What exactly is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting means that you don’t intake any food for a particular span of time each day of the week. It is a cycle of fasting and eating which follows a periodic pattern. Intermittent fasting has become a very popular trend among people these days. People are implementing intermittent fasting methods in their lives to bring about an improvement in their health conditions. Many researchers have revealed that intermittent fasting has an important role to play in changing your life for the better.
History of intermittent fasting
Fasting isn’t something new. It has been practised at various stages of human evolution. The hunter-gatherers didn’t have a sufficient supply of food. So, most of the time, they had to go without food. As a result, over time, the human body has prepared itself to function properly without any food supply for prolonged hours. Even today, people fast during various religious ceremonies and occasions.
Different methods of intermittent fasting
The 16/8 method: In this method, you will have to restrict your eating time to 8 hours a day and fast for the remaining 16 hours. The fasting time should be more for men than for women as men can go without food for a longer span of time. During those 8 hours, you should have at least 2 to 3 meals.
The 5:2 method: The 5:2 method involves eating a normal diet for 5 days a week and cutting on the calorie intake for the remaining 2 days. On the fasting days, you must not have over 600 calories. This fasting technique is also called Fast Diet.
Eat-Stop-Eat method: The Eat-Stop-Eat method involves fasting for 24 hours one or two days a week. You are only allowed to have water and light beverages on your fasting days. On the remaining days, you must have a normal diet.
Alternate-day fasting: This method has different versions. In some versions, you are allowed to take in up to 500 calories of food on your fasting days. This method is quite a rigorous one and should only be practised by experts.
The Warrior Diet: The Warrior Diet involves eating a heavy meal at night. The rest of the day, you only eat raw fruits and vegetables. This is one of the first methods of intermittent fasting and has various health benefits.
What impact does intermittent fasting have on our body?
Fasting for a few hours a day helps to burn out the excess fat from your body. It also helps in the repair of the damaged and worn-out cells of your body. The Growth Hormone (GH) level of your body sharply rises. This enables the burning of fat and strengthening the muscles of your body. The insulin level decreases making the stored fat accessible. The longevity of the genes increases. This protects you from different types of genetic disorders. Intermittent fasting increases your body metabolism rate. As a result, you lose your excess body weight and your body gets into a better shape.
How does intermittent fasting help to combat diseases?
- Intermittent fasting helps to prevent inflammation. This protects your body from various chronic disorders.
- Intermittent fasting reduces the cholesterol level in the blood. It also reduces the blood sugar level and makes you insulin resistant. All of these factors protect you from heart diseases.
- Various studies have suggested that intermittent fasting may also help to prevent cancer.
- Intermittent fasting increases the level of BDNF hormone in your brain. This triggers the growth of nerve cells and also protects you from deadly diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
- Intermittent fasting may also increase your lifespan.
Intermittent fasting has outstanding benefits for our health. It does not cause any serious threats to our body. However, it also always recommended that you consult a doctor before you start to practise intermittent fasting.