Intermittent Fasting – Does It Work

What is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting can be several things. It can be skipping food for a day or two or rearranging your eating schedule to prolonged going without food. It’s not a new concept. Fasting has been part of religious ceremonies for centuries and was used therapeutically since the fifth century in Greece. Intermittent fasting has been popularized recently as a method of weight loss and for health, but when you consider how early man ate, probably started in caveman times. When food was available, they ate. When it wasn’t, they went without.

What’s the difference between fasting and intermittent fasting?

Fasts often last far longer than intermittent fasts. Fasts may last a weekend or longer and consist of merely water. When studies were done on mice using intermittent fasting, the mice went a day without food and resumed their normal eating habits. In the late 1930s and early 1940s studies were done with mice using calorie-restriction and intermittent fasting that led to the discovery that it can lead to longevity and maintaining youthfulness. Intermittent fasting can be anything from skipping food one day a week, having a far lower caloric intake two days a week and eating regularly the rest or simply limiting the hours when you eat, such as between 8am-4pm or 9am-5pm.

You have to find the best type of intermittent fasting for your situation.

Everyone has a different schedule, eating habits and preferences, so whether you choose to eat normally for five days a week and fast for two or eat a severely restricted calorie amount those two days, or simply limit the time you eat each day to eight hours, fasting for sixteen, it has to work for you. By restricting the amount of time you eat, whether by the day or hour, you also limit your caloric intake, which causes weight loss. It also comes with many benefits.

Besides weight loss, intermittent fasting can keep you younger looking.

When you fast, it helps boost the body’s self-cleaning technique where it breaks down damaged cells and recycles them called autophagy. It occurs when insulin levels are low, such as during the fasting state. As you age, this process slows but increases with intermittent fasting, to help the body return to more youthful cell regeneration. Intermittent fasting can help protect the body from diseases such as cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease. It improves your metabolism, too.

  • Whether you choose intermittent fasting of any type, regular fasting or simply a low carb or low calorie diet, eating healthy when you do eat is important.
  • Planning your meals can help you fast. Make food ahead and use an eight hour on and sixteen hour off food approach. Try it for a few weeks to see whether you lose more weight and how you feel.
  • If you want to lose abdominal fat, try intermittent fasting. One study showed that it can increase fat loss by as much as seven percent and weight loss by as much as eight percent when followed for as little as three weeks to as long as twenty-four weeks.
  • You’ll improve your insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation and increase the brain hormone BDNF that helps prevent depression and other mental conditions with intermittent fasting.

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