What is intermittent fasting?

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What is intermittent fasting?

A diet that has become more popular in the past few years has been intermittent fasting. This involves cycling between times you can eat and when you’re fasting and is used to lose weight. There are many people that have tried this diet and it has worked, meaning they have achieved the results they wanted. Although there are many success stories out there, if you are new to this kind of diet then learning more about it will increase your chances of positive results and determining if this is the right diet for you. In this article we are going to be going over the basics of intermittent fasting and why it’s the chosen diet for weight loss by many people.

 

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating. It involves cycling between periods of fasting and periods of eating. An example of an intermittent fasting day would be to skip breakfast then have a meal at around 1 pm. Then your next meal will be at around 8 pm and then the cycle will repeat. This means you leave a considerable amount of time between your meals which puts your body into a fat burning state. This is because you have been able to burn all the calories from your previous meal and are now using your body fat for energy. This is the main reason the diet is so popular for weight loss.

One of the most popular types of fasting is 16/8 fasting. This involves having a window of 8 hours in the day when you are allowed to eat and consume calories. After these 8 hours you will then enter a 16-hour fating period where you will not be able to consume any food or calories. This is probably the easiest way of fasting as you can still eat your normal meals during that 8-hour period and the 16 hours can be your rest time and sleep time where you wont be as in much demand for calories and food.

 

Weight loss

The main reason do fasting is because of weight loss. Fasting is also present in some religions and offers many benefits that are mental and physical. One benefit of intermittent fasting is fat loss and this occurs as fasting puts your body into a fat burning state. This means you use stores fat as energy. As well as this fasting causes changes in hormones and can release the hormone norepinephrine, which increases the amount of fat you burn. Hormones that control your appetite are also affected, meaning you may find yourself naturally eating less when fasting.

Although intermittent fasting has been shown to be a good way of eating to lose weight, there are a few things you need to watch out for as these can hinder your weight loss efforts. One thing to be wary of is binge eating. This is when you consume a huge number of calories in a short period of time and can lead to you actually gaining weight. This also has the potential to develop into an eating disorder. Its important to remember to still eat like your usually would but just time your meals out or design meals that are planned out so you are getting your daily nutrients to reduce the chances of malnutrition.

General health

Intermittent fasting has also been observed to be good for general health. One way this is healthy is that it can reduce your insulin resistance which can lower your blood sugar levels by 6%. This reduces the chance of type 2 diabetes.  Fasting may also reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your body, this decreases the risk of heart disease as the cholesterol isn’t going to clog arteries and veins, restricting blood flow to the rest of your body.  Being overweight is also a factor that can increase your chances of heart disease and this is reduced when fasting as you lose weight.

Fasting has also been studied to delay aging and it has the potential to increase your lifespan. A study was done that observed the affects of intermittent fasting on rats.  They concluded that the lifespan of the rats was increased by whopping 83%.  As well as ant aging, fasting may also reduce the risk of cancer. This can be due to weigh loss as this is also a key part in the development of cancer or it can also be due to the increased production of tumour killing cells that your body produces when fasting.

 

Mental benefits

Your diet and eating pattern have a big affect on your overall body including mental health. This is just as important as physical health and poor mental health can lead to serious mental disorders like anxiety, depression, dementia, and psychoses. These can affect things like the way you think and your mood. Fasting has been shown to elevate your mood and reduce stress in some individuals. This can reduce your chances of depression which is a common mental disorder between adults. There are also mental benefits with the results of fasting like weight loss. Losing some fat will make you feel more confident and can elevate your mood.

Leaving time between meals has also been proven to improve memory. This is due to your increased brain function when in a fasting period, as the levels of protein that stimulate neurone growth are increased. This can also help combat age related mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. When you are fasting, your body is running on ketones rather than glucose. Ketones allow your body to perform better and protects your body’s nerve cells.

 

The cons of intermittent fasting

Like many things this diet plan is not perfect. There are a few negative affects of participating in intermittent fasting. If you have a serious medical condition like diabetes where skipping meals will cause harm, they you would want to seek medical advice and guidance before starting to fast.  Fasting for long periods of time can also make you build up an appetite. As a result of this you may be more likely to overeat during your meals and this can lead to weight gain. Also, for many fasting may not be a advisable long term thing.

 

Fasting has become a very popular style of eating and as been proven to help increase fat loss. There are many benefits and there are only a few reasons why not to result to fasting. This style of eating has been practiced for many years and modern-day science have helped determined the reasons why. This diet can also teach discipline with food and how to only eat when we need it. It also teaches us that our meals can fuel our bodies for a lot longer than we thought and eating 3 to 4 times a day isn’t necessary.