One of the hardest things any dieter goes through is not being able to eat what they want. This is what makes people become disillusioned and ultimately wanting to quit.
There is now an eating pattern which is getting a lot of exposure. It has already proven its effectiveness for weight loss and also the additional health benefits it brings.
There is plenty of science behind intermittent fasting, so it isn’t only a fad like many diets. One great thing about this style of eating is you can eat most of what you like for most days of the week without worrying.
Here we are going to show you the health benefits of intermittent fasting and the best way to perform it.
How do you do Intermittent Fasting?
To simplify what intermittent fasting does to the body, rather than the body relying on glucose for energy the body resorts to using Ketones which are produced.
There are many variants of the fasting model and finding one which works best can make things even easier to cope with.
Common Intermittent Fasting Diets
- Alternate Days Fasting is where you would eat every other day. Some individuals eat nothing at all while some drastically reduce their calorific intake. The days when they do eat, they eat healthy foods and have regular meals.
- Time-Restricted Feeding (16/8 fasting) is where you fast for 16 hours per day. The remaining 8 hours is where you are allowed to eat. This is a common method as a vast number of people would refrain from eating after dinner and then skip the following day’s breakfast.
- Eat-Stop-Eat is where you choose two days in the week and then fast for 24-hours. On the other days, you eat as usual.
- 5-2 Diet is very similar to the eat-stop-eat method, but you reduce your calorific intake on the two days you have chosen.
6 Top Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Many individuals ask is fasting good for you? In a way, it performs much the same as the Keto Diet which has received plenty of acclaim, all intermittent fasting does is to allow you to achieve the same without following a stricter dieting regimen.
The body changes the way it receives its energy when fasting, and turns into a fat burning machine. This helps those pounds slide off without an extreme amount of effort. When you fast, the glucose levels are depleted, and the body resorts to using the fat reserves.
Out of the above methods, for fasting and health. The time restricted feeding (16/8) way has been shown to be the most effective for weight loss.
Improving Blood Sugar Levels
When you consume carbs, these become broken down into glucose. When this has happened, insulin is released to help transport this glucose into the cells where it is used as energy.
In the case of a person who has diabetes, their insulin levels don’t work as they should. Intermittent fasting helps stabilize these blood sugar levels and prevents spikes and crashes.
A Healthy Heart
Before you begin, and you wonder, is intermittent fasting is good for you? You can quickly see it is as heart health is one of the top benefits you can quickly achieve.
Specific risk factors are naturally reduced such as LDL cholesterol, and where the good cholesterol HDL is increased.
Other studies show the protein Adiponectin levels are increased. This helps the body metabolize fats and sugars which help against heart disease.
Although it sounds a little of a contradiction. Eating high-fat foods is healthier for you than filling up on carbs when intermittent fasting.
Inflammation can affect a vast number of people in various ways. It can be a natural response to injury, or there is chronic inflammation which affects people with arthritis, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Studies show that inflammation can be reduced when intermittent fasting at nighttime or following the alternate day fasting method.
Several studies have shown that any of the fasting methods can help with improved brain function. First off, when Ketones are produced, the brain prefers these as an energy source compared to glucose.
Second, to this, there are increased levels of a brain hormone (BDNF) brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
Deficiencies in this hormone are linked to depression and other problems associated with the brain. The brain can also be protected against the effects of strokes when intermittent fasting.
At the very start, we mentioned feeling hungry was the one thing which made people want to quit their diet. When choosing what to eat when fasting has an overall effect on this hunger level.
Foods which are loaded with carbs should be omitted, and healthier protein foods and foods with higher fat content should be consumed as they make you feel satiated for more extended periods.
It is for this reason most people choose the 16/8 fasting method as the majority of the time they will be sleeping. This doesn’t only mean they will be sleeping when hunger pangs might set in, but the body will be using fat reserves for energy while the body is resting.
As long as healthy foods are chosen, there are very few side effects of intermittent fasting which can be harmful. Caution should be taken though if any of the following affect you.
- Low blood sugar – not eating all day might induce palpitations and shaking
- Eating disorders – this can aggravate an eating disorder as it encourages not eating
- Children or teenagers – anyone at this age should refrain from any form of intermittent fasting
- Recovering from illness – it is much safer to have healed before attempting fasting
- Pregnant women – the focus should be placed on eating healthy and obtaining the best vitamins and nutrients
- Thyroid problems – in some individuals, fasting can aggravate a thyroid disorder
Fasting can be an easy way to bring health benefits and maximize weight loss. It is not for everyone though as you can see from the above precautions.
What should be noted is it isn’t a diet as such, it is a change to a healthier lifestyle, and that is something everyone should aim for either by fasting or not.