You’ve probably already heard about “intermittent fasting“. It’s a diet that many people have started exploring lately. But why has it become so popular? Experts claim it has many health benefits, including weight loss.
This famous diet seems to have positive effects on both your body and mind; and it can even help you lengthen your lifespan.
How does it work?
Intermittent fasting, as its name implies, means you avoid eating any type of food for prolonged periods of time. This diet is different from others because instead of telling you what to eat, it rather tells you when to eat it.
Different types of intermittent fasting
The most common form of intermittent fasting involves fasting for 16 hours, and eating your meals during the remaining 8. To provide an example, this would mean that you choose to stop eating at 10pm, right until 2pm the next day.
This is the “easiest” form of intermittent fasting, as you spend half of the fasting time asleep. Your usual 3 daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) should be distributed throughout the remaining 8 hours.
Another common form of fasting is not eating anything for 24 hours, twice a week. But people seem to find this eating pattern more difficult to follow. It definitely takes a higher level of discipline.
Fasting and weight loss
Given you don’t eat anything for long periods of time, weight loss is encouraged, as you generally ingest smaller amounts of calories. That is, if you don’t compensate by eating double during times you are allowed to eat.
Besides weight loss, which is the reason most people follow this “diet”, intermittent fasting also has many benefits for you health. This eating pattern causes internal changes on both cellular and molecular levels.
For example, your growth hormone levels increase drastically, which is very beneficial for both weight loss and muscle gain.
In addition, insulin levels drop causing stored body fat to become more accessible, and your cells start repairing much faster than usual.
Changes on a molecular level
Another change that takes place in your body has to do with gene expression: the functions of your genes change, which can in turn protect you from disease more efficiently. Intermittent fasting also increases secretion of the fat burning hormone called “norepinephrine”.
Is it miraculous?
All in all, your metabolic rate increases, insulin resistance is lowered, inflammation is reduced, you become less prone to cardiovascular disease, it may prevent cancer, it’s positive for your brain health, and it can even expand your lifespan.
Though intermittent fasting might now seem almost miraculous, you must bear in mind studies are still in its early stages, meaning it might bring consequences we have yet to discover.
Be aware of your own body
Besides, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies: one should be careful with this diet in what concerns specific situations. For example, if you are underweight or if you have a history with eating disorders you’ll want to keep away from this method, as it might just worsen things.
You will face hunger
Fating (obviously) also causes hunger, which might not be so pleasant for everyone. It can also cause you to feel weak (which usually happens when feeling hungry), but it could just be temporary: give your body some time to adjust.
Find out what suits you best
However, the diet can become harmful if you suffer from any medical conditions, which is why you just have to find out what fits you best. It might be this “intermittent fasting” diet, but it also might not. Give it a try, and discover what suits you best!
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