living: It can be very difficult to stick to a simple, healthy diet, and one of the main obstacles is all the work that goes into planning and cooking healthy meals. If you follow intermittent fasting , this will be easier because you won’t have to plan on cooking or cleaning up after meals like you used to.

Women Should Intermittent Fasting: There is some evidence that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. There are reports of women who had amenorrhea (menstrual pause), when they started intermittent fasting, their menstrual flow returned, returning to normal with the interruption of intermittent fasting .

For these reasons, women should certainly beware of intermittent fasting , taking it in moderation, and if you experience problems such as amenorrhea, stop immediately. If you have fertility issues and/or are trying to conceive, you should forget about intermittent fasting now. Intermittent fasting can be a bad idea during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

People who are underweight or who have a history of eating disorders should not do intermittent fasting . There is also some evidence that intermittent fasting can be harmful for some women. If you experience any of the conditions reported above, then you should not pursue intermittent fasting without consulting a healthcare professional first. In such cases, intermittent fasting can be very harmful to your health.

Intermittent Fasting Side Effects: Hunger is the main side effect of intermittent fasting , you may also feel sluggish, and your brain will function as usual. This is only temporary as it may take some time for your body to adjust to the new meal times. If you have a particular medical condition, you need to consult your doctor before starting intermittent fasting . This is especially important for people who:

  • Has diabetes.
  • Has problems with blood sugar regulation.
  • You have low blood pressure .
  • Take medication.
  • It has low weight.
  • History of eating disorders.
  • Woman who is trying to get pregnant.
  • Woman with a history of menorrhagia .
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.

All that said, intermittent fasting has an excellent safety profile. There’s nothing “dangerous” about not eating for a while if you’re totally healthy and well-nourished in general.

Intermittent Fasting Questions: Here are the answers to the 7 most common questions about intermittent fasting:

1-Can I drink fluids during Intermittent Fasting? Yes, water, coffee, tea and other calorie-free drinks. Do not add sugar to your coffee, milk and creams can be consumed in small amounts or if you prefer, substitute plant-based milks. Coffee can be particularly beneficial during intermittent fasting because it satisfies hunger. For best results, we suggest that you only drink water during intermittent fasting.

2-Is it healthy to skip breakfast? No, the problem is that most people who don’t eat breakfast have stereotypical and very unhealthy lifestyles. Make sure you eat healthy foods throughout the day, and drink plenty of water, and you’ll be fine.

3-Can I Take Supplements During Intermittent Fasting? Yes, however, be aware that some supplements (such as fat-soluble vitamins) may work better when taken between meals.

4-Can I Exercise During Intermittent Fasting? Yes, exercise pairs very well with intermittent fasting . Some people recommend taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) before workouts and before breakfast.

5- Does Intermittent Fasting cause muscle loss? All weight loss methods can cause muscle wasting, so it’s important to maintain a high protein intake. One study shows that intermittent fasting causes less muscle mass loss than normal calorie restrictions.

6-Can Intermittent Fasting decrease my metabolism? No, studies show that short-term intermittent fasting actually boosts metabolism. However, longer fasts (3 days or more) can suppress metabolism.

7-Can children fast? This is probably a bad idea.

Try Intermittent Fasting:  You’ve probably done a lot of “intermittent” fasting throughout your life. If you eat dinner, sleep late, and don’t eat until lunch the next day, then you’ve fasted for 16 hours. Many people actually eat this way instinctively, they just don’t feel hungry in the morning.

Many people consider the 16/8 method to be the simplest and most sustainable way to  intermittent fasting , so it may be the best way to start. If you find it easy to take and feel good during intermittent fasting , then you can try moving on to more advanced fasts like 24-hour fasts 1 or 2 times a week, or consuming only 500-600 calories daily for 1 or 2 days. 2 days a week (5:2 diet).

Another simple proposition is to fast when convenient, skip meals occasionally when you’re not hungry, or when you don’t have time to cook. There is no need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to get at least some of the benefits. It is recommended that you experiment with different approaches and find something that you like and fits your schedule.

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Note: Intermittent fasting is great for some people, but not for others, the only way to know which group you belong to is to try it. If you feel good about intermittent fasting and you think it’s a sustainable way to eat, then it can be a very powerful tool to help you lose weight and improve your health.

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