Quite evident from the name itself, intermittent fasting is a healthy eating style where you fast for a set period of time and then followed by a period of consuming filling and healthy meals. It is fasting and feasting intertwined in a way to give you potent health benefits!
Depends upon which plan you would be able to follow, or would suit you! Fasting may range from 12, 16, or up to 24 hours for a day or two, stuffed in your normal diet regime. If done in the right manner it manifests the most coveted changes in your health!
Being backed by scientific support and anecdotal proof, cutting off dietary intake for a stipulated period of time does wonders for you!
Modern humans in most parts of the world follow a “three meals plus snacks” eating pattern daily, but this paradigm is actually somewhat of an anomaly when thought of in terms of human evolution.
Humans evolved to function well physically and mentally even amid fasting conditions. Present-day scientists are exploring how intermittent fasting may yield benefits in terms of lower chronic disease rates, reduction in neurological disorders, improved weight management, and a slower rate of aging.
Careful, supervised fasting can boost weight loss efforts.
Dietary restriction is an effective strategy for weight loss in obese individuals. The most common form of dietary restriction implemented is daily calorie restriction (CR), which involves reducing energy by 15-60% of usual caloric intake every day. Another form of dietary restriction employed is intermittent CR, which involves 24 h of ad libitum (pleasure) food consumption alternated with 24 h of complete or partial food restriction. (NCBI)
“Intermittent fasting is safe when performed properly, and can change the function of cells, genes and hormones – and is therefore beneficial for weight loss and disease prevention.”
This is because fasting gives our bodies an opportunity to “initiate important cellular repair processes, and can change hormone levels, which makes stored body fat more accessible – for energy and to burn,” says Clark. (Dietitian Robbie Clark)
Valter Longo is a scientist at the University of Southern California who believes that, because of this process, periodic fasting can help people stay healthy. Faulty immune cells, for instance, could be pruned back so that when a person starts to feed again, new cells are spawned from only the strongest and the fittest.
“Low-energy conditions such as dietary restriction and intermittent fasting have previously been shown to promote healthy aging. Understanding why this is the case is a crucial step toward being able to harness the benefits therapeutically,” said Heather Weir, lead author of the study, who conducted the research while at Harvard Chan School and is now a research associate at Astex Pharmaceuticals. “Our findings open up new avenues in the search for therapeutic strategies that will reduce our likelihood of developing age-related diseases as we get older. (Harvard gazette story)
Benefits of intermittent fasting:.
Intermittent fasting is as effective as any calorie restricting diet may be!
- Blood levels of insulin drop significantly, which improves blood glucose control and facilitates fat burning.
- Blood levels of the human growth hormone increases, which helps facilitate fat burning and muscle growth. Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your bodies fat burning furnace so it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can increase your body’s production of growth hormone by 1,300% in women and 2,000% in men!
- The body undergoes important cellular repair processes – such as removal of waste products from cells.
- Decrease in triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels, which are all associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Beneficial changes in gene expression, related to longevity and protection against inflammation and disease. Fasting is believed to reduce the levels of Igf 1 in the blood, a growth hormone that causes accelerated aeging and can cause cell divisions like those found in cancer
- Fasting intermittently can also prime your cells so they can better handle stressful insults. One study says that a break from eating jolts cells into a minor stressful state, making them more capable of later fending off other types of stress (like the type that can lead to disease) NCBI
- Finally, of course carefully supervised fasting leads to weight loss!
Those who should not indulge in intermittent fasting:
- Suffering from adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue can occur when you are under a lot of intense stress, have suffered an infection or illness, or are severely sleep-deprived. Adrenal fatigue makes you very tired, and it affects the way you metabolize your food.
- Pregnant or nursing. To sustain the increased caloric needs of growing baby and/or milk production, you should be eating regularly.
- Have or are recovering from an eating disorder. It’s important to have and maintain a healthy relationship with food. If you have an eating disorder, please seek professional help. If you are recovering from an eating disorder or have struggled with eating disorders in the past, please do not use intermittent fasting as a weight-loss tool.
- Are a child. Children are growing while they sleep and need a good quality breakfast to replenish their spent energy.
- Consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning a fast if you have any condition you are concerned will be negatively affected by a change in diet.
This massive dude lost weight with intermittent fasting. The picture clearly reflects the magic of intermittent fasting. He went on intermittent fasting with a low carb diet and, as a result, he lost 40 pounds.
Yes, you read it right – 40 pounds.
He used to eat food that is high in fiber and low in calories such as spinach, wholegrain, and non-starchy foods. He lost weight in the span of 10 weeks. (source pinterest)