Most exclusively associate fasting with quick weight loss. It is true that when done correctly, not eating for issued periods of time contributes to a speedy decrease in one’s waistline, but the benefits are much more broad than people know.
When we fast intermittently, our bodies release a hormone called ghrelin. Although the little hormone is primarily released by the stomach, it stimulates a psychological desire in mammals to work harder. In a recent study published by the Journal of Endocrinology, it was determined that intermittent fasting encouraged the recruited participants to exercise more regularly by reason of increased amounts of ghrelin in their system in addition to lowering their body mass indexes.
When you commit to an extended period or time without food, your body begins a cellular repair process in order to make fat cells more readily available. Human growth hormone levels that are important to the formation of muscles and the burning of fat also increase in our blood, our insulin levels drop, and gene expressions advantageously linked to longevity and our immune system become more active.
The process of intermittent fasting has a confirmed effect on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers, therefor this regimen concurrently confirm it to reduce our risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
One thing that seems to confirm intermittent fasting as a dietary staple, is the long list of famous people who love talking about the process.
Just this week, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, two actors that are known for looking considerably younger than they are, revealed that they both adhere to intermittent fasting (IF). Their regimen specifically has them abstain from solid foods for sixteen hours a day and limits their morning intake to beverages. Both credit this dietary condition for their sustained energy.
The 16:8 fast might be the diet’s most popular incarnation. This form of fasting allows its adherents to eat during an 8-hour window and then abstain from food for the remaining 16 hours. There are no restrictions on what you can eat during your allotted time frame and you can establish the frame at any point that you deem to be more conducive to your particular schedule.
The 5:2 fast is a bit more calculated because it’s driven by insulin production specifically. Followers eat whatever they want, whenever they want for five days out of the week and then limit calorie consumption to 500-600 on the remaining two days. This metabolic pattern has been proven to improve insulin sensitivity.
There is also alternate day fasting. The name sort of speaks for itself. Participants fast every alternate day and limit their calorie intake on the days wherein they eat. This form of IF is particularly helpful for eliminating body fat.
Healthline reports, “Short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories. In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate (increases calories out) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in).”
Fasting initiates a process called autophagy. During autophagy, our bodies consume damaged cells and proteins in order to create new healthy, stronger ones.
In one study on fasting’s relationship to aging that used rodent models, the rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than those that did not.
“Given the known benefits for metabolism and all sorts of health markers, it makes sense that intermittent fasting could help you live a longer and healthier life,” adds nutrition and wellness reporter Kris Gunnars, BSc.