One of the most talked about methods of weight loss is intermittent fasting—IF. Since there are several ways to do it, the pros and cons vary. For instance, if you actually fast for 24-48 hours each week, or even more, it does have a potential for sending out a starvation message to the body that slows metabolism. To avoid that, you have to have a day of feasting and the rest eating normally. Other types of intermittent fasting include eating within a specific window of time, such as eating during an 8-hour period and fasting for 16 hours. It’s called circadian fasting.
Losing weight can occur when you fast.
Of course, most people realize that you’ll lose weight if you don’t eat. But that’s not why intermittent fasting works. If you only eat within a certain window, such as between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., you’re still eating that day. It may help you lose weight because you’ll be eating less, since you have less time, but scientists think it’s because your body learns to burn fat as fuel, rather than glucose from food. It helps lower insulin levels, which can help prevent belly fat.
There are a lot of animal studies on IF.
Clear back in the 1940s scientists were doing animal studies on the effects of IF and what it did to the aging process. A study at the University of Chicago did a study where they fed one group of rats on alternate days and the other on demand. The rats fed on alternate days lived longer and aged slower. Early man and animals didn’t eat regular meals and normally skipped days, so it may be a natural function of the body. IF helps reduce insulin resistance, lowers blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of cancer by improving the removal of damaged cells.
Not everyone should fast or do intermittent fasting.
Diabetics, particularly those taking medication, need to be careful when they do intermittent fasting and should only do it under a doctors care. If you’re taking blood pressure medication or heart medication, you should consult with your doctor on how IF might affect you and the effects of the medication. Since IF can be taken too far, anyone with an eating disorder should be discouraged from fasting of any type without medical supervision. Also, pregnant or breast feeding women shouldn’t fast. While the safest type of fasting is the IF where you eat only within an 8-hour window, if you have any of these medical issues, always consult your health care advisor.
- No matter what type of IF you choose, you still need to eat healthy meals when you eat. Cut out sugary products, junk food and highly processed foods to be your healthiest.
- For prediabetics and those with insulin resistance, IF can actually help you to be healthier. It reduces blood sugar levels and insulin levels to help your body reboot, while also boosting your physical and mental energy.
- A circadian fast of just 16 hours can cause changes within the body. It triggers cell repair, increases hormones to burn fat and boosts human growth hormones—HGH–five fold. HGH helps develop thicker hair, aids sleep pattern, boosts skin elasticity and for men diminish erectile dysfunction.
- Intermittent fasting can help fight inflammation, which can cause or aggravate conditions like autoimmune disease, asthma, heart disease, cancer and IBS. The heavier you are, the more prominent the results.
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