Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Currently, intermittent fasting operates as one of the most popular health and fitness trends. This trend has you go through cycles of eating and fasting. Studies reveal that intermittent fasting has the ability improve metabolic behavior, can help with weight loss, protect you against the ravages of disease, and even help you live longer (1. 2 )
What Is The Purpose Of Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting doesn't operate as a diet as it doesn't control what you can or can't eat. Rather it controls at what time you can eat your meals. You can choose from different fasting methods, which splits your day into times when you can or can't eat. Some people practice some sort of fasting practice already. For these people, getting into intermittent fasting can be as easy as extending this practice a bit further.
Beginning this practice can be fairly simple. Many practitioners actually report feeling a lot better during the fast. Most people who practice intermittent fasting say that hunger is only a problem in the beginning.
To begin this practice, you can't eat any food throughout the fasting window. However, you can drink tea, coffee, and other non-caloric beverages. You can also take supplements that have no calories in them.
Why Should We Fast?
Throughout history, humans have extended for extended periods of time. Sometimes they did it out of necessity due to lack of food. Other times, there was a religious component to the fasting practice. Religions like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism all include fasting as a part of their religious practices.
Many processes in our bodies change when we go on a fast. This allows us to thrive in the event of a famine. This process involves genes, hormones, and cellular repair (3).
When we fast, our blood sugar and insulin levels reduce. At the same time, a significant increase in human growth hormone occurs (4 5.)
The evidence also shows that intermittent fasting can help many people live a lot longer. Research done on rodents reveal that intermittent fasting can extend their lifespan just as effectively as restricting calories (6 7).
An increasing amount of research also shows that intermittent fasting can protect against diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and other conditions. (8 9 )
The Different Types of Intermittent Fasting
In the past couple of years, different types of methods for intermittent fasting have sprung up. Some types that have proved more popular among practitioners include the following:
24 Hour Fast: A couple of times a week, refrain from eating anything from dinner the first night until supper the next evening.
16/8 Method: In this method, you will refrain from eating for 16 hours a day
5:2 Method: You will pick two days of the week where you will up to a maximum of 600 calories.
Most people will experience great results as long as they eat healthy foods when they're not fasting. By practicing intermittent fasting, you can not only improve your metabolic health and prevent disease, you could also simplify your life at the same time.