Intermittent fasting or IF is an ancient health secret. It has been practiced in the entire history of mankind. In addition, it can help you live longer.
Intermittent Fasting Overview
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of food that runs from time to time. It does not show which foods to eat, but when to eat them. In this respect, it is more accurately described as a diet.
Intermittent fasting is a part of normal daily life. Maybe it is the oldest and most powerful dietary method possible. However, common intermittent fasting practices involve 16 to 24-hour fasting daily or twice a week.
People from ancient times did not have all-year-round supermarkets, fridges or food. They couldn’t find anything to eat sometimes. However, In the past, people have grown for long to live without food. Actually, it is more natural to fast from time to time, rather than to eat 3 to 4 meals a day.
Fasting is often practiced in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism, for religious and spiritual purposes. There are many methods available for intermittent fasting. Therefore, the 14/10 rule is one of those methods. This means you skip the meal for 14 hours from morning till evening or even 20 hours.
Fasting Helps Lose Weight
Intermittent fasting is a wonderful weight loss practice. If you stop eating foods, you can reduce calorie intake by intermittent fasting. In addition, intermittent fasting changes in the hormone level to make weight loss easier.
It increases the release of the fat-burning hormone Norepinephrine (Noradrenaline) and growth hormone. Because of these hormonal changes, your metabolic rate can increase by up to 14%.
By consuming fewer calories and burn more calories, intermittent fasting leads to a successful weight loss. However, intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool for weight loss according to several studies.
A study found that 3 to 8 percent of weight loss over 3 to 24 weeks could be because of this food pattern, which is essential compared to most weight loss studies. Another study showed that fasting causes less lean muscle loss compared to other methods.
However, fasting helps you eat fewer calories. In general, it is the primary reason for its success. You can not lose weight in any way when you eat a lot of food during the day.
Intermittent Fasting is Free
Where diets can be costly, intermittent fasting is free. In addition, fasting saves time where diets can take time. Intermittent fasting can facilitate things because you don’t have to schedule or cook as many foods as before.
Therefore, intermittent fasting is popular with people who hack their lives because it improves their health.
Increases Growth Hormone
Fasting has some significant effects on your body. For instance, your body changes the hormone levels to improve the accessibility of stored body fat. Often, the cells start crucial processes of restoring and alter gene expression. Here are some changes happening in your body while you’re fasting:
- Human growth hormone increases
- Insulin sensitivity increases
- Cells launch repair procedures
The health benefits of fasting apply to these changes in hormone levels and cell function.
Health Benefits of Fasting
1. Fasting, as mentioned above, can help you lose weight and abdominal fat without limiting calories.
2. Fasting can reduce blood sugar, insulin resistance by 3-6% and protects against type 2 diabetes.
3. Certain studies show that inflammatory markers, a key driver of many chronic diseases, are reduced.
4. Fasting can decrease LDL cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular risk factors.
5. Fasting may prevent cancer.
6. Fasting increases the BDNF brain hormone. In addition, it can also protect you from Alzheimer’s.
7. Fasting can prolong lifespan. Research shows that fasted rats lived up to 83% longer.
Side Note: These studies are in their early stages. Many studies have been small, short-term or animal-based. Therefore, we need quality human studies.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
With some of these methods, you can achieve outstanding results. Many people have tried these methods. However, these all can be effective, but depending on which method best suits you. These methods include:
- The 16/8 Method
- The Warrior Diet
- Eat-Stop-Eat Method
- The 5:2 Diet
- Fasting Every Other Day
Intermittent fasting isn’t for all. It’s not something everybody needs to do, it’s just another tool that can benefit those people who really want to improve their overall well-being. Read more about 5 effective intermittent fasting methods.
Risk Factors and Side Effects
The primary side effect of fasting is hunger. This may only take a few days because your body needs some time to adjust to the alternative meal plan. You should consult your doctor before trying fasting if you have a medical condition. If you’re overall healthy and well-fed, then there is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while.
Fasting is not for everybody. You must not fast without consulting a health practitioner if you are underweight or have a history of an eating disorder. Some evidence suggests that fasting might not help women. In addition, fasting may increase some risk in skinny women.
One study showed that insulin sensitivity improved in males, but blood sugar control worsened among females. While human research is not available on this topic, studies in rats show that fasting can emaciate female rats and cause them to miss cycles.
People who have a history of eating disorders or are underweight should not fast. Females that are skinny, pregnant, or lactating should not fast. Fasting has the most common side effect of hunger. People with certain medical conditions should not fast without consulting a doctor.
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Metabolic regulation of Sirtuins upon fasting and the implication for cancer. Curr Opin Oncol. 2013.
Effects of Intermittent Feeding Upon Growth and Life Span in Rats. Gerontology 1982.