What to know about Intermittent Fasting
6 September 2021
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.
It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them.
In this respect, it’s not a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately described as an eating pattern.
with intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple days a week, can help your body burn fat. And scientific evidence points to some health benefits, as well.
Extra calories and less activity can mean a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. Scientific studies are showing that intermittent fasting may help reverse these trends.
INTERMITTENT FASTING METHODS
These are the most popular methods:
The 16/8 method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
The 5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500–600 calories on two nonconsecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
INTERMITTENT FASTING BENEFITS
Research shows that the intermittent fasting periods do more than burn fat. Mattson explains, “When changes occur with this metabolic switch, it affects the body and brain.”
Here are some intermittent fasting benefits research has revealed so far:
Thinking and memory. Studies discovered that intermittent fasting boosts working memory in animals and verbal memory in adult humans.
Heart health. Intermittent fasting improved blood pressure and resting heart rates as well as other heart-related measurements.
Physical performance. Young men who fasted for 16 hours showed fat loss while maintaining muscle mass. Mice who were fed on alternate days showed better endurance in running.
Diabetes and obesity. In animal studies, intermittent fasting prevented obesity. And in six brief studies, obese adult humans lost weight through intermittent fasting.
Tissue health. In animals, intermittent fasting reduced tissue damage in surgery and improved results.
A Very Powerful Weight Loss Tool
Weight loss is the most common reason for people to try intermittent fasting
By making you eat fewer meals, intermittent fasting can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.
Additionally, intermittent fasting changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss.
In addition to lowering insulin and increasing growth hormone levels, it increases the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.