What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or IF is quite famous, it is a method of fasting that is done between periods of fasting and eating. Intermittent fasting is not about what to eat but more about when should you eat. It is not a diet in a conventional sense but can be more accurately described as an eating pattern. With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific period. IF has proved to burn fat by just fasting a certain number of hours or eating just one meal a couple of days a week. Intermittent fasting has been attested to have some health benefits as well.
How does intermittent fasting works?
There are various methods to do intermittent fasting, they are all based on choosing eating patterns and regular periods to eat and fast. For example plans like eating only 8 hours a day and fasting rest of the time, or a plan including eating only one or two meals a day for a few days in a week. There are several plans for intermittent fasting to choose from. It is believed that when we fast and go without food for several hours the body runs out of its sugar stores and starts burning fat. Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when the body has burned all the calories consumed during the last meal and begins burning fat. If someone eats three meals a day, plus snacks, and do not exercise at all, they run their bodies on those calories and do not burn their fat stores.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
- Lose weight and belly fat: By eating fewer calories during intermittent fasting, the metabolism is slightly increased which is a very effective tool to lose weight and belly fat
- Reduce Insulin resistance: Anything that reduces insulin resistance should help in lower blood sugar levels, thus, protect against diabetes type 2. Interestingly, intermittent fasting has proved to have major benefits for insulin resistance which leads to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels.
- Physical Performance: it has been proved that young people, especially men who fasted for 16 hours showed fat loss while still retaining muscle mass. It has also been proved that mice which were fed on alternate days were able to increase their performance in running.
- Heart Health: Intermittent fasting has proved to protect your heart, as it improves the blood pressure and resting heart rates as well as other heart-related measurements.
- Induces various cellular repair processes: When we fast, our body induces a process called autophagy, it is a process in which the cells initiate cellular ‘waste removal’ process. Increased autophagy may provide protection against several diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Boost thinking and memory skills: Studies have proved that intermittent fasting boosts and improves working memory in animals, and verbal memory and thinking ability in adult human beings.
- Tissue health: In some animals, intermittent fasting has proved to reduce tissue damage and increased tissue health, and improved results.