Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

An Overview

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. There are many different types of intermittent fasting, such as the 16/8 and 5:2 methods. Numerous studies show that it can have powerful benefits for your body and brain. Intermittent fasting can offer many health benefits. If not more than traditional dieting methods. It can aid weight loss, control diabetes and prevent health conditions. It has taken time for people to catch on. More people are now, more than ever, trying to diet due to its abundance of impressive results from scientific studies.

Intermittent fasting is now the number one fasting technique. In 2019 it was the top dieting method searched on Google. Since 2010, it has popularised in the Google search engine by over 10,000 per cent. Exceeding other popular and more traditional calorie restricting diets.

Intermittent fasting is assumed to be a new dieting technique. Although its health benefits have only recently been discovered, fasting has been around for centuries. Fasting dates back to as early as to the Middle Ages.
Throughout its early years, it was solely used for religious practice. Then, throughout war times and pandemics it was used to help with rationing and plagues. It was used to help people limit food and ensure supplies did not run out.
What this implies is that intermittent fasting may be highly protective for people who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

However, there may be some differences between the sexes. One 2005 study in women showed that blood sugar management actually worsened after a 22-day long intermittent fasting protocol.

Top Benefits of Intermittent fasting

1. Changes the function of hormones, cells, and genes

When you don’t eat for a while, several things happen in your body.
For example, your body changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible and initiates important cellular repair processes.

2. Induces various cellular repair processes

When we fast, the cells in the body initiate a cellular “waste removal” process called autophagy(6).
This involves the cells breaking down and metabolizing broken and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time. Increased autophagy may provide protection against several diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease

3. Has benefits for your brain

What’s good for the body is often good for the brain as well.
Intermittent fasting improves various metabolic features known to be important for brain health.
Intermittent fasting helps reduce:
• oxidative stress
• inflammation
• blood sugar levels
• insulin resistance
Several studies in mice and rats have shown that intermittent fasting may increase the growth of new nerve cells, which should have benefits for brain function

4. Weight Loss

Intermittent fasting is primarily used to aid weight loss. The eating cycles allow people to control their appetite, eat less each day and track their eating habits better.
Generally, fasting helps people eat less meals because of the small eating window. Eating during a specific time period mixed with fasting successfully, increases metabolic rate. One study found that fasting can increase metabolism by up to 14%. Metabolism increases more with frequent fasting.
Because of a quicker metabolism, intermittent fasting increases the leptin hormone. This hormone facilitates weight loss and increases due to the change in eating habit.

5. Can help you lose weight and visceral fat

Many of those who try intermittent fasting are doing it to lose weight. Generally speaking, intermittent fasting will make you eat fewer meals. Unless you compensate by eating much more during the other meals, you’ll end up taking infewer calories.
Additionally, intermittent fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss.
Lower insulin levels, higher HGH levels, and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy.

6. Slows down aging

Similar to anti-inflammation, fasting promotes reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a key driver of aging. New research found that fasting increases a molecule which slows the aging of arteries and skin. Fasting produces beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is a ketone that encourages multiplication of youthful cells. It does this during fasting when glucose storage runs out and ketosis begins. This multiplication overrides old cells and replaces them with youth cells. The increase of the beta-hydroxybutyrate ketones can therefore delay both vascular and cellular aging.

7. Can reduce insulin resistance, lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes has become a very common diagnosis in recent decades. Its main feature is high blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance. Anything that reduces insulin resistance should help lower blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, intermittent fasting has been shown to have major benefits for insulin resistance and to lead to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels.
In human studies on intermittent fasting, fasting blood sugar has been reduced by 3–6% over the course of 8–12 weeks in people with prediabetes. Fasting insulin has been reduced by 20–31%

8. May help prevent Alzheimer’s disease 

Alzheimer’s disease is the world’s most common neuro generative disease. There’s no cure currently available for Alzheimer’s, so preventing it from showing up in the first place is critical. Studies in rats and mice show that intermittent fasting may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s or reduce its severity.
In a series of case reports, a lifestyle intervention that included daily short-term fasts was able to significantly improve Alzheimer’s symptoms in 9 out of 10 people.

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