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Intermittent Fasting – how does it work (Proven Facts)

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

Most diets concentrate on what to eat, but intermittent fasting focuses on when to eat.

Intermittent fasting is a diet that alternates between fasting and eating on a regular basis. According to research, intermittent fasting can help you control your weight and perhaps prevent – or even reverse – some diseases.

You only eat at certain times of the day when you practise intermittent fasting. Fasting for a set number of hours per day or eating only one meal a couple of days per week can help your body burn fat. Furthermore, scientific research suggests that there may be certain health benefits.

Mark Mattson, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins, has been researching intermittent fasting for 25 years. He claims that our bodies have evolved to be able to survive without food for many hours, days, or even weeks (Source). Before humans learned to farm, they were hunters and gatherers who evolved to survive — and thrive — for extended periods of time without eating. They were compelled to hunting wildlife and gathering nuts and berries took a lot of time and effort.

The Advantages of Intermittent Fasting

According to research, intermittent fasting does more than only burn fat.”When changes occur with this metabolic switch, it affects the body and brain,” Mattson explains.

The Advantages of Intermittent Fasting

One of Mattson’s investigations, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed information concerning a variety of health benefits linked with the practise. These include living a longer life, having a slimmer body, and having a sharper mind.

“During intermittent fasting, many things happen that can protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease and many cancers,” he explains.

Benefits of intermittent fasting that have been discovered thus far in research

Memory and thinking

Intermittent fasting improves working memory in animals and verbal memory in adults, according to research.

Cardiovascular health.

Intermittent fasting increased blood pressure, resting heart rate, and other heart-related measures. (Source)

Physical ability.

Fasting for 16 hours resulted in fat loss while retaining muscular mass in young males. Mice fed on alternate days have more endurance when running (Reference).

Nata Gonchar

Holistic Nutritionist, founder
of the project WOW Bali

TOP-10 ingredients
for your health and
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Nata Gonchar

Holistic Nutritionist, founder
of the project WOW Bali

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Obesity and diabetes

Intermittent fasting prevented obesity in animal trials. In six brief experiments, obese adult individuals lost weight by fasting intermittently(Reference).

Tissue well-being.

Intermittent fasting minimised tissue damage during surgery and enhanced results in mice. (Source)

Is it safe to fast intermittently?

Some people use intermittent fasting to lose weight, while others use it to treat chronic diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, or arthritis. However, intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone.

Williams emphasises that before attempting intermittent fasting (or any diet), you should first consult with your health care practitioner. Some people should avoid attempting intermittent fasting:

  • Children and teenagers under the age of 18.
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing.
  • People who have diabetes or blood sugar issues.
  • Those who have had an eating disorder in the past.

However, persons who are not in these groups and can safely practise intermittent fasting can continue the diet indefinitely, according to Williams.”It can be a lifestyle change with benefits,” she explains.

Methods of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting can be done in a variety of methods, all of which entail dividing the day or week into eating and fasting times.

You eat extremely little or nothing at all during the fasting times.

The following are the most widely used methods:

  • The Leangains protocol, also known as the 16/8 method, entails skipping breakfast and limiting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m.You then fast for 16 hours in between.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: This entails fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week, such as not eating from dinner one day to dinner the following.
  • The 5:2 diet: On two nonconsecutive days of the week, you consume 500–600 calories but eat regularly on the other five.

All of these approaches should result in weight reduction by limiting your calorie intake, as long as you don’t compensate by eating considerably more during the eating intervals.

Many individuals believe that the 16/8 technique is the simplest, most sustainable, and easiest to follow. It’s also the most well-known.

Who Should Exercise Caution Or Avoid It?

Intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone.

If you are underweight or have a history of eating disorders, you should not fast without first speaking with a doctor. In these circumstances, it can be quite hazardous.

Should Females Fast?

Some data suggests that intermittent fasting may not be as advantageous to women as it is to men.

A study, for example, found that it enhanced insulin sensitivity in men but decreased blood sugar control in women

Though human studies on this topic are few, studies in rats have discovered that intermittent fasting can lead female rats to become emaciated, masculinized, infertile, and skip their periods.

There have been some anecdotal tales of women whose menstrual periods stopped when they began performing IF and returned to normal when they resumed their former eating habits.

Women should exercise caution when it comes to intermittent fasting for these reasons.

They should follow separate instructions, such as easing into the practise and discontinuing immediately if they experience any issues, such as amenorrhea (absence of menstruation).

If you are having fertility troubles and/or trying to conceive, you should postpone intermittent fasting for the time being.If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should probably avoid this eating pattern.

For a most good example, I been Following Runsforcookies blog, Katie was very good at explaining how she do intermitten Fasting and results in one of her posts.

Side Effects and Safety

The most common side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger.

You may also feel tired and your brain may not function as well as it used to.This may only be brief, as your body will need time to adjust to the new food plan. If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before attempting intermittent fasting.

This is especially crucial if you:

  • Diabetic.
  • Have issues with blood sugar control.
  • Have a low blood pressure reading.
  • Taking your meds.
  • Are underweight.
  • Have an eating disorder history.
  • Are a woman who is attempting to conceive.
  • Have a history of amenorrhea.
  • Are regnant or nursing.

Having said that, intermittent fasting has an excellent safety profile. If you’re healthy and well-nourished overall, not eating for a period isn’t risky.