The term “intermittent fasting” refers to a pattern of eating in which you alternate between periods of eating and times of not eating. There are numerous approaches of intermittent fasting, including the 16:8 and 5:2 regimens, to name just a couple. In this article examine about why intermittent fasting is good for weight loss and body health.
Numerous studies indicate that it may provide significant advantages for both your body and your brain. The following are ten health benefits of intermittent fasting that have been supported by scientific data.
1. Modifies The Way Hormones, Cells, And Genes Work In The Body.
When you go long periods of time without eating, a number of changes take place in your body.
For instance, your body will adjust the levels of certain hormones in order to make the fat that has been stored in your body more easily accessible, and it will also begin the crucial processes of cellular repair.
The following is a list of some of the physiological shifts that take place in your body when you fast:
Insulin levels in the blood drop dramatically, which makes it easier for the body to burn fat.
Amounts of Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
There is a possibility that the levels of human growth hormone (HGH) in the blood will significantly rise. Having higher amounts of this hormone has a number of health benefits, including the facilitation of the burning of fat and the growth of muscle.
Important cellular repair processes are triggered by the body, such as the elimination of waste products from within cells.
Changes that are favorable can be found in a number of genes and chemicals, and they are all connected to increased longevity and resistance to disease.
These shifts in hormones, cellular function, and gene expression are likely responsible for many of the positive effects that are associated with intermittent fasting.
2. May Assist In The Reduction Of Weight And Visceral Fat.
The goal of weight loss motivates many people to experiment with fasting for shorter periods of time.
In general, practicing intermittent fasting will result in you eating fewer meals during the day.
Because of this, you will consume less calories overall unless you make up for it by eating significantly more at the remaining meals.
In addition to this, intermittent fasting improves hormone function, which in turn makes it easier to lose weight.
A decrease in insulin levels, an increase in HGH levels, and an increase in norepinephrine (noradrenaline) amounts all contribute to an increase in the breakdown of body fat and a facilitation of its use as a source of energy.
Because of this, fasting for shorter periods of time actually causes an increase in metabolic rate, which in turn helps you burn even more calories.
In other words, the practice of intermittent fasting is effective on both the intake and expenditure sides of the calorie equation. Both the rate at which you burn calories (your metabolism) and the amount of food that you take in are increased as a result of this (reduces calories in).
A study that looked at the scientific literature from 2014 found that intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss of between 3 and 8 percent over the course of 3 to 24 weeks. This is a really significant sum.
The participants in the study lost between 4 and 7 percent of their waist circumference throughout the course of the trial, which suggests that they lost a significant amount of visceral fat. The unhealthy fat found in the abdominal cavity that contributes to disease is called visceral fat.
Another study from 2011 found that intermittent fasting led to a lower rate of muscular atrophy compared to constant calorie restriction.
On the other hand, participants in a randomized experiment that took place in 2020 were examined with regard to their adherence to the 16/8 technique. This diet requires you to abstain from food for 16 hours every day, after which you are allowed an eating window of 8 hours.
People who ate three meals per day did not lose significantly more weight than those who went without food for a period of time. The researchers observed that the people who fasted lost a substantial amount of lean mass after doing in-person tests on a sample of the subjects. This consisted of both fat and lean muscle.
There is a clear need for additional research on how fasting affects muscular atrophy. When everything is taken into account, intermittent fasting has the potential to be an extremely effective method for achieving weight loss.
3. Has The Potential To Improve Insulin Resistance, Hence Lowering The Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Over the past few decades, a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes has been increasingly widespread.
The primary indicator of this condition is the presence of elevated blood sugar levels alongside insulin resistance.
Anything that helps the body become less resistant to the effects of insulin should be able to bring down blood sugar levels and guard against type 2 diabetes.
It is interesting to note that research has shown that intermittent fasting can have significant positive effects on insulin resistance and can result in an astonishing drop in blood sugar levels.
People who have prediabetes have seen a reduction of 3–6 percentage points in their fasting blood sugar over the course of 8–12 weeks in studies conducted on humans using intermittent fasting. 20–31 percent less insulin was produced during the fasting state.
One study on diabetic mice demonstrated that intermittent fasting enhanced survival rates and protected against diabetic retinopathy. One of the complications of diabetes that can lead to blindness is called diabetic retinopathy.
This suggests that persons who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes could benefit from intermittent fasting to a significant degree as a preventative measure.
However, it’s possible that men and women have certain fundamentally different traits. One study conducted in 2005 on women demonstrated that the management of blood sugar really got worse after following an intermittent fasting program that lasted for 22 days.
4. Has The Ability To Lower Levels Of Oxidative Stress And Inflammation In The Body.
Oxidative stress is a contributor to the process of aging as well as a number of chronic diseases.
Free radicals, which are unstable chemicals, are involved in this process. Free radicals cause harm to other essential molecules, such as DNA and protein, when they interact with these molecules and cause damage in the process.
Multiple research point to the possibility that intermittent fasting can improve the body’s tolerance to the damaging effects of oxidative stress.
In addition, research has shown that intermittent fasting might be beneficial in the battle against inflammation, which is another primary factor in the development of many common diseases.
5. May Be Advantageous To The Overall Health Of The Heart.
At the moment, coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.
It is common knowledge that several health markers, sometimes known as “risk factors,” are linked to either an increased or decreased likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.
It has been demonstrated that engaging in intermittent fasting can improve a variety of risk factors, including the following:
- Blood sugar levels.
- Blood pressure.
- Triglycerides found in the blood.
- Total cholesterol as well as “bad” LDL cholesterol
- Inflammatory markers.
However, the majority of this information comes from research conducted on animals.
Before any suggestions can be made regarding the impact of fasting on the health of the heart, additional in-depth research involving humans is required.
6. Induces Different Cellular Repair Mechanisms.
When we don’t eat for a period of time, the cells in our bodies begin a process known as autophagy, which can be described as “trash elimination.”
In order to accomplish this, the cells must first break down and metabolize damaged and malfunctioning proteins that have accumulated inside the cells over time.
An uptick in autophagy levels has been linked to a reduced risk of various diseases, including cancer and neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
7. Could Play A Role In Preventing Cancer.
The unchecked multiplication of cells is one of the defining characteristics of cancer.
It has been established that fasting has various favorable impacts on metabolism, one of which is a possible reduction in the chance of developing cancer.
Animal research has shown some encouraging results, suggesting that diets that imitate fasting or intermittent fasting may be beneficial in the prevention of cancer. Similar conclusions have been drawn from studies conducted on humans, although there is still a need for additional research.
There is some evidence to suggest that going without food for an extended period of time can mitigate the negative effects of chemotherapy in people.
8. Has Positive Effects On The Health Of Your Brain.
Typically, things that are beneficial to the body are also beneficial to the brain.
The metabolic processes that are known to be vital for the health of the brain are improved by the practice of intermittent fasting.
Fasting on and off during the day can help reduce:
- Stress caused by oxidation
- Blood sugar levels.
- A resistance to insulin’s effects.
Intermittent fasting has been proven in multiple studies conducted on mice and rats to have the potential to enhance the creation of new nerve cells, which should have beneficial effects on brain function.
Additionally, levels of a hormone in the brain known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor rise when an individual fasts (BDNF). A deficit in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been linked to depression in addition to a variety of other neurological issues.
Research conducted on animals has also demonstrated that intermittent fasting reduces the risk of brain damage brought on by strokes.
9. Could Be Helpful In Warding Off Alzheimer’s Illness.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent kind of neurodegeneration found around the world.
Because there is presently no treatment that can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s, preventing the disease from developing in the first place is of the utmost importance.
According to research conducted on rats and mice, intermittent fasting may either postpone the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease or lessen the disease’s severity.
A lifestyle strategy that comprised daily fasts for shorter periods of time was able to dramatically alleviate Alzheimer’s symptoms in nine out of ten persons, according to a series of case reports.
There is evidence from research conducted on animals to show that fasting may help protect against other neurodegenerative disorders, including as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
However, there is a need for additional research on humans.
10. May Increase Your Lifespan, Making It Possible For You To Live For A Longer Period Of Time.
It is possible that the possibility of intermittent fasting to increase lifespan is one of the most interesting applications of this method.
Research conducted on rodents has demonstrated that intermittent fasting can increase lifespan in a manner that is analogous to that of continuous calorie restriction.
It has also been demonstrated that fruit flies live longer lives when they practice intermittent fasting.
The results of some of these research were rather startling to say the least. An prior study found that rats that were made to fast every other day for a period of time lived 83% longer than rats that weren’t made to fast.
According to a study that was conducted in 2017, mice that were allowed to fast every other day had lifespans that were around 13 percent longer.
Additionally, it was discovered that male mice benefited from daily fasting in terms of their overall health. It was found to be beneficial in delaying the onset of illnesses such as fatty liver disease and hepatocellular cancer, both of which are associated with aging mice.
Even though this has not been conclusively shown in humans, intermittent fasting has gained a lot of popularity among people who are interested in delaying the aging process.
It makes reasonable that practicing intermittent fasting could help you live a longer and healthier life given the recognized benefits that it provides for metabolism and for a wide variety of other health markers.
Although the majority of people use it as a way for losing weight, intermittent fasting has benefits that go well beyond that. According to research that were conducted on both humans and animals, it may also help you live a longer life that is generally healthier as well.
Intermittent fasting can be carried out in a variety of different ways. Some approaches require abstaining from food during predetermined periods of time each day. Some approaches call for you to solely abstain from food during particular days of the week. The methods used produce varying results.
If you are considering beginning intermittent fasting, you should think about having a conversation with either your primary care physician or a nutritionist as soon as possible. They are able to assist you in determining whether it is safe for you to do so.