In this wonderful world of advancing technology TV, the internet and other entertainment are available 24/7.
We push ourselves to stay awake for longer hours to binge watch our favorite TV shows, play games and chat online… or we’re sitting and snacking all day — and throughout the night.
The extra calories and reduced activity creates a greater risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. Scientific studies are showing that intermittent fasting may help reverse these trends.
If you have been one of those people that have tried to loose weight and have struggled to find what the silver bullet is for you then I hope this will help you… because you matter!
If you type the word “diet” into a Google search engine you will retrieve 130,000,000 results! With all this information on weight lose this means there are lots of ways to tackle this issue.
Maybe you have tried a low-calorie diet only to find out that they often leave you tired, cranky and hungry.
Or maybe you have tried a low-carb or a “keto” diet which seems to be the craze right now… which causes cravings and constipation.
Then there are low-fat diets which are hard to follow and, contrary to widespread belief and based on new research, they may not prevent cardiovascular disease like they initial thought.
In my opinion, one diet does not fit everybody. If you are considering a diet, I believe in trying all natural products which can help manage weight lose. I have blogged about a few of them that I love. Here are some of my favorites:
In 2020 The International Foundation for Integrated Care has declared that intermittent fasting is now the most popular diet in the United States.
The latest short-term studies indicate that people are sticking to intermittent fasting diets better than they do to other diets.
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What is Intermittent Fasting?
According to the National Institute on Aging…
“Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that includes hours or days of no or minimal food consumption without deprivation of essential nutrients. Commonly studied regimens include alternate day fasting, 5:2 intermittent fasting (fasting two days each week), and daily time-restricted feeding (such as eating only during a six-hour window).”
As humans have evolved, we have the ability to go without food even several days or longer. During prehistoric times, before people learned to farm, they were hunters and gatherers.
They essentially learned to survive and thrive for long periods without eating by burning lots of energy and calories to hunt for meat and gather nuts and berries.
According to Harvard Health Publishing… intermittent fasting doesn’t limit what you eat, rather it limits when you eat. The good news is this may be easier to manage.
During intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple days a week, can help your body burn fat.
The good news is scientific evidence indicates to some health benefits, as well.
In a 2020 article Nutrients journal, they reveal that intermittent fasting promotes weight loss and may reduce risk factors linked to heart disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy blood lipid levels, and inflammation.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
With intermittent fasting there is flexibility in how you can do approach it… with all of them based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast.
With this flexibility that means there are many different intermittent fasting schedules. For example, you may eat only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you may choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week.
Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Mark Mattson has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years and states that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.”
“Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours,” Mattson says. “If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and they’re not exercising, then every time they eat, they’re running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.”
Intermittent fasting works by lengthening the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
What Can You Eat During Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting allows flexibility in that you can eat a variety of different foods.
When you are fasting you just need to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food.
There are many nutrition experts that recommend a Mediterranean diet as a good example of what to eat while you are engaging in intermittent fasting. They describe that you can’t go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting?
As I mentioned previously, based on my research, and reading up on this topic because I practice intermittent fasting in my own life… there are many wonderful things that happen during intermittent fasting.
When you regularly practice intermittent fasting it can help protect your organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease and even many cancers!
Here are some intermittent fasting benefits that have been revealed so far research by Hopkins Medicine:
- Heart health – Intermittent fasting improves blood pressure and resting heart rates including other heart-related measurements.
- Thinking and memory – Intermittent fasting increases working memory in animals and verbal memory in adult humans.
- Type 2 diabetes and obesity – Most of the available research shows that intermittent fasting can help people lose body weight and lower their levels of fasting glucose, fasting insulin and leptin while reducing insulin resistance, decreasing levels of leptin and increasing levels of adiponectin
- Tissue health – In animals, intermittent fasting reduced tissue damage in surgery and improved overall results.
- Physical performance – Young men who fasted for 16 hours showed fat loss while maintaining muscle mass. Mice showed better endurance in running who were fed on alternate days.
Let me wrap up by saying that intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone.
You can try intermitting fasting for weight management, or to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis.
In is important to know that certain people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- People with type 1 diabeteswho take insulin.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
Finally, since I am not a doctor I encourage you to check with your primary care physician before you try intermittent fasting, or any diet for that matter.
Also intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. If you experience any unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting you should talk to your doctor.
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