Intermittent fasting, just as the word suggests, refers to a feeding pattern that involves either partially or entirely abstaining from eating for a set period of time. It has been in existence for many years now and has been adopted for both health and spiritual reasons. Reasons for fasting depend on an individual’s goals. It's not a miracle diet, but it does have some good benefits that may make you consider intermittent fasting in your own life.
The main benefits of intermittent fasting include:
In essence, intermittent fasting aims to reduce the total amount of food that you consume, causing you to ingest fewer calories. Intermittent fasting normalizes ghrelin levels, also known as the "hunger hormone," resulting in lowered hunger and, eventually, a lower intake of calories per day. A study by the US National Library of Medicine suggests that dietary restriction is an effective strategy for weight loss in obese individuals because it boosts metabolic rate while decreasing appetite, causing the number of calories burned to be higher than the amount consumed.
Research carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that the stress associated with intermittent fasting causes an immune response that repairs cells and produces beneficial metabolic changes, such as the reduction of LDL cholesterol, fat mass, blood glucose, and blood sugar. These are all positive changes that just about anyone would want to incorporate into their daily living. Since dangerously high levels of LDL cholesterol, fat mass, blood glucose and blood sugar can be life threatening, intermittent fasting can prolong your life (Harvard.edu).
Generally, insulin levels decrease when you're not eating. Intermittent fasting, therefore, decreases insulin levels, causing cells to release their glucose stores as energy. This process prevents, reverses, and even slows the progression of type 2 diabetes. (ScienceDirect)
Intermittent fasting activates autophagy and mitophagy, natural cleansing processes necessary for optimal cellular regeneration, repair, and detoxification. This reduces body inflammation and oxidation, slows down the aging process while increasing brain function. (Neurotrition)
While intermittent fasting may not be an ideal dietary practice for everyone, it offers a handful of excellent benefits. When incorporated into a healthy, balanced lifestyle, intermittent fasting may enhance your nutritional habits and product great results.