Intermittent fasting became one of the most popular fitness and health trends. It is one of the most effective diet regimens ever discovered. Though not new, intermittent fasting existed in many old cultures and societies. Recently interest in fasting grew rapidly when doctors and fitness experts found its wide range of health benefits, from sustained weight loss to improved blood sugar levels and boosted immunity as well.
The reasoning behind intermittent fasting is not what to eat but when to eat because to fast is to abstain from indulgence. And in this case, to abstain from eating. Intermittent fasting is, by definition, not a diet but rather an eating pattern that focuses on complete or partial avoidance of any type of food (healthy or not) for a period ranging from few hours to one day. Followed by a period when eating is allowed. Many methods exist for performing intermittent fasting. Most popular are the 16/8 method, Eat-Stop-Eat, and the 5:2 diet.
- The 16/8 method: is the most popular variant because of its easiness, simplicity, and sustainability. It entails splitting the day into two unequal spans, 16 hours that are food-free, followed by 8 hours span when eating is allowed.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: consists of solemn fasting for a consecutive 24 hours twice a week. Such as eating than withstand food tell dinner time the next day.
- The 5:2 diet: which is similar to the eat-stop-eat diet, in that it consists of splitting the week and fasting for two days, barring the complete abstinence, During those two days, food intake is drastically reduced to 300 or 500 calories.
Regardless of what pattern you adapt, depriving yourself of external energy sources can throw your body into a loop of peculiar side effects, which we will capture in this article using hilarious memes. If you are already an experienced faster, you are most likely familiar with these pet peeves, and you can already jump into the fun part to distract you from your hunger. If you are raw with intermittent fasting, stick around to learn the potential perks of fasting.
How does intermittent fasting works?
Our bodies are accustomed to burning glucose as a source of energy. Glucose is simply a sugar that is abundant in carbs, which dominates the constitution of most nutrients we eat like bread, starch, and some fruits as well—depriving the body of glucose and food in general results in a set of changes to sustain energy levels. First, the body will mobilize the liver's glycogen stores, which should be sufficient to maintain the organs' needs of glucose for hours. When liver stores are emptied, The metabolism diverts into burning the body's fat reserves for energy. This state of metabolism is called ketosis and is the chief reason behind the expected weight loss.
Moreover, several other adjustments are carried by cells in response to prolonged abstinence of food, including hormonal levels changes and genes expressions modifications as well.
If you are concerned that your body may burn the muscles you worked so hard for instead of fats, here is a shred of evidence for why you should throw those concerns at bay. Intermittent fasting showed to increase the levels of a particular hormone, called growth hormone, the levels of this hormone skyrocket to as much as five folds. Growth hormone promotes muscle gain and fat loss.
The toll of fasting reaches every living cell in the body. When deprived of glucose, the cells begin a repairing process where they remove and digest old and dysfunctional proteins that have been accumulating inside the cells.
A versatile tool for sustained weight loss
That is right, if you are not into exercising and sweating or if your busy schedule doesn't allow for any gaps to hit the gym, then intermittent fasting is your suit. Studies showed that it is very efficient for weight loss not only because it cuts your calorie intake, but it also incites the release of hormones to detract metabolism from burning carbs to burning fat. Additionally, these hormones promote muscle build-up.
Yes, you may get super hungry when you first start the program. When you deprive yourself of food, your body initially attempts convincing you to eat before it turns into burning its reserves for fuel. Hunger bursts are particularly persistent at the beginning of fasting, that is because when your body senses the falling levels of glucose in the blood, your brain ceaselessly begins to send signals of hunger pangs. But once you get into the groove of fasting, these signals slowly fade away as your body turns its attention to eating fat tissue.
Saving money is also one of the pros. You'll appreciate it about IF. No more groceries or takeouts taking a lion s share of your weekly income. No more shakes, powders, or pills. Just hunger games!
The perks of intermittent fasting.
Most people adopt IF eating patterns as a means for an effective weight loss, unaware of its wide range of other health benefits. Research data is steadily accumulating evidence about the effectiveness of fasting against diabetes, cancers, and heart diseases.
Here are some of the appreciated health benefits of fasting:
- helping your guts: when you fast, you give your gut a break from the notorious effects related to digestion like gas, diarrhea, and bloating. During the fasting gap, your intestines rest, allowing regeneration of the overall digestive tract and giving a chance to healthy microbes to refresh and repopulate.
- cutting the risk for chronic diseases: lower risks of diabetes and heart diseases are attributed to intermittent fasting. As it may reduce the bad fats in blood like cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL, as well as inflammatory molecules and insulin resistance. All of which are factors and substances that lay the grounds for fatal chronic diseases.
- insulin resistance: comes second to why people enroll in intermittent fasting. That is to reduce insulin resistance, which is the first step towards type two diabetes and other diseases. Insulin is secreted in response to high blood sugar levels. When fasting, blood sugars are kept at low levels, hindering insulin release, and reducing insulin levels by up to 20%.