Health : Fasting or the intermittent fasting diet why is it so popular?
Fasting is a diet based on intermittent fasting. It has been practiced for thousands of years. It is a key element in many religions and cultures around the world. Today, new varieties of fasting are putting a new twist on the old practice.
What is intermittent fasting exactly?
One phenomenon called intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular health and fitness trends in the world. It involves alternating fasting cycles and eating. Many studies show that fasting can lead to weight loss. It can also improve metabolic health. In addition, it can protect against disease. Finally, it may be able to help you live longer.
Intermittent fasting is a eating pattern where you go from one period to the next eating and fasting. It says nothing about what to eat, but rather when you should eat it. Several different intermittent fasting methods exist. They divide the day or the week into meal periods and periods of fasting.
Most people already “fast” every day while they sleep. The practice of intermittent fasting means that fasting is extended either daily or weekly. You can do this by skipping breakfast, eating your first meal at noon and your last meal at 8pm.
Why do fasting?
Humans have been fasting for thousands of years. Sometimes it was done out of necessity, when there was simply no food available. In other cases, this was done for religious reasons. Various religions, including Islam, Christianity and Buddhism, impose some form of fasting. Humans and other animals are also often instinctively quick when sick.
Obviously, there is nothing “unnatural” about fasting. Our body is very well equipped to manage long periods without eating. All kinds of processes in the body change when we don’t eat for a while, to allow our bodies to thrive during a time of starvation. It has to do with important hormones, genes and cellular repair processes.
9 health benefits based on evidence of intermittent fasting
1. It changes the function of cells, genes and hormones
When you don’t eat for a while, several things happen in your body. For example, your body initiates important cellular repair processes and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible.
Insulin levels: blood insulin levels drop dramatically, making it easier to burn fat.
Human Growth Hormone: Human growth hormone levels in your blood can be increased by a factor of 5. Higher levels of this hormone make it easier to burn fat and gain muscle, and have many other benefits.
Cell repair: the body induces important cell repair processes, such as the elimination of cell waste.
Gene expression: There are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease.
2. It can help you lose weight and belly fat
Many of those who try intermittent fasting do so to lose weight. Generally speaking, it will make you eat fewer meals.
Unless you compensate by eating a lot more during other meals, you will end up absorbing fewer calories. In addition, intermittent fasting improves hormone function to aid weight loss.
Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels and increased amounts of norepinephrine all increase the breakdown of body fat and make it easier to use for energy.
For this reason, short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories. In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the caloric equation. It increases your metabolic rate (increases the calories expended) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces the calories consumed).
According to a review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of 3 to 8% over 3 to 24 weeks. It’s huge.
A review study also found that intermittent fasting caused less muscle loss than continued calorie restriction. All things considered, intermittent fasting can be an incredibly powerful weight loss tool.
3. It can protect you from serious illnesses
Some research also suggests that it can help protect against illnesses, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and others. Others simply appreciate the convenience of intermittent fasting. It is an effective “life hack” that simplifies your life while improving your health.
The less meals you need to plan, the easier your life will be. As long as you stick to healthy foods, restricting your food window and fasting from time to time can have very impressive health benefits. It’s an effective way to lose fat and improve metabolic health, while simplifying your life at the same time.
4. Intermittent fasting is good for lowering blood sugar
On an empty stomach, we get significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. During this phase of, as well as a drastic increase in human growth hormone.
Many people practice intermittent fasting in order to lose weight, as it is a very simple and effective way to limit calories and burn fat.
Others do so for metabolic health benefits, as they can improve various risk factors and markers of health.
There is also evidence that intermittent fasting can help you live longer. Studies in rodents show that it can extend lifespan as effectively as calorie restriction.
5. It induces various cellular repair processes
When we fast, the body’s cells initiate a cellular “waste elimination” process, called autophagy. This implies that cells break down and metabolize broken and dysfunctional proteins.
These accumulate inside the cells over time. Increased autophagy can offer protection against several illnesses, which it was supra.
6. It can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body
Oxidative stress is one of the steps towards aging and many chronic diseases.
These are unstable molecules called free radicals. They react with and damage other important molecules (like proteins and DNA). Several studies show that intermittent fasting can improve the body’s resistance to oxidative stress.
7. Intermittent fasting is good for your brain
What is good for the body is also often good for the brain. Intermittent fasting improves various metabolic characteristics known to be important for brain health. This includes a reduction in oxidative stress, reduced inflammation, and a reduction in blood sugar and insulin resistance.
Several studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting can increase the growth of new nerve cells, which should have benefits for brain function.
It also increases the levels of a brain hormone called neurotrophic factor derived from the brain, a deficiency of which has been implicated in depression and various other brain problems. Animal studies have also shown that intermittent fasting protects against brain damage due to stroke.
8. Intermittent fasting can extend your lifespan and help you live longer
One of the most interesting applications of intermittent fasting may be its ability to extend lifespan. Studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting extends life in a similar way to continuous calorie restriction. In some of these studies, the effects have been quite dramatic. In one, rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats that did not fast.
9. Fasting is a time saver!
Not having to eat three to four times a day (with the preparation and cleaning involved) also saves time. A lot of time !
Types of intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting has become very fashionable in recent years and several different types / methods have emerged.
Here are some of the most popular:
The 16/8 method: fast for 16 hours every day, for example by eating only between noon and 8 p.m.
Eat-Stop eating: Once or twice a week, don’t eat anything from dinner one day until dinner the next day (a 24-hour fast).
The 5/2 diet: For 2 days of the week, eat only about 500 to 600 calories.
Finally, there are many other variations.
Intermittent fasting 16/8
One of the most popular fasting styles is 16/8 intermittent fasting. Supporters say it is an easy, convenient and sustainable way to lose weight and improve overall health.
You technically fast for 16 hours every day and limit your diet to an 8 hour window. This is the most popular form of intermittent fasting, known as the 16/8 method. This article reviews in particular the intermittent fast 16/8, its operation and if it suits you.
Despite what you may think, intermittent fasting is actually quite easy to do. Many people say they feel better and have more energy during a fast. Hunger is not usually a big problem,
although it can be a problem at first, when your body gets used to not eating for long periods of time. No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric drinks.
How to start fasting 16/8?
Intermittent 16/8 fasting is simple, safe and durable. To start, choose an eight-hour window and limit your food intake to this period. Many people prefer to eat between noon and 8 p.m. This means that you will only have to fast overnight and skip breakfast. So you could still eat a balanced lunch and dinner, as well as a few snacks throughout the day.
Others choose to eat between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. This leaves them enough time for a healthy breakfast around 9 a.m., a normal lunch around noon, and an early light dinner or snack around 4 p.m. just before you start your fast. However, you can experiment and choose the time period that best fits your schedule.
Additionally, to maximize the potential health benefits from your diet, it is important to stick to nutritious whole foods and drinks during your meal times.
What can you eat when eating during the intermittent fasting type 16/8 diet?
Try to balance each meal with a good variety of healthy foods, such as:
Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, oranges, peaches, pears, etc.
Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, etc.
Whole grains: quinoa, rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, etc.
Healthy fats: olive oil, avocados and coconut oil
Protein sources: meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc.
It is best to drink calorie-free drinks like water and unsweetened tea and coffee, even during fasting. This can help control appetite while keeping the person hydrated.
Intermittent fasting 5/2
The 5/2 diet, also known as the fast diet, is currently the most popular intermittent fasting diet. It was popularized by British journalist Michael Mosley.
During this diet, you eat normal meals five days a week and 500-600 calories a day during the other two. Because there is no requirement as to what foods to eat, but rather when you have to eat them, this diet is no longer a lifestyle. Many people find this way of eating easier to follow than a traditional low-calorie diet.