Recently, Intermittent fasting (IF) became one of the world’s most popular diet trends. Intermittent Fasting benefits are countless, so people used it in losing weight or to give the lifestyle a healthy touch.
Many studies proved its efficacy for varied health issues like cancer, heart disease, chronic inflammation or even improving overall health.
Intermittent fasting results are proof that the food can be your enemy and avoiding it for a period can help give your body space to repair itself.
For centuries, people adopt fasting for religious reasons, like Islam in Ramadan, Christianity, and Judaism.
Moreover, ancients did it because of other reasons like food scarcity. So, people realized that they can survive for a period without food.
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Intermittent Fasting (IF) Meaning;
Intermittent fasting (IF) is eating for a specific period in the day and then fasting the rest of the day.
Actually, intermittent fasting allows drinks in most of the plans. So it suggests that individuals can drink during the fasting period herbal teas, water, and coffee just if it doesn’t contain any calories like sugar or cream.
Instead of having a list of foods to allow and foods to avoid on your plan, intermittent fasting focuses mainly on how long you can eat during the day.
In fact, we can better describe the intermittent fasting not as a diet but as an eating pattern.
If you decided to follow the intermittent fasting, then you are free to pick one of the following ways;
- Daily fasting for a 16-hour and eat freely for the rest of 8 hours.
- Fasting for 24 hours (2 days), twice a week.
How It Affects Your Cells and Hormones
Fasting can have a significant effect on your body on the cellular levels.
For instance, hormone levels changes in a way that allows your blood to access body fat stores and break it easily, and therefore contributes in faster weight loss.
Also, cells start a repair process that includes gene expression alteration.
So, what exactly happens to your body when you fast?
This is one of the major ways the body follows to repair itself on the cellular levels. However, fasting speed up this process. When starting fasting, weak, corrupted immune cells decrease becomes destructed, then when starting the refeed (starting to eat again) the marrow produces new immune cells that contribute in stronger overall immunity.
2- Human Growth Hormone (HGH):
The levels of growth hormone rise 5 times normal. Growth hormones rise improves fat loss and Makes your body gain muscle.
Fasting decreases body insulin resistance, which makes it easy for the body to decrease insulin levels. Lower insulin levels the body to store more fats.
4- Gene expression:
Fasting alters the gene expression in a way that assists the body to become stronger and protect against aging.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Studies on animals and humans show that it can have powerful benefits for weight loss and overall body health. Not to mention, intermittent fasting works as a successful anti-aging technique.
The main health benefits of intermittent fasting include:
1- Weight loss and control:
Limiting calorie intake to a specific period in the day can lead to a calorie deficit.
Moreover, as we mentioned that lowering insulin levels and increasing Insulin growth hormone secretion both result in breaking the fat stores easily.
Check out how long should you follow intermittent fasting to start losing weight.
2- Protects against diabetes type 2:
Intermittent fasting reduces insulin resistance, which decreases the body need for higher insulin levels.
Increasing insulin sensitivity can protect the body from developing type 2 diabetes is it contribute to low blood sugar.
3- Intermittent fasting can reduce inflammation:
Inflammation can be the chief cause of chronic diseases like autoimmune diseases, and heart diseases.
Fortunately, studies proved that intermittent fasting can decrease blood inflammation markers.
4- Improves heart health:
Heart diseases have many causes which include high cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, prolonged chronic inflammation.
Intermittent fasting can lower the risk of developing heart diseases as it suppress all its causes.
5- Works as anti-cancer:
Chronic inflammation can be the main cause of cancer. Since intermittent fasting lower inflammation, then it can suppress cancer as well.
6- Protects from neurodegenerative disease:
The brain hormone BDNF is responsible for brain health.
Intermittent fasting may speed up the secretion of BDNF hormone, moreover, it assists the growth of new nerve cells.
7- Intermittent fasting works as an anti-aging:
Studies showed that intermittent fasting extends the lifespan in rats by 36–83%.
Intermittent fasting questions:
Sure, you can drink coffee. However, it must be without milk and unsweetened. Also you can drink whatever drinks you like like tea, anise and peppermint with the same rules ” unsweetened and without adding milk “.
It’s better to start with intermittent fasting meal plan 16/8, as it’s flexible, easy and sustainable for a long time. Just make sure you don’t eat more during the eating periods.
Body begins to burn fat after about 12 hours of fasting. Also, metabolism continues to rise between 16 and 24 hours of fasting.