There are several proven benefits that those who follow an intermittent fasting lifestyle report. Here, we take a closer look at some of the most common.
What is Intermittent Fasting: As per Wikipedia, Intermittent fasting, also known as intermittent energy restriction, is an umbrella term for various meal timing schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period. Three methods of intermittent fasting are alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting, and daily time-restricted feeding. Read More about Intermittent Fasting here. If you are thinking is intermittent fasting is safe, then you should consider reading this
What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting for weight loss
Many people who do intermittent fasting do so to lose weight rapidly. There is evidence to show that this way of eating helps you to shed the pounds more quickly.
There are several reasons why Intermittent Fasting helps weight loss. It enhances the function of the metabolism for faster fat burning.
It also reduces the number of calories you consume in 24 hours. By lowering insulin levels, increasing growth hormone levels, and increasing norepinephrine, Intermittent Fasting speeds up the breakdown of fat. It also facilitates the use of fat to produce energy.
Fasting for short periods has been shown to increase metabolic rate by up to 14 percent. This means you’ll burn more calories. As a result, Intermittent Fasting can help cause weight loss of up to 8 percent over a period of 3 – 24 weeks. That’s an impressive loss!
Those who try Intermittent Fasting report a reduction of 7 percent in the circumference of their waist. This indicates a loss of belly fat – the most harmful type of fat that results in disease.
As a bonus, Intermittent Fasting causes reduced muscle loss when compared to calorie restriction diets.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting: Repairing Cells
When you fast, your body’s cells begin a process of removing waste cells. This is known as “autophagy.” Autophagy involves the body’s cells being broken down. It also involves the metabolization of dysfunctional and broken proteins that have built up over time in the cells.
What is the benefit of autophagy? Well, experts believe that it offers protection from the development of several diseases. These include Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer.
Therefore, if you follow an intermittent fasting regime, you may help to protect yourself from diseases. As a result, you may live a longer and healthier life.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting: Insulin Sensitivity
More people than ever before have type 2 diabetes. The disease is becoming more common due to increasing obesity. The primary feature of diabetes is increased levels of sugar in the blood due to insulin resistance. If you can reduce insulin, your blood sugar level should decrease. This will offer excellent protection from developing type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent fasting has been proven to have a major benefit when it comes to insulin resistance. It can reduce blood sugar levels by an impressive amount. In studies into intermittent fasting with human participants, blood sugar levels decreased by up to 6 percent while fasting. As a result, fasting insulin levels can reduce by as much as 31 percent. This shows that Intermittent Fasting could offer the benefit of reducing the chance of developing diabetes.
Another research carried out among diabetic lab rats showed that Intermittent Fasting protected against damage to the kidneys. This is a severe complication associated with diabetes. Again, it suggests that intermittent fasting is also an excellent option for anyone who already has diabetes.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting: Enhanced Brain Function
When something is right for your body, it’s often good for your brain too. Intermittent fasting is known to improve several metabolic features. These are vital for good brain health.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce oxidative stress. It also reduces inflammation and reduces the levels of sugar in the blood. Not only that, but it also reduces insulin resistance, as we showed above. These are all critical factors in enhancing brain function.
Studies that have taken place with lab rats have shown that Intermittent Fasting can help boost new nerve cell growth. This, too, offers benefits when it comes to brain function. Meanwhile, it also increases the level of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This is a brain hormone, and if you are deficient in it, you may suffer from brain problems and depression. When you try intermittent fasting, you will have better protection from these problems.
As an added advantage, studies in animals have shown that Intermittent Fasting can protect against damage to the brain from strokes.
All of this suggests that intermittent fasting offers many brain health benefits.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting: Decreased Inflammation
It is known that oxidative stress is a key factor in chronic diseases as well as aging. Oxidative stress involves free radicals, which are unstable molecules reacting with other key molecules such as DNA and protein. The result is damage to those molecules that cause harm in the body.
There have been several studies to prove that Intermittent Fasting can help improve your body’s ability to resist oxidative stress. Other studies have also shown it can help to combat inflammation, which also drives many common diseases.
Why Does Intermittent Fasting Help to Promote Weight Loss?
Although intermittent fasting offers many benefits, the greatest one is weight loss. Most people who embark on this lifestyle are hoping to shed pounds and maintain a healthy body weight. So, why does intermittent fasting help to promote weight loss? Here, we look at the three main reasons.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: Reduced Calorie Intake
The main reason that IF helps to boost weight loss is because you naturally eat less. When you only have a short eating window, you have less time to eat. Usually, you’ll miss at least one meal per day in order to accommodate this schedule. As a result, you’ll consume fewer calories within each 24 hours. As you know, you must maintain a calorie deficit to shed weight. Therefore, IF helps you to reach your weight loss goals effectively.
It’s important to note that some people fail to lose weight when they fast intermittently. This is because they don’t reduce their calorie intake. During their eating window, they continue to eat as much as they would have if they had usually been eating. Therefore, they don’t have the necessary calorie deficit to shed the pounds.
As long as you don’t overeat during your eating window, you’ll automatically reduce your calorie intake.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: Hormonal Changes Boost Metabolism
The human body stores energy in the form of calories in body fat. If you don’t eat, your body changes several things so that stored energy can be more accessible. These changes involve the activity of your nervous system. They also include significant changes in several essential hormones.
These changes occur in the metabolism when you’re fasting
- Insulin increases every time you eat. If you fast, your insulin level will dramatically decrease. A lower insulin level facilitates fat burning.
- HGH (Human Growth Hormone) skyrockets when you fast. It can increase by as much as five times its average level. The growth hormone aids muscle gain and fat loss.
- The nervous system sends noradrenaline (Norepinephrine) to your fat cells. This causes them to break down your body fat. It is turning into free fatty acids. These are then burned to produce energy.
Many people believe that if you fast, your metabolism slows down. However, evidence shows that fasting in the short-term may boost fat burning. There have been two studies that have demonstrated fasting for 48 hours increases metabolism up to 14 percent.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: Reduced Insulin Levels Speed Fat Burning
You probably already know about insulin because of its importance for people with diabetes. People who have diabetes have to take insulin to maintain normal function. However, many people are unsure of what insulin does in the body or even what it is.
Insulin is a hormone that is made by your pancreas. Its job is to convert sugar (glucose) in the blood into energy. The cells then use that energy as fuel. Insulin also has another role to play in the body. It drives the storage of fat.
The level of insulin in the body will increase whenever you eat. It also decreases whenever you fast. The lower level of insulin caused when you fast can help to prevent excess storage of fat. It also helps the body to mobilize the fat that is already stored. As a result, it can boost your fat loss and help you lose weight more rapidly.