The Science and Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is one of the health and fitness trends that people are implementing to lose weight and improve health and lifestyle. It is an eating pattern that cycles between fasting and eating. It’s more about when you should eat than how much.
There are different methods that all depend on what you are more comfortable with. The 16/8 method is skipping breakfast and only eating during an eight-hour period, for example 1-9, p.m. and then fasting for the remained 16. This is the easiest one to do and stick to which makes it the most popular.
Another method is the Eat-Stop-Eat way where you fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. The 5:2 diet is consuming only 500-600 calories on two nom-consecutive days of the week but resume to eating normal the rest of the week. All of these methods require you to lower calorie intake which will in turn help you to lose weight.
When you fast, there are many things that happen in your body with your hormones and cells. The growth hormone levels increase immensely which benefits fat loss and muscle gain. Insulin levels are more sensitive, and they drop dramatically which makes stored fat more accessible. The cells start to repair themselves when you fast and start to clean out old and useless proteins that start to build up. Genes expression changes related with longevity and protection against diseases.
The main reason people try intermittent fasting is to lose weight. The lower calorie intake, the changed in growth hormones, and the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine. Based on studies, fasting may increase your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%. It also shows that it can cause 2-8% weight loss over 3-24 weeks. It is important to note that during the eating period to not binge eat and a large number of calories because then no effects will be seen. There needs to be a balance between not eating and eating healthy.
There are many health benefits as well that have been proven from small studies and studying animals. Insulin resistance, inflammation, heart health, weight less, cancer, brain health, and anti-aging are all just aspects of your health that could be improved by fasting.
There are some people who should avoid fasting. There are some studies that show fasting doesn’t have the same effect on women as it does men. It has shown that fasting causes women to miss menstruation cycles which can lead to other problems like infertility. Woman who are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, and breastfeeding should not try intermittent fasting.
One of the side effects of fasting at first will be hunger because your body is not used to the long period of times without food. You should also consult your doctor if you have diabetes, low blood pressure, are underweight, have a history of eating disorders, and other concerns. You want to make sure this eating pattern is safe for you.
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There are so many ways to lose weight and reach that healthy lifestyle that works for us and this might be it for you! Time to be the best looking you for the new year!