The Science Of Intermittent Fasting: What You Need To Know

Written by David G Kiely
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Do you want to lose weight but have no time for the gym or workouts? Then intermittent fasting would be a great solution for you. Many researchers have found that limiting the intake of food can also have benefits for your body. Not only do you lose weight, but you also build metabolism, which can improve your core strength.

Eating food at odd times can also lead to obesity, heart problems, a rise in blood pressure, or other health issues. If you have been looking for solutions to safe fasting or the benefits of intermittent fasting, then this blog is for you.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting

You must have heard about taking special care of what you eat, but intermittent fasting is focused on when to eat. There are strict rules about what is on your plate, but rather an alarm to set your meals. One can follow several types of intermittent fasting to achieve their personal goals.

Also Check: The Mediterranean Diet: Top Health Perks And Tips For Adoption

🔹 16/8 Method

This method restricts you to eating only 8 hours a day and fasting for the rest of the day. This method is quite popular and practiced as it sits perfectly with the disciplined routine. Many also call it living an 8:8:8 lifestyle where they eat between the 8-hour window, work in another slot, and sleep in the remaining slot.

🔹 5:2 Approach

This fasting approach focuses on restricting your two days of the week to one meal. For the rest of 5 days, you eat normally, like 3 meals a day, but for 2 days, you limit it to one meal a day.

🔹 Alternate Day Fasting

This approach does not restrict how many meals you eat but fasts on alternative days. If you have eaten today, then tomorrow you must observe fast. And the cycle continues.

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

Mark Matson, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins, published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine about intermittent fasting. The study reveals various health benefits associated with this approach to weight loss.

Type 2 Diabetes And Obesity

When individuals with type 2 diabetes practice intermittent fasting, their blood levels of insulin drop, which gives way to fat burning. This can also reverse the need for insulin therapy and maintain glucose levels in your body. With intermittent fasting, your body increases its metabolic rate, enabling you to burn more calories and achieve weight loss.

Reduces Oxidative Stress And Inflammation

When you observe fast regularly, your body becomes accustomed to the habit of digesting food and releasing antioxidants. These antioxidants help fight the free radicals in your body and reduce the risk of oxidative stress. Another study reveals that fasting helps reduce inflammation markers that can cause chronic diseases.

Improves Heart Health

Intermittent fasting has shown visible changes in blood sugar levels, blood pressure, total and bad cholesterol, and blood triglycerides. These changes have a positive effect on your heart and ensure its healthy functioning. It also benefits gene expression because the body is trained to perform well for a long time and protect against diseases.

Aids In Brain Health

Numerous studies are showing that fasting can help protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease. With fasting, your brain releases a hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which helps improve the chances of survival and delay the progress of NDD.

Weight Loss

The popular weight loss regime does not include long, intense workouts or a balanced diet, but intermittent fasting. It does not let individuals crave their favorite foods but helps them lose weight while eating them.

Intermittent fasting increases hormone function and increases the breakdown of body fat, which aids in weight loss. Studies show that intermittent fasting can cause 3-8% weight loss in 3–24 weeks. This is visible in the waist as visceral fat, which is harmful to the abdominal cavity, is reduced.

Read More: Child Athlete Nutrition And Growth – Role Of Nutrition In Youngsters 

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting can be beneficial for you if you stick to the routine, but when there is discord in it, you may face certain adversities. Just like your body needs to adjust to a new balanced diet, sleep schedule, or change of place, intermittent fasting, when observed, can cause irritability, cravings, or fatigue. It is important to make informed decisions when your health is in line and to seek medical help when required.

Dr. David G Kiely is a renowned Consultant Respiratory Physician and Director of the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit. His expertise lies in pulmonary circulation and Connective Tissue Disease. Dr. Kiely is a leader in respiratory medicine, known for his prolific authorship and dedication to advancing the field. As Director, he has transformed the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit into a hub for cutting-edge research and patient care.

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