Jun 12, 2018
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
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Lets talk about one of the most popular health and fitness trends: INTERMITTENT FASTING.
What is it? Intermittent Fasting (IF) is simply an “eating pattern” that cycles between periods of fasting and feasting or “eating periods”. IF is NOT a diet as it doesn’t give you a meal plan.
The most popular method of IF is the 16/8 Method. It consists of 16 hours of fasting, restricting your “eating period”to 8 hours o. For example, you can choose to eat from 9 am to 5 pm and skip dinner, or you can eat from 1 pm to 9 pm and skip breakfast. Totally up o you! You can adjust it according to your daily routine and exercising hours.
Here are some other IF methods:
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This method calls for fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
- The 5:2 Method: On this method you will eat normally for five days per week, and on two NON-CONSECUITVE days you will reduce your calorie intake to a quarter of your daily needs (normally 500 calories per day for women, and 600 for men).
What are the benefits of IF? This is probably the most asked question about Intermittent Fasting, so here are some of the benefits of doing the IF:
- Weight loss: First off, by doing IF you will consume fewer meals per day (+- 3 meals per day), will reduce the calorie intake, and it will naturally lead to weight loss. In addition, the long 16-hour fasting will get your body out of the “store mode”, will start to use the “extra” stored fat as a source of energy, and consequently your body will burn more fat.
- Insulin resistance: Studies have shown that intermittent fasting is having positive effects on insulin resistance, and great reduction in blood sugar levels wh
- Cellular Repair: When fasted, a cellular repair process called autophagy is initiated. This involves cells removing and metabolizing old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time.
- Heart health: Intermittent fasting helps to reduce LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance.
- Brain health: Intermittent fasting increases the growth of new nerve cells, which benefits brain function. In additon, it increases the level of BDNF, a brain hormone that support the survival of existing neurons and helps the growth, regeneration and creation of new neurons and synapses.
IMPORTANT: Choosing healthy and nutrient-packed foods is KEY factor while doing the Intermittent Fasting. Make sure to include lean protein, good fats, complex carbs, fruits, and vegetables as much as possible through the day!
Side Effects of IF: Hunger is the main side effect of this “eating pattern”. You might feel a little weak on your first days of IF, and it is suggested that you choose to exercise during your 8-hour window at least at the beginning or until your body get used to the new “eating pattern”. And most important, if you have a medical condition it is HIGHLY recommended that you consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.