Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that alternates between eating and fasting on a predetermined schedule. It is proven through research that intermittent fasting helps in managing your weight and reversing or preventing certain diseases. However, there is a safe way to do it to optimize results and benefit from the process. The focus here is not what to eat although this is still important. Intermittent fasting is, however, focused on when to eat.
If you are planning to take on intermittent fasting, you will only eat at specific times. This may include fasting for several hours per day or maybe eating one meal for several days a week. This plan helps your body to burn fat alongside other scientifically-proven health benefits.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
You can do intermittent fasting in different ways. However, they all depend on a specific regular period to fast and eat. A good example is eating after every eight hours a day and keeping off food for sixteen hours. Another option would be eating one meal per day for two days a week. These are some common examples to try.
When you have kept off food, your body consumes its stored sugar and begins to burn fat, in what is commonly known as metabolic switching. Therefore, intermittent fasting will prolong the period after your body burns the calories taken during a meal and starts to burn fat.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting comes with a lot of other benefits and is not only helpful in burning fat. Immense changes happen through this practice affecting both the body and the brain. Those that have engaged in intermittent fasting have experienced a sharper mind, leaner body, and most importantly, a longer life.
Researchers also claim that this metabolic switch helps protect organs against chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, types of cancers, and age-related neurodegenerative disorders among other things. Here are specific benefits that come with intermittent fasting:
- Good for physical performance. Young men involved in fasting for 16 hours have exhibited fat loss and enhanced muscle mass. Mice involved in this eating plan showed better endurance while running.
- Improved memory and thinking. Intermittent fasting will boost adult verbal memory and working memory in animals.
- Better heart health. Metabolic switch through intermittent fasting enhances blood pressure and boosts heart rates alongside other heart-related measurements.
- Helps combat Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Intermittent fasting has been shown to prevent obesity. Research has shown that obese adults can lose weight through intermittent fasting. It also helps people lower fasting glucose levels, fasting insulin, and leptin.
- Improves Tissue Health. In its application with animals, intermittent fasting helped reduce tissue damage during surgery and also enhanced results.
Intermittent fasting has also proved helpful for those with thyroid health disease although some may record adverse effects. Since the thyroid is the metabolic engine of the body, fasting has a direct impact on it.
The Safe use of Intermittent Fasting
Even with its growing popularity, intermittent fasting is not practiced by some people due to safety concerns. They think it is not safe. Some do it for weight management whereas others have used the method to deal with chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome, and so on. However, not everyone can do intermittent fasting.
Experts advise people to consult with their primary caregivers before trying out intermittent fasting. They say it is not for everyone since it is not safe for the following categories of people:
- Expectant and lactating women
- Children and Teenagers under 18 years of age
- Anyone diagnosed with type 1 diabetes currently taking insulin
- People with a history of eating disorders
Any person not in any of the categories above can safely undertake intermittent fasting. It is a recommended lifestyle that works wonders with amazing benefits. However, you should seek guidance from your doctor before implementing the plan.
Intermittent fasting has long been practiced to this day due to the benefits realized with it. However, it may have different results and impacts on different people. Some people may encounter unusual anxiety nausea or headaches alongside other symptoms. For that reason, consulting with your doctor is important before considering this eating plan.
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