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How Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Your Body

How To Maintain Optimal Metabolism:

How Intermittent Fasting Affects Your Body and Brain | The Human Body
  • Vary your fasting. Repeating the same fast style day after day is sure fire way to slow your metabolism. Variety is key. I cannot stress this enough! This can look like incorporating a weekly 24 hour or 36 hour fast. Or I recommend adopting one of my weekly fasting variation styles, such as the 5-1-1.
  • The 5-1-1 Fasting Variation entails 5 days a week of intermittent fasting , 1 day a week of 24 hour fasting and 1 day a week of healthy feasting.

    Also remember that fasting does not equate to calorie restriction. Fasting simply means you have a dedicated time frame for eating and a dedicated time for not eating. It does not mean that you are eating fewer calories in total than you would if you were eating throughout the day.

  • Include enough feast days. The second thing that will cause your metabolism to slow is failing to incorporate enough healthy feast days into your week. Remember, we are teaching our body to be in a healing state in the absence of food, and in the presence of food. On feasting days, we use food as medicine, leaning into nourishing foods that will help fuel our microbiome, organs and hormones.
  • Want to try a Metabolic Reset for FREE? Check out my YouTube series on all things related to boosting, detoxing and resetting your metabolism!

    May Reduce Inflammatory Pain

    When your body is in a fasted state, it means that your glucose reserves are next to empty, which may help reduce painful inflammation, says Andrew Wang, MD, a professor of immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine.

    To understand how, it’s important to address what intermittent fasting does to your body. When you fast for long, extended periods of time, your body ends up using all of its glucose the main source of fuel that keeps you going and enters a process called ketosis, where it burns ketones for fuel and energy, instead.

    The idea is that your body produces less inflammation when burning ketones compared to glucose, which may explain why some studies have found diets that promote ketosis also alleviate inflammatory pain.

    Though, more research is needed to determine if intermittent fasting should be implemented as an effective tool for patients with inflammatory conditions.

    How Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight

    Most people decide to try intermittent fasting to achieve their weight loss goal . Actually, intermittent fasting is an excellent way not only to lose weight effectively but also to get healthier. How does it work? Everything is really simple. You start consuming fewer calories when following a fasting diet plan, which reduces your overall daily calorie intake. This drastic change in your nutrition causes important changes in your body that lead to weight loss.

    When you are in the fasting mode, your body starts using stored body fat for energy instead of sugars from food. This way intermittent fasting helps optimize the release of insulin. The study shows that due to hormonal changes, a short-term fasting can boost the metabolic rate by 3.614% . Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible . Fasting leads to a decrease in insulin level that prevents extra fat storage and helps your body mobilize stored fat. So, keeping your insulin level low and steady is key to weight loss. This way, you can lose extra pounds in a healthy way.

    Read More:How Long Is It Safe To Fast: Are Long Or Short-Term Fasts More Effective?

    Also Check: Is Intermittent Fasting Bad For You

    How We Define Fasting

    Before we get into all the details about fasting during your menstrual cycle and answer the question should you fast on your period, let me make sure we are all clear about why I mean by fasting. Most often than not, when we refer to fasting, we mean a water fast . However, the info in this post applies to modified fasting and intermittent fasting a well.

    Restrictive Eating Can Influence Disordered Eating

    Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Your Period? Here

    Any diet that supports skipping meals or restrictive eating can trigger some not-so-great food relationships. Especially when the positive weight loss effects are directly impacted by not eating, or restricting food intake.

    This isn’t a great mindset to go into fasting with and can lead some people to take intermittent fasting too far, developing disordered eating patterns, or getting caught up in a yo-yo dieting cycle.

    Not to mention that not eating enough calories each day to meet your basic needs can lead to nutrient deficiencies, decrease your immunity and create havoc in your body.

    Make sure you’re being honest with yourself before trying any kind of fasting practice and consult with your practitioner beforehand as a mindful or intuitive eating approach may be a better option.

    Whatever your reason for wanting to intermittent fast, remember to incorporate basic nutrition principles including calorie control and a balanced diet to set yourself up for success.

    Going rouge during your non-fasting periods can sabotage any hopes you have for reaping the health benefits when intermittent fasting.

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    Also Check: Can You Have Coffee While Intermittent Fasting

    Could Help With Weight Loss

    Numerous studies have found that intermittent fasting may help people lose weight. For example, a 2015 systematic review of 40 studies found that, on average, study participants lost 7-11 pounds over a span of 10 weeks.

    However, it’s unclear if intermittent fasting is any better than basic calorie restriction. For instance, a 2017 study found that a group who fasted every other day lost no more weight than a comparison group who simply reduced their calories by 25% every day.

    Another 2021 study found similar results that alternate-day fasting did not lead to greater fat loss than good, old-fashioned calorie cutting.

    Note: The majority of studies that explore intermittent fasting’s weight loss benefits are small and short. That’s why most experts agree that more research is needed to determine whether this different approach to dieting is safe and sustainable.

    Could Help Boost Cognitive Functioning

    The cognitive benefits of fasting may not be restricted to the elderly. A small 2016 study tested amateur weightlifters after a 48-hour fast and found that the fasting improved “mental flexibility,” which the researchers defined as participants’ ability to quickly and efficiently switch between tasks.

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    How Does Intermittent Fasting Work

    There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules.

    Mattson says that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.

    Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours, Mattson says. If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and theyre not exercising, then every time they eat, theyre running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.

    Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.

    You Might Have An Easier Time Getting Drunk

    How Intermittent Fasting Affects Your Brain, Body and Waistline

    Its ok to imbibe while intermittent fasting, but not during or immediately after fasting periods. As youve probably already figured out firsthand, youll get drunker faster if you drink on an empty stomach.

    That said, even if you do restrict your drinking to eating periods, youre displacing your opportunity for adequate nutritionwhich intermittent fasting already limits”with alcohol, Cox says. And if weight loss is your goal, low-nutrient, high-calorie alcohol is not your best option.

    Bottom line: Cox encourages anyone considering intermittent fasting to talk to a doctor, especially if they want to continue it on a long-term basis to make sure thats the best option for them.

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    Intermittent Fasting Can Be Hard But Maybe It Doesnt Have To Be

    Initial human studies that compared fasting every other day to eating less every day showed that both worked about equally for weight loss, though people struggled with the fasting days. So, I had written off IF as no better or worse than simply eating less, only far more uncomfortable. My advice was to just stick with the sensible, , diet.

    New research is suggesting that not all IF approaches are the same, and some are actually very reasonable, effective, and sustainable, especially when combined with a nutritious plant-based diet. So Im prepared to take my lumps on this one .

    We have evolved to be in sync with the day/night cycle, i.e., a circadian rhythm. Our metabolism has adapted to daytime food, nighttime sleep. Nighttime eating is well associated with a higher risk of obesity, as well as .

    Based on this, researchers from the University of Alabama conducted a study with a small group of obese men with prediabetes. They compared a form of intermittent fasting called “early time-restricted feeding,” where all meals were fit into an early eight-hour period of the day ,or spread out over 12 hours . Both groups maintained their weight but after five weeks, the eight-hours group had dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity, as well as significantly lower blood pressure. The best part? The eight-hours group also had significantly decreased appetite. They werent starving.

    How Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Your Body

    Intermittent fasting , an increasingly popular wellness practice, is usually advertised as a weight-loss tool. But the benefits go far beyond caloric reduction. From gut health to metabolic support, the evidence behind IF continues to grow.

    Fasting, or abstaining from foods or beverages with calories for an extended period, is considered a stressor to the body. Unlike chronic stress, short-term nutritional stress is associated with positive adaptations that can lead to cellular support and protection.

    While weight loss may be an added value of intermittent fasting, looking a bit deeper below the surface into the cellular changes can provide the science behind why this is more than just the next fad diet.

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    Your Energy Levels And Moods Will Fluctuate

    Research has shown that fasting can cause some people to feel fatigued, dizzy, irritable and depressed.

    In the beginning, your energy levels might be low because youre not getting the proper nutrients that you need, said Sharon Zarabi, a registered dietitian and bariatric program director at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

    As your body gets used to intermittent fasting, your energy levels will pick back up. Your body becomes more efficient at using energy and this helps improve mood, mental ability and long-term performance, Zarabi said.

    Theres even some evidence that suggests intermittent fasting can ultimately help fight depression and anxiety. The body releases a hormone called ghrelin when youre hungry or fasting, which in high amounts has been associated with an elevated mood.

    Can You Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting

    My Experience With Intermittent Fasting After 7 Years ...

    A major reason many people start and stick to IF is to lose weight. A Reddit group centered on the practice, with over 380,000 members, brims with dramatic before and after photos of fasters, some who have dropped over 150 pounds using the weight loss approach. Most rave about their results: slimmer bodies, more energy, and happier outlooks.

    A 2015 systematic review of 40 studies, published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, showed that IF was effective for weight loss, with a typical loss of seven to 11 pounds over 10 weeks.

    But IF isn√Ęt necessarily more effective for weight loss than other energy restriction regimens, like simply counting calories or cutting out carbs. A year-long study of obese males, published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2017, showed that alternate-day fasting did not produce superior adherence, weight loss, weight maintenance, or cardioprotection over daily calorie restriction.

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    Intermittent Fasting Can Disrupt Your Sleep Which Is Critical To Health

    There’s some preliminary evidence that intermittent fasting can improve sleep by keeping you from waking up in the middle of the night. When people start their fast earlier, their eating window also tends to expire well before they go to bed. This helps them avoid nighttime snacking, which can improve quality of sleep.

    But Rumsey said intermittent fasting can also disrupt your sleep cycle or lead to restless nights. Multiple studies have shown that fasting can , which is believed to improve memory, mood, and learning capacity.

    How Do I Get Enough Calories In If I Fast

    Try to stick to a well-balanced eating plan to get all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are important for the proper functioning of our body. But dont forget to track your calorie intake not to overeat in your eating windows as it may lead to weight gain. The main point of fasting is to give your body rest from digestion, but it doesnt mean you need to starve. Try to add nutrient-dense foods like nuts, seeds, grains, and fats to get the calories you need.

    Read Also: Why Am I Not Losing Weight While Fasting

    Does Intermittent Fasting Slow Down Metabolism

    Research shows that fasting for a short time can significantly increase the metabolic rate . while another study found that fasting for more than 3 days can suppress the metabolism . However, the results of the studies are quite mixed, therefore, further research is needed on the fasting diet plan and its effect on metabolism.

    Intermittent Fasting: What Really Happens To Your Body

    What intermittent fasting does to your body and brain?

    Diet trends come and go. Few stay popular for long, and even fewer are real keepershealthy, sustainable eating plans designed to keep weight off and promote good health. In that latter sense, intermittent fasting has potential.

    During IF, you voluntarily stop or greatly limit eating and drinking for set periods. There are no special meals or work-intensive prepyou just avoid food at certain times. Devotees, like talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and actress Halle Berry, often find that IF takes pounds off quickly while revving energy.

    But, as scientists increasingly suspect, the advantages of IF could extend beyond weight loss and extra oomph. Some early studies, mostly on animals, suggest that IF may boast a range of health benefits, including a lower risk of many chronic diseases.

    Much more research is needed, thoughand if youre going to try IF, you should follow certain rules, says Ahmet Ergin, MD, an endocrinologist at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce, Florida. He says if you do it right, it may improve your wellbeing, but if you do not, it may actually harm you.

    Heres what we know about IF so farwhat it is and how it affects your body, along with tips should you choose to try it.

    Recommended Reading: What Does Intermitten Fasting Do

    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, youll end up taking in fewer calories.

    Additionally, intermittent fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss.

    Lower insulin levels, higher HGH levels, and increased amounts of norepinephrine all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy.

    For this reason, short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate, helping you burn even more calories .

    In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate and reduces the amount of food you eat .

    According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of 38% over 324 weeks. This is a huge amount .

    The study participants also lost 47% of their waist circumference over 624 weeks, which indicates that they lost lots of visceral fat. Visceral fat is the harmful fat in the abdominal cavity that causes disease .

    One 2011 review also showed that intermittent fasting caused less muscle loss than continuous calorie restriction .

    However, a 2020 randomized trial looked at people who followed the 16/8 method. In this diet, you fast for 16 hours a day and have an 8-hour window to eat.

    Intermittent Fasting And Insulin

    Intermittent fasting is an eating style where you alternate between periods of eating and fasting. This pattern offers a plethora of weight loss and other health benefits, but intermittent fastings primary benefit is how it affects your insulin levels.

    When you eat, much of your food is broken down into glucose, raising blood sugar levels, thus raising insulin levels. If you are constantly eating, you are constantly raising your insulin levels.

    When you fast, it allows your body a chance to stabilize its insulin levels, which gives your pancreas a rest from producing insulin. If you follow an intermittent fasting lifestyle, you can promote healthier insulin levels.

    Recommended Reading: How Is Intermittent Fasting Good For You

    But First: If You’re Wondering Why If Is So Popular In The First Place There May Be Potential Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

    There are several potential positive effects of IF, including weight loss, better appetite control, and lower insulin levels. The main issue is that none of those benefits have been heavily researched in any way. The research is also the scantest in humans .

    It’s also unclear if the root cause of the purported benefits is intermittent fasting itself or simply the calorie restriction. So its kind of trial and error at this point to see whether an IF eating style works for you and your body.

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