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What Are Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

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Is It Healthy To Do 20 4 Intermittent Fasting

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting (Weight Loss, Diabetes and More!)

There is no definite answer that can be provided to this question. It really depends on the person and their health condition.

It is important to eat often but also to have a diet with enough calories. Research shows that intermittent fasting 20/4 is healthier for most people with weight-control issues than doing it all the time.

Some studies suggest that intermittent fasting can cause some health problems but these results are not conclusive.

Reduces The Risk Of Cancer

Fasting has been used as a practice for thousands of years to fight particular illnesses and diseases. It is now being studied as a potential method to reverse the growth of cancerous cells and prevent their spread.

There is evidence that it can help rebuild the immune system and reduce inflammation. It also helps in reducing insulin levels which is very important for those with Type 2 diabetes.

Muscle Growth And Repair

A study of healthy adults found that 48-hour fasting increased human growth hormone secretion by up to 400%. It also increased the frequency of growth hormone bursts throughout the day.

HGH increases muscle mass and stimulates faster muscle repair. It may also speed up the healing process for wounds and more serious injuries. HGH is so effective that taking it externally is banned in professional sports and is considered doping.

It seems counterintuitive, but occasionally going without food for two days may actually help you build muscle, not lose it.

Read Also: What Can I Drink During Fasting

Helps Improve Heart Health

With heart disease being the number one cause of death worldwide, it is important to find ways to reduce the numbers and ultimately lower the risk of heart conditions.

Intermittent fasting has been studied for various heart health benefits. Fasting has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation, as mentioned previously. Yet, there are many other factors fasting can improve.

Studies display that intermittent fasting methods can lower blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL. All of which are key drivers of heart conditions such as strokes, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease and cholesterol. Reducing these factors can lower the risk of heart disease and improve heart health.

Intermittent Fasting Can Still Lead To Weight Gain

Intermittent Fasting: Is It Right For Me?

Feeling starved during your fasting period might make some people more prone to binging behaviors when theyre not fasting. And eating more calories than what your body burns will lead to a long-term increase in body fat even if you consistently fast for 12-16 hours each day.

In other words, if you are having trouble maintaining your hunger and end up going completely rogue on your non-fasting periods, you could end up gaining weight.

Going rouge during your non-fasting periods can sabotage your health goals, start a meal prep routine or plan your meals to ensure you’re nourishing your body.

Not sure what style of diet is right for you? Use a meal plan quiz to get started!

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Benefit #: Intermittent Fasting Might Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

As we have much less circulating glucose during fasting, our insulin sensitivity and glucose control may improve.

A small case study showed exciting results in people with type 2 diabetes.4 Three people whod had diabetes for 10 to 25 years fasted three to four times a week. On their fasting days, they consumed one meal , whereas on their non-fasting days they ate two . Within one to four weeks of this, they were able to stop using insulin completely.

However, not all studies show such dramatic results, especially large-scale ones.5

Depending on the fasting type or the health of people doing it, glucose regulation may be only moderately improved, or not at all.

Still, for most people who have problems with glucose regulation , IF may be one of the safer methods of improving blood sugar control. This is especially true if IF is combined with other healthy habits that can affect glucose regulation, like a high-quality diet, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.

That said, if you have type 2 diabetes and are interested in IF, talk it over with your healthcare provider.

Fasting Can Also Improve Neurological Health Potentially Preventing Alzheimers Disease And Dementia

Researchers found that fasting for a week could help improve the brains of people with Alzheimers disease and dementia. In this article, we will look at how fasting can also improve neurological health, potentially preventing Alzheimers disease and dementia.

In this article, we will look at how fasting can also improve neurological health, potentially preventing Alzheimers disease and dementia. Fasting is an effective way to enhance brain function in people with low intelligence quotient or cognitive issues like Alzheimers disease or dementia.

The study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry found that short-term fasts improved cognitive performance in people with mild to moderate Alzheimers disease or mild cognitive impairment . The study also showed that the improvement was even more marked in participants who were overweight or obese.

Fasting activates autophagy, which is a process that breaks down the old cells in the body and creates new ones. In this way, fasting can be used as a treatment for diseases such as Alzheimers disease.

A new study published in the journal Neuroscience suggests that fasting can help prevent dementia and Alzheimers disease in some people. Researchers found that when participants fasted for four days, their brain activity was less disrupted than usual. This may be because there were blood flow changes during the fast which helped restore normal connectivity patterns in the brain.

Read Also: What Can You Drink During Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting Can Help Weight Loss

IF makes intuitive sense. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates, particularly sugars and refined grains , are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells dont use it all, we store it in our fat cells as, well, fat. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there.

Between meals, as long as we dont snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.

I Like An Early Dinner

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Of course, I mentioned this benefit of 18/6 fasting earlier. It really is important to me, though. I retire for the evening fairly early. I like my dinner to be digested before I transition into relaxing for sleep.

Since Ive only got a six-hour eating window and I like to eat my biggest meal to break my fast, I never have to worry about going to bed on a full stomach.

Recommended Reading: Does Fasting Help Burn Fat

So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds

I was very curious about this, so I asked the opinion of metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Here is what she told me. “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,” she confirmed, though generally 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.

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.

Read Also: What Foods Can You Eat On Intermittent Fasting

It Keeps Your Brain Healthy

One of the most agreed upon benefits of the IF diet is the fact that it promotes healthy brain function and wards of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. According to research by Mark Mattson, a professor of neuroscience in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging, the act of forgoing food is a challenge to your brain that causes it to take preventative measures against diseases.

So how exactly does it work? The fasting period gives your body more time to deplete your body’s glycogen stores and causes you to burn fat instead of sugar . This fat-burning process produces ketones, which boost your energy and banish brain fog. Mattson suggests packing the day’s meals into a short eight-hour period so that your body has time to efficiently deplete glycogen stores and enter ketosis.

Supports Brain Health And Function

5 Healing Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

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.

Read Also: How Long Should You Do Intermittent Fasting 16 8

May Enhance Heart Health By Improving Blood Pressure Triglycerides And Cholesterol Levels

Heart disease is considered the leading cause of death around the world, accounting for an estimated 31.5% of deaths globally .

Switching up your diet and lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Some research has found that incorporating fasting into your routine may be especially beneficial when it comes to heart health.

One small study revealed that eight weeks of alternate-day fasting reduced levels of bad LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides by 25% and 32% respectively .

Another study in 110 obese adults showed that fasting for three weeks under medical supervision significantly decreased blood pressure, as well as levels of blood triglycerides, total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol .

In addition, one study in 4,629 people associated fasting with a lower risk of coronary artery disease, as well as a significantly lower risk of diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease (

However, more studies are needed to evaluate the effects of fasting on brain function in humans.

Summary Animal studies show that fasting could improve brain function, increase nerve cell synthesis and protect against neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons.

Intermittent Fasting Health Benefits

Hugh Jackman is one of the Hollywood celebrities with an enviable body, dont you agree? But lets be clear, he was not born, nor did he just wake up one morning with a ripped body and veins popping out.

Besides spending hours in the gym, he credits his superhero shape to something you may or may not yet, have heard ofintermittent fasting .

Now lets be very clear, and very honest before you read on, you, nor I, will be as ripped as Logan by simply following an Intermittent Fasting eating schedule all by itself. As with any fitness or nutrition advice or programthere are multiple facets to achieving health and wellness goals.

So, If I could not get a to-die-for physique just by fasting alone, why bother following it? you may ask. Why would I even consider NOT eating if it wasnt going to give me overnight abs?

Because it is truly not a diet, but instead simply an eating schedule. Best of all, not even one that places a ton of focus on nutrient requirements in order to see success.

Intermittent Fasting is a lifestyle adjustment to be sure, but it is one with tremendous benefits and backed by enough science that everyone should at least consider it.

Although the main reason IF has become more popular in the last couple of years is the incurred weight loss, it is not the only benefit you can get.

Read Also: What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting Method

What Is Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a dieting technique. It is often abbreviated to IF. It involves meal timing cycles and schedules which restrict energy. As opposed to restricting food and calories.

Many people assume that fasting is starvation. That assumption is incorrect. Starvation is an involuntary uncontrolled period without food. Whereas fasting is voluntary and controlled. Fasting, especially intermittent fasting, is for health, religious and spiritual reasons.

Eating cycles involve fasting for a period of time and fasting for the rest. These periods can be aligned to a persons lifestyle, dietary requirements or health conditions. There are many intermittent fasting techniques, which allows everyone to have at least one that could work for them.

The most popular intermittent fasting method is 16:8. This is a schedule that involves 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating. Those hours can be down to preference. Other timed intermittent fasting similar to this include 12:12 and 14:10. The first number always indicates the hours you fast for. During fasting a person must not consume any food or calories. Calorie free drinks are allowed such as water, black coffee and tea.

Other methods include alternate day fasting. This is where a person fasts for 24 hours every other day or two days. For the other days a healthy nutritious diet should be consumed.

Thus, lets discuss its history and more:

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work

Serious Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Explained By Dr.Berg

Intermittent fasting is a method of cycling in and out of periods of eating and periods of fasting. Intermittent fasting is the umbrella term for this method of fasting, but there are multiple different ways that you can do this. Finding a format that works for you is key to doing intermittent fasting in a healthy, sustainable way.

Also Check: How To Maximize Weight Loss With Intermittent Fasting

Increases Brain Function And Health

There is more to brain function than mental health and concentration. Improved cognitive, memory and learning functioning is essential for good brain health.

Studies display how intermittent fasting improves metabolic processes which aid better brain functioning. The timed eating restrictions encourage new cells to produce more regularly and induce BDNF expression.

Intermittent fasting helps the brain reproduce cells and remove old cells. This improves overall brain health. Better brain functioning helps better memory, learning ability and cognitive functions.

Can Reduce Insulin Resistance Lowering Your Risk For Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes has become a very common diagnosis in recent decades.

Its main feature is high blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance.

Anything that reduces insulin resistance should help lower blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes.

Interestingly, intermittent fasting has been shown to have major benefits for insulin resistance and to lead to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels .

In human studies on intermittent fasting, fasting blood sugar has been reduced by 36% over the course of 812 weeks in people with prediabetes. Fasting insulin has been reduced by 2031% .

One study in mice with diabetes also showed that intermittent fasting improved survival rates and protected against diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication that can lead to blindness .

What this implies is that intermittent fasting may be highly protective for people who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

However, there may be some differences between the sexes. One 2005 study in women showed that blood sugar management actually worsened after a 22-day long intermittent fasting protocol (

Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels, at least in men.

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Why Might Changing Timing Help

But why does simply changing the timing of our meals to allow for fasting make a difference in our body? An in-depth review of the science of IF recently published in New England Journal of Medicine sheds some light. Fasting is evolutionarily embedded within our physiology, triggering several essential cellular functions. Flipping the switch from a fed to fasting state does more than help us burn calories and lose weight. The researchers combed through dozens of animal and human studies to explain how simple fasting improves metabolism, lowering blood sugar lessens inflammation, which improves a range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma and even helps clear out toxins and damaged cells, which lowers risk for cancer and enhances brain function. The article is deep, but worth a read!

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