Supports Brain Health And Function
Intermittent fasting may help improve memory and mental performance and support brain health/function by protecting neurons in the brain against deterioration and dysfunction .
Emerging evidence suggests that intermittent fasting could be a useful intervention in neurodegenerative diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, and stroke .
Keep in mind that it’s not simply the act of fasting alone that may have these potential benefits, decreased inflammation, reductions in body fat, and healthier blood sugar levels have all been linked to healthy brain function.
Promotes Better Health By Fighting Inflammation
While acute inflammation is a normal immune process used to help fight off infections, chronic inflammation can have serious consequences for your health.
Research shows that inflammation may be involved in the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis .
Some studies have found that fasting can help and help promote better health.
One study in 50 healthy adults showed that intermittent fasting for one month significantly decreased levels of inflammatory markers .
Another small study discovered the same effect when people fasted for 12 hours a day for one month .
Whats more, one animal study found that following a very low-calorie diet to mimic the effects of fasting reduced levels of inflammation and was beneficial in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, a chronic inflammatory condition (
Summary Some studies have found that fasting could decrease several markers of inflammation and may be useful in treating inflammatory conditions, such as multiple sclerosis.
Skipping Meals Can Cause Headaches Dizziness And Nausea
Long periods of fasting can lower your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling lightheaded, dizzy, with headaches, and/or nausea.
If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe to try intermittent fasting. People with type 1 diabetes and/or on diabetic medications may be more susceptible to unwanted side effects or struggle with controlling their blood sugar levels .
Your body will also need some time to adjust, so try choosing a day of the week or period of time that you dont need to be very active or deeply concentrate when first starting a fasting practice.
Also Check: Does Fasting Help Burn Fat
Is Intermittent Fasting Good For Your Health
Good health is the ultimate goal. For a lot of people, good health is also a challenge. We know many of the things that we should be doing — like quality sleep and regular exercise. But other aspects of good health are a bit more complicated. Like diet. There are so many healthy diet options — vegetarianism, veganism, various other diets. And then something new and different comes along and we wonder whether it’s the magic pill we need to lose weight and feel our best. This is how a lot of people feel about the newly popular trend of intermittent fasting. You’ve probably heard of it, but is it right? Should we be intermittent fasting or is it just another fad? If you’ve been curious about this hot diet, take a look at the role of intermittent fasting in good health.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting isn’t complicated. It simply means eating within a certain window of time every day and fasting for the rest of the time. For many, the magic numbers are 16 and 8 — eating in an 8-hour window and fasting for 16 hours. Anything that is to be consumed should be done within this time frame. This often boils down to skipping breakfast and eating only lunch and dinner. Though the biggest part of intermittent fasting is the very limited time frame, you should still plan on a healthy, well balanced diet and regular movement.
Are There Benefits?
Is It Dangerous?
Intermittent Fasting Good For Reversing Insulin Resistance And Muscle Building
You may start intermittent fasting because you want to reverse your insulin resistance. That objective might take you a little longer to achieve, so you could be fasting intermittently for say 5 6 months.
If your objective is to build muscle with intermittent fasting, then it may take you as long as 4 6 months or even longer. With muscle building, you will want to consider adding a workout regime to the fasting.
You also should consider doing your workout routine which must include resistance training towards the last 2 hours of the fasting window to accelerate the process.
In essence, I am saying the workout should be the last activity you do before you resume eating. That has been shown to be very effective.
Read Also: Do Fasting Diets Really Work
Can Women Fast Intermittently
Both males and females can take on the responsibility that comes with a fasting diet plan. However, a 2005 study has proved that the results of fasting may differ from man to woman. What you want to do is figure out what works for you before beginning your fasting routine. BetterMe app offers a friendly user interface to help you make the best choice. Youll find what suits your body type.
Avoid Intermittent Fasting If You Are At Risk For An Eating Disorder
Intermittent fasting has a high association with bulimia nervosa, and as a result, individuals who are susceptible to an eating disorder should not undergo any diet associated with fasting. Risk factors for an eating disorder include having a family member with an eating disorder, perfectionism, impulsivity and mood instability.
You May Like: How Many Calories Should I Eat For Intermittent Fasting
/5reasons Why Intermittent Fasting May Not Work For You
Diet trends are ever-changing and currently, Intermittent Fasting is all the rage. The fasting method that has been a part of myriad cultures for several years has now become a popular means to shed kilos and get in shape. The credit for the immense popularity of the diet among fitness enthusiasts goes to no restriction of food groups and a flexible eating window. It can be easily followed with a diet like low-carb and keto to expedite the weight loss process. Even though the fasting method is safe to follow, it might not be beneficial for all, that’s what Lifestyle and Wellness coach Luke Coutinho suggests.
Examples Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting involves going for extended periods of time without eating, or eating very little, followed by a period of eating normally.
- Alternate day fasting is when you fast on alternate days and eat ad libitum on eating days.
- The 5:2 involves severely reducing your calorie intake on two days of the week and eating a healthy, balanced diet on the other five days.
- 16:8 intermittent fasting involves eating only during an eight-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. For example, you may eat between 10am and 6pm, then refrain from eating until the next day at 10am again.
- Some people do a 24-hour fast, which involves consuming no calories on one day of the week or month.
Don’t Miss: Can You Drink When Intermittent Fasting
You Work A Job That Requires Intense Focus And Concentration
Food provides sustenance and energy, and it enables you to focus. When you’re extremely hungry, all you can think about is food, which diverts your attention away from immediate tasks at hand. Of course, everyone responds to IF differentlyit’s dependent on the personbut know that it may initially hinder your ability to concentrate if you’re not already used to going long periods of time without eating.
“Although some people report increases in energy with intermittent fasting, others may experience fatigue, reduced concentration, and low energy levels,” says Calder. “This can affect your productivity in your daily work. If you have the type of career or engage in activities where energy and concentration are needed, intermittent fasting may not be right for you.”
Could Help Lower Cholesterol
Your cholesterol might also improve after intermittent fasting when consuming a healthy diet during your non-fasting periods.
Better lipid profiles have been found after intermittent fasting including lower overall cholesterol, lower LDL , and lower triglyceride levels in healthy and overweight populations .
The majority of studies investigating intermittent fasting’s effects on cholesterol have focused on those fasting for Ramadan, so intermittent fasting may be an effective dietary method to improve your cholesterol, but further studies are needed to explore the differences in short-term vs long-term metabolic changes associated with fasting. .
If you’re concerned about high cholesterol try adopting healthy lifestyle habits like incorporating exercise and a diet low in saturated and trans fats, and rich in high fiber foods.
Don’t Miss: What Should Non Fasting Blood Sugar Be
Induces Various Cellular Repair Processes
When we fast, the cells in the body initiate a cellular waste removal process called autophagy .
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 Alzheimers disease .
Fasting triggers a metabolic pathway called autophagy, which removes waste material from cells.
May Help Manage Inflammation
Our bodies naturally undergo inflammation as a part of the process it uses to fight off harmful pathogens or recover from injuries by triggering our immune system.
However, when inflammation persists for too long it can start causing us harm. Chronic inflammation happens when the immune system continues to be triggered by what it thinks is a threat. Prolonged inflammation plays a role in the development of chronic health conditions such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, osteoporosis, and even diabetes .
Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce concentrations of pro-inflammatory markers such as homocysteine, interleukin 6, and C-reactive protein which play a role in the development of these chronic diseases .
Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods or following a strict anti-inflammatory diet or auto-immune protocol may also help reduce inflammation in the body.
Although fasting may provide some health benefits, looking at the quality of our diet and lifestyle can help us create healthy habits to support our health.
Read Also: How Fast Intermittent Fasting Works
So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds
According to metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, says “there is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective.” But still she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them.”
So, heres the deal. There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes.
Who Shouldnt Try Intermittent Fasting
Before attempting any new diet like intermittent fasting, it is critical to first consult with your doctor. Even though there is proof of the effectiveness of these diet plans, the doctor should always give you the go-ahead. After your doctor accesses your metabolic health to be normal, you can proceed with your intermittent fasting. However, there are scenarios when your doctor does not allow you to try intermittent fasting, including
- If you are already suffering from blood sugar diseases like diabetes.
- If you are a minor with eighteen years and below.
- If your medical history points out that you have previously experienced eating disorders.
- If you are expectant or you are breastfeeding.
Recommended Reading: What Can I Eat When Fasting
The : 2 Intermittent Fasting Method For Weight Loss
If you are a beginner, the 5:2 method is one of my favorites. It will create enough of a calorie deficit each week to see the scale moving down each week. As a reminder, you need a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound a week, so you may not lose one pound each week, but at least half a pound.
What I like most about the 5:2 method is that it allows you to eat while fasting. Moreover, it is done only twice a week, so its perfect for beginners.
/5why May It Not Be Good For All
Most people who go for intermittent fasting, just skip their breakfast and eat early dinner to fit their daily calorie intake within their eating window. But Luke says that skipping breakfast might not be an ideal thing to do for all. Some may benefit from it while others may not gain anything from missing out on the first meal of their day.
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. Having a hearty breakfast first thing in the morning can help to boost metabolism, energise you and help burn calories all day long. While some people can do well by skipping this important meal, others may just make their journey to lose weight even more complex. Luke suggests listening to your body and acting as per its need.
Also Check: Can I Drink Coffee While Fasting
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.
The Benefits From Easing Inflammation To Improved Life Span
But early research suggests fasting can help relieve health issues from inflammation to arthritic pain to asthma, and promote positive changes associated with longevity and life span.
Fasting diets can also help with weight loss and improving associated biochemical markers from hypertension, to blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels, says Dr Anika Rouf, an accredited practising dietitian and spokesperson for Dietitians Australia.
Don’t Miss: Does Cbc Blood Test Require Fasting
/5what Does Luke Suggest
“I have healthy people who eat breakfast and healthy people who dont. Get out of the box and start listening to your body,” he wrote in his Instagram post. “People in boxes rarely hit their goals and in fact get more frustrated because it doesnt work for them in the long run,” he added.
He said that some people feel hungry in the morning and this makes them frustrated. In such a case it is alright to eat, rather than ruining your day. If you ate last night, you may have breakfast after 10 am as you might not feel that hungry in the morning. But the previous day’s dinner was before sunset, so you will certainly feel famished in the morning.
As per Luke, it depends on how you feel and how you plan your day. If you feel hungry eat, else wait.
Intermittent Fasting: Surprising Update
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
Theres a ton of incredibly promising intermittent fasting research done on fat rats. They lose weight, their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars improve but theyre rats. Studies in humans, almost across the board, have shown that IF is safe and effective, but really no more effective than any other diet. In addition, many people find it difficult to fast.
But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.
You May Like: Can You Drink Alcohol On Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting Food List: How To Choose The Best Foods
Eating during intermittent fasting is more about being healthy than just rapidly losing your weight. Thus, it is critically important to choose nutrient-dense foods such as veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
The intermittent fasting food list should contain:
1. For Protein
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Your requirements may vary depending on your fitness goals and level of activity.
Protein helps you lose weight by decreasing energy intake, increasing satiety, and boosting metabolism.
Besides, when combined with strength training, increased protein intake helps build muscle. Having more muscle in the body naturally increases your metabolism, as muscle burns more calories than fat.
A recent study suggests that having more muscle in your legs can help reduce belly fat formation in healthy men.
The IF food list for protein include:
- Poultry and fish
- Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Seeds and nuts
- Whole grains
2. For Carbs
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates .
Carbs are the major source of energy for your body. The other two are protein and fat. Carbs come in various forms. The most notable of them are sugar, fiber, and starch.
Make sure to choose foods that are high in fiber and starch but low in sugar.
The IF food list for carbs include:
- Sweet potatoes
3. For Fats
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isnt for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting , you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change, she says, and one with benefits.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
Also Check: How To Start Fasting To Lose Weight