The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Health problems have come to light more frequently than ever before in a society where we have developed habits of a sedentary lifestyle and less hard labor. To keep active and healthy, individuals are therefore resorting to gyms and different diets. The greatest approach to reduce weight, increase strength, and maintain fitness is to exercise. But your nutrition also has a big impact on how your body looks.
Intermittent fasting is all the rage among bodybuilders and fitness fanatics nowadays, when a variety of diets have taken the world by storm. There are many myths surrounding fasting, and some people believe that it virtually amounts to starving your body. They believe that because of this that they will lose muscle instead of gaining, however this is far from the truth. Read on to know the health benefits of intermittent fasting and also our one expert suggestion.
What Exactly is Intermittent Fasting?
A dietary strategy known as intermittent fasting emphasizes time-restricted eating and alternates between fasting periods that often last more than 12 hours. Given that intermittent fasting is believed to help us follow our bodies' natural circadian rhythm, you may already be intermittent fasting to some level without even being aware of it.
Intermittent fasting may be done in a variety of ways, which makes it more approachable than most people realize. Two of the most well-liked methods for intermittent fasting are:
- The 16:8 method: entails extending your daily fast by 12–16 hours, from supper to breakfast the following morning. For instance, you may have supper around 6 p.m. and then skip meals until 6 to 10 a.m. the following day.
- The 24 hour fast entails fasting for 24 hours one to two times each week; non-caloric drinks like water and unsweetened tea will still be consumed.
Even while it can sound a little strange to consider going more than 8 hours without eating, our bodies really require downtime in order to assimilate nutrition, attend to our regular repair processes, and generally maintain our health. Additionally, when we sleep, our bodies already follow a natural fasting rhythm.
When considering incorporating a fasting day into your lifestyle, keep in mind that you should find an eating pattern that suits you rather than dieting. When choosing the type of fasting schedule that may be most effective for you, be sure to take into account your lifestyle, work schedule, and sleep schedule.
That being said, here are some of the benefits of intermittent fasting:
1. Helps in Preventing and Managing Diabetes
By decreasing leptin concentrations—a hormone produced by fat cells to control hunger—and increasing adiponectin, a hormone involved in glucose and lipid metabolism, intermittent fasting and weight loss may help lower fasting blood glucose and improve insulin sensitivity.
People who intermittently fasted in studies where fasting was used as a weight-loss intervention and strategy for maintaining a healthy weight had lower blood glucose levels, which happens to be a key objective in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
These potential advantages could be more impacted by calorie restriction-related decreases in body weight and body fat percentage, although evidence nevertheless indicates that intermittent fasting has benefits for diabetics as it has a generally good impact on blood sugar levels.
2. Improves Heart Health
Based on findings from largely animal research, intermittent fasting may help preserve human hearts by reducing heart disease and aiding in the recovery after heart attacks.
In human studies, it has been demonstrated that intermittent fasting can reduce risk factors for heart disease, including:
- cutting down blood pressure
- decreasing cholesterol and blood lipid levels
- balancing blood sugar levels
- lowering inflammatory markers such cytokines and C-reactive proteins
Intermittent fasting's metabolic changes and calorie restriction may also lower your resting heart rate (HR). increase in heart rate, improved blood flow and vasodilation.
While this may seem exciting, people don't necessarily react to treatments in the same way that animals do, and further research in humans is required to fully understand the function of intermittent fasting in cardiac disease. Your diet's quality is also very important for the health of your heart.
3. Improves Brain Health
By preventing brain neurons from degenerating and malfunctioning, intermittent fasting may boost brain health and function, enhance memory and mental performance, and support brain health.
According to new research, intermittent fasting may be an effective treatment for neurological conditions including epilepsy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and stroke.
Remember that these possible advantages may result from more than just the act of fasting; reduced inflammation, less body fat, and improved blood sugar levels have all been related to normal brain function.
4. Could Increase Life Span
Because of a number of factors, including weight loss, lowered blood pressure, and the majority of the advantages we outlined above, intermittent fasting may help us live longer while also improving the quality of our lives.
Animal studies have shown that intermittent fasting affects lifespan, having positive impacts on life expectancy and markets for health, stress, metabolic response, and age-related disorders.
Given the numerous variables that influence epidemiological research and the wide variety of fasting practices, it is difficult to validate these findings in human trials. But ultimately, some of the advantages of intermittent fasting may improve our general quality of life and lower our chance of contracting chronic illnesses.
5. Aids in Weight Loss
It is common knowledge that deciding factors for weight reduction include quantity of food consumed rather than frequency or timing of meals. However, you might be able to maintain a calorie deficit that results in weight reduction with intermittent fasting.
However, intermittent fasting alone does not always indicate that you are in a calorie deficit. Even when they limit the time they eat their meals, some people still have trouble staying inside a safe calorie range.
Because it may be challenging to encourage people to cut back on their eating while still fasting, and because variables like protein intake, length of fasting, and food quality might affect results, intermittent fasting is a challenging intervention to investigate over the long run. It is unknown whether yo-yo dieting or weight gain is likely to happen after fasting has ended, thus further research is required to evaluate any long-term weight loss advantages of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting may result in weight loss that goes beyond simple calorie restriction. More weight loss may result from fasting-induced physiological changes, such as lower levels of the hormones leptin and insulin, than from calorie restriction alone.
Expert Tip: Be Mindful of Your Micronutrient Intake
Micronutrients are best sourced from foods, however during phases when one is fasting, such as when following an intermittent fasting program, it can be difficult to get all the nutrients that the body requires at one go. This can cause deficiencies such as Iron deficiencies, or calcium deficiencies and can make it difficult for one to achieve their fitness goals.
We recommend that one meet their daily micronutrient requirements by supplementing with multivitamins. Not only will this give your body the nutrients it needs for basic function, but it also does not have any calories that will disrupt your fasted state. These supplements also provide great benefits for bodybuilding as micronutrients help improve sleep, mood, and hormones.
Genetic Nutrition’s Mega VIT are multivitamins that are manufactured in the UK using top quality ingredients that undergo stringent lab tests to ensure that our customers receive the best of products.
Your fitness regimen depends on your diet, and fasting methods like intermittent fasting can help you achieve your fitness objectives. But one shouldn't stop getting the right kind of exercise and training. Your best results will come from a regimented exercise programme, intermittent fasting, and a nutritious, protein-rich diet.
You may practice intermittent fasting for a long time while still getting the desired outcomes because it is simple to follow. Don't forget to exercise frequently and eat sensibly.