Updated: Oct 20
As the name suggests, intermittent fasting (also known as time-restricted feeding or DRF) involves eating food only at certain times throughout the day.
IF is often practiced by people who follow a vegan diet for ethical reasons and those who want to lose weight and improve their health.
IF helps regulate hormones and reduce inflammation, while boosting metabolism. In addition to these health benefits, research shows that IF may help boost brain function, improve sleep quality, and increase longevity.
Why do people fast?
The first thing to understand is that fasting does not mean starving yourself. Fasting can simply be defined as “not eating”. However, it is a commonly misunderstood practice.
Many think that fasting means not eating anything at all, while others believe that it means not eating until noon. Both of these ideas are incorrect.
What happens if I don't eat?
When you go without food, the body enters a state called ketosis. Ketones are produced in the liver and stored in the fat cells. When ketones accumulate in the bloodstream, this is known as ketosis. Ketosis is considered a natural metabolic state for humans.
Our bodies naturally enter ketosis after we haven’t eaten for several days. That said, ketosis should never be confused with starvation. It can take 2-4 days of fasting to enter ketosis
How long can I fast?
There are many different opinions on how long you can fast before it becomes unhealthy. Some say 2 weeks, some say 1 month, and others say longer.
The truth is that it doesn’t matter how long you fast as long as you remain in ketosis. If you start feeling hungry again, then you have returned to normal eating patterns.
Are there side effects of fasting?
Fasting is not harmful to the human body unless you choose to eat something that is not recommended for consumption. For example, if you decide to eat a hamburger instead of water, you could experience stomach pain.
This is due to the high levels of acid in the stomach. Other side effects may include headaches and brain fog. These symptoms tend to resolve themselves once you return to eating normally.
Is fasting good for me?
Yes! As mentioned above, fasting is not harmful to the body. There are many documented studies showing that fasting helps with weight loss, and mental clarity, and increases energy.
A study conducted at the University of California showed that those who fasted lost more weight than those who ate regularly. Another study done at Loma Linda University showed that individuals who fasted had higher concentrations of serotonin, dopamine, and DHEA – three hormones associated with happiness and well-being.
Can I still exercise during my fast?
Yes! Exercise is an excellent way to burn off any extra calories that you might gain during a fast. You can even use fasting as a time to get stronger and build muscle mass.
7 Reasons Why You Should Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has a lot of benefits that regular dieting doesn’t. IF is a type of diet plan where you fast for a certain period and eat normally later. The fast period can last anywhere from 16 to 36 hours, with an eating window lasting the remaining hours. To understand this process better and discover whether it’s right for you or not, read on as we explore the 7 benefits of intermittent fasting and how you can start doing it effectively.
The benefits of intermittent fasting
When you follow an intermittent fasting plan, the first and most obvious benefit is weight loss. Since intermittent fasting helps you burn fat faster, it’s a great choice for people looking to lose weight. Indeed, studies show that intermittent fasting can help you lose 3 times more weight than regular dieting. Intermittent fasting also helps reduce blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, which are all good news for people with diabetes or who suffer from high cholesterol. Intermittent fasting also helps boost energy levels and improve brain function, which is particularly helpful for students who have to study for long hours.
Increased energy levels
When you fast, your body releases Human Growth Hormone (HGH), a hormone that helps increase energy levels and promote muscle growth. Intermittent fasting also boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine, two hormones that make you happy, relaxed, and less prone to depression and anxiety. While most people associate dieting with low energy levels and constant hunger, intermittent fasting improves energy levels and makes you less hungry. This is because when you fast, your body breaks down fat and converts it into energy, so you have less need for food.
Improved brain function
Intermittent fasting is also helpful for students who have to study for long hours. It can help improve brain function and productivity by improving the flow of blood to the brain. This flow is important because it carries nutrients, oxygen, and neurotransmitters to the brain for better functioning. When a person is fasting, this flow is slowed down, which causes less serotonin and dopamine to be released in the brain. This reduction in serotonin and dopamine may make a person cranky, anxious, and unable to concentrate on his or her studies. But when a person is on an intermittent fasting plan, the blood flow to the brain is increased to normal levels, making it easier to study and focus.
Improved blood sugar levels
Blood sugar levels can also be reduced when you fast regularly. This is because when you don’t eat for a certain period, your body goes into starvation mode and starts to break down its fat stores to produce energy. This fat breakdown releases a byproduct called “ketones,” which can be used by the body as an alternative fuel source when blood sugar levels are low. When the body uses ketones instead of blood sugar, it’s helpful for people who suffer from diabetes because this reduces the risk of blood sugar levels getting too high.
Intermittent fasting can also help reduce inflammation in the body, which is good for your overall health. Inflammation is caused by the immune system when it tries to fight off infections and heal wounds. When a person is fasting, the immune system is activated to break down the fat in the body for energy. This is helpful for people who want to lose weight and removes harmful toxins from the body, which results in lower inflammation.
Some studies have shown that intermittent fasting can increase longevity by up to 10 years. This is because when you fast, your body releases growth hormone, which helps heal old cells in your body and promotes the growth of new, healthy cells. While these results are promising, more studies need to be done to confirm that intermittent fasting can indeed increase longevity in humans.
How to start intermittent fasting
When you start intermittent fasting, it’s important to follow the right plan to get the best results. Most people find that following a 16-hour fasting period (eating between 10 am and 6 pm) works best. If you want to follow a different fasting schedule, then make sure you've consulted your doctor first as some of these fasting periods can be harmful to your health. It’s also important to choose the right foods to eat during your eating window. Avoid processed foods, but instead choose nutrient-rich options like fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. You can also add protein-rich snacks like a protein shake or eggs to your eating window to keep you feeling full.
Create a schedule that works for you
While intermittent fasting is a great diet option, you may find that it’s not easy to follow. Some people find that it’s too difficult to fast regularly and end up quitting before they see any results. This is why it’s important to create a schedule that works for you so you can stick to your fasting plan. If you find that you’re less hungry on the weekends, then try fasting on the weekends only. Or if you have to attend lots of functions on weekdays, then fasting during the weekends should be fine. You have to do what works best for you so you can stick to your fasting plan.
Stick to your plan
The biggest challenge with intermittent fasting is sticking to the plan when you’ve got food cravings. When you’re fasting, your body is missing nutrients, which can make you crave sugary or salty food. But it’s important to remember that when you eat, you’re breaking your fast, so you’re not getting any of the benefits that come with fasting. And remember, the longer you fast, the more weight you’ll lose, so don’t give up too soon.
Intermittent fasting is a great diet option for people who want to lose weight and improve their overall health. When done properly, it can help boost energy levels, improve brain function, reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels, and even increase longevity! While intermittent fasting may sound difficult, following the right plan can make it easier. It’s important to create a schedule that works for you and to stick to your plan so you can see results and reap the benefits of intermittent fasting.
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