Intermittent Fasting – How It Can Benefit You
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a diet routine that is currently one of the most popular diets in today’s society, promoted by many athletes and fitness gurus on social media.
It has been praised as a great way to lose weight while benefiting health and improving lifestyles. This is supported by many studies that have proven its amazing effects on the body and mind.
All about Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that runs between phases of eating and fasting. It focuses on when you eat rather than what foods you eat. This means that this diet doesn’t follow the conventional rules, it more so reflects an eating pattern.
(IF) commonly follows fasting intervals that involve daily 16- hour fasts or 24-hour fasts twice a week.
Due to evolution from ancient hunters, humans can live without food for extended amounts of time. This stems from the lack of supermarkets and refrigerators 1000’s of years ago, fasting would have often occurred from not having anything to eat.
There are other scenarios where fasting can occur such as religious reasons including Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism.
Fasting from every so often is more natural than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day.
There are many different patterns that IF can be carried out. These periods can be conducted by eating very little food or no food at all.
• The 16/8 method: This method involves missing breakfast and restricting you’re eating period to 8 hours. An example could be eating between 12-8 pm. Following this period, you will fast for 16 hours.
• Eat-Stop-Eat: This method comprises of fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, an example can be not eating from breakfast till breakfast the next day.
• The 5:2 diet: the 5:2 diet involves eating normally for 5 days and then consuming only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days.
All of these methods should result in weight loss by restricting overall calorie intake. However, this will only happen if you don’t compensate by eating too many calories in your eating window.
The 16/8 method is the most popular as people find it to be the simplest and easiest to stick to, especially in today’s lifestyle demands.
What effects does does fasting have on the body?
During fasting, many things happen on a cellular and molecular level. One of the main processes that take place is that your hormone levels adjust to make stored body fat more accessible. Alongside this, important repair processes take place.
Here are some changes that occur in your body when you fast:
• The levels of human growth hormone (HGH).
• Insulin sensitivity advances and levels of insulin drop dramatically.
• When fasted, your cells initiate cellular repair processes.
How it can cause weight loss
The most common reason people take on this eating pattern is to lose weight. By eating fewer meals, intermittent fasting can instantly reduce calorie intake. Additionally, IF promote the change in hormone levels to ease weight loss.
One of the main influences IF can have on weight loss is that it increases the release of the weight loss hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
These changes in hormones can mean that short-term fasting can increase your metabolic rate by 3.6–14%.
Weight loss is produced by causing you to eat less and burn more calories.
Can Everyone Intermittent Fast?
Intermittent fasting is undoubtedly not for everyone. If you have a history of eating disorders or being underweight you definitely should consult your doctor before starting this diet.
Can Women Fast?
Some studies have proven that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men.
one study showed that while its improved insulin sensitivity in men it decreased blood sugar control in women.
Things You Should Know Before Beginning Intermittent Fasting.
• Water, tea, and coffee can be consumed during the fast, however, no sugar should be added.
• Skipping breakfast is conceived as unhealthy. However, if eating healthy food throughout the day, skipping breakfast is a perfectly healthy practice.
• Supplement can be taken during fasting. It’s important to note that some fat-soluble supplements are important to take with meals.
• Working out while fasting is perfectly safe.
• It is not safe for kids to fast and they should never do it.
• All weight-loss diets can cause muscle loss so it’s important to include weight training and high protein intake.
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By Ella Orrock