What Is Intermittent Fasting? 

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular current fitness trends. People find that it can help them lose weight, enhance their health, and simplify their daily patterns. Research indicates that it can positively affect your body and mind and may extend your life. The following research concerns intermittent fasting and diabetes prevention: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S193152441400200X. 

Intermittent fasting is more of an eating pattern than a diet. This is because it doesn't specify which foods you should consume. It tells you when to eat them. 

Common methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week. 

Fasting is a normal part of human behavior. In some periods of history, people went without eating for long periods of time. Fasting is actually considered to be a more natural pattern than eating three square meals a day. 

Fasting also has spiritual benefits. It is done in the major religions for this purpose. 

Intermittent Fasting Methods

There are many different patterns to intermittent fasting. Each pattern splits the day or week into different cycles. 

When you are in the fasting part of the cycle, you eat very little or no food at all. 

These are the most popular ways of doing things: 

The 16/8 Method

This is also known as the Leangains protocol. It means that you skip breakfast and restrict your daily eating period to eight hours. Then, you fast for 16 hours in between. 

Eat-Stop-Eat

This means that you fast for 24 hours, once or twice a week. This could be by not eating from dinner one day until dinner of the next day. 

The 5:2 Diet

In this method, you eat 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week but eat normally the other five days. 

You should lose weight by observing these patterns because you are eating fewer calories. This is provided that you don't compensate for it during the periods that you eat. 

Many people like the 16/8 method the most. They find it to be simple and sustainable. 

Health Benefits

Here are the main benefits of fasting: 

Weight Loss

As mentioned before, fasting can help you drop weight simply by cutting down on the number of calories that you consume. 

Insulin Resistance

Fasting can reduce insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when your cells become resistant to insulin, raising your blood sugar by not absorbing glucose. This can lower blood sugar by 3-6%. This will help stave off type 2 diabetes. 

Inflammation

Some research indicates that there are decreases in markers of inflammation. This is the cause of many illnesses. 

Heart Health

Fasting might reduce LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar, and insulin resistance. 

Cancer

Animal research indicates that fasting may prevent cancer. 

Brain Health

Fasting increases the hormone BDNF and may promote the creation of new nerve cells. It may also stave off Alzheimer's disease. 

Anti-Aging

Fasting can extend the lifespan of rodents. 

Conclusion

This simple method of altering your eating patterns may contribute to better health overall. More research still needs to be done to investigate all of the possibilities.