5 Reasons Why Intermittent Fasting is Good For You
Do we really need anymore than one reason if there was a way to lose weight and feel great? Probably not.
But just in case you are wanting more – we’ve research and provided 5 Reasons Why Intermittent Fasting Benefits the Body. Feast away on this information….but just for only 8 hours a day!
Is Fasting A Good Way To Lose Weight.
More and more people around the world are cycling between periods of fasting and eating. It’s what the ancient hunter-gatherers did when they didn’t have refrigerators and supermarkets. Another kind of compulsion today is turning people to quit eating from time to time. Is that a concern for health? In fact, there is quite a lot of evidence to suggest periods of fasting can be useful for you.
It may be abnormal to eat three meals a day like we do today. Humans evolved to go for long periods without food. And so, to lose excess weight, it’s not enough to just control what you eat, but when you eat.
And so “Intermittent Fasting” or ‘Fasting’ is growing in popularity and a very effective way to lose weight. People tackling obesity are using it for weight control, but so are those with regular weights. Rather than eating three meals a day, limiting calorie intake in phases seems to improve health.
How is Intermittent Fasting Done?
There are a few different ways of splitting the week into periods of fasting and eating. Some people like to skip breakfast and limit their calorie intake to a period of 8-9 hours, so they’re fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
Others like to keep 16-hour or 24-hour fasts twice a week, during which they eat a little or nothing.
Another method is to restrict calorie intake to 500-600 calories two days a week. You can eat normally on other days, but the two fasting days should be a day or two apart.
Those who want science-backed evidence can follow the most-studied patterns of Intermittent Fasting. These include two-day consecutive energy restriction, alternate days of energy restriction (with 60%-70% caloric intake below recommended requirements), and alternate-day total fasting. But here’s a caveat. Most clinical studies look at the effects on obese people, so there’s much more research needed on Intermittent Fasting results on normal-weight people.
However, experts do have some idea why intermittent fasting seems to improve health for so many people who try it. These effects can range from weight loss, lower blood sugar by reducing insulin resistance, lower inflammation markers, lower bad cholesterol (LDL), new nerve cell growth in the brain, anti-aging and others.
Is Intermittent Fasting Good For You?
In short, Yes. I.F can be a very effective weight management approach but you need to study the research and ensure that Intermittent Fasting is the best option for you.
Check out the 5 Reasons Why Intermittent Fasting Benefits Your Body
1. The body’s survival skills kick in.
Let’s go back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. They would often have to go for long periods without food, and still function mentally and physically at high levels. Thus evolution may have adapted our bodies to such scenarios. The body may be better able to respond to stress that may damage it when fasting in phases. Note: Managing Stress Levels throughout any stage of intermittent fasting should be managed effectively.
Fasting may cause an immune response that repairs cells. As a result, it may reduce the markers of inflammation, which is responsible for so many diseases. Those who fast during Ramadan, both men and women, have shown improvements in risk factors for heart diseases.
2. The body turns to the stored liver and visceral fats for energy.
There’s a lot of evidence suggesting that continuous fasting can significantly reduce fat stores in the liver and visceral fat. But it’s harder to keep up as a weight-loss method. Just two days of intermittent fasting can also significantly reduce the excess fat stored in your liver and abdomen. Scientists believe the liver and stomach fats are more sensitive to the body’s fat-burning processes when there’s a caloric deficit.
3. Insulin sensitivity goes up for men and some women.
Fasting increases human growth hormones in the body, especially in men. Because of HGH’s complex relationship with insulin production, the body gets into fat-burning mode, and muscle mass is maintained. As the excess fat stores in your body slowly burn up, insulin sensitivity increases. This makes fats stored subcutaneously (under the skin) even more accessible and easy to burn.
The fat-burning effects of intermittent fasting may seem right for those with type-2 diabetes. Still, people with diabetes also require food at regular intervals due to metabolic changes that their medication causes. Thus people with diabetes should try this only under advice from a professional.
4. Brain hormone BDNF goes up.
Intermittent fasting causes an increase in the production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). It is a hormone that protects the neurons in the brain against degeneration and dysfunction. While many studies are needed on the long-term effects of periodic fasting on the human body, there’s some hope that it can stave off Alzheimer’s disease and other brain-related diseases that come with aging.
5. Causes changes for the better at the genetic level
Some studies have found that fasting periodically increases rats’ lifespan and brings about changes at the genetic level. It brings changes in the expression of genes involved in stress response and transportation of fatty acids. This information may translate to increased longevity in humans, and maybe many men have benefited from intermittent fasting through the years. However, it’s important to note that fasting may affect men and women differently.
Women and Intermittent Fasting
There’s no one-size-fits-all in terms of diet and nutrition. But there’s a gender divide in the effects of intermittent fasting. One study found that alternate-day fasting improved insulin sensitivity in men and had the opposite effect on women. This study suggests women must be careful when choosing how they fast. Intermittent fasting can potentially throw a woman’s reproductive hormones out of whack.
There have been cases where women have stopped having their periods after Intermittent Fasting so it’s important to use correct methods and programs you can trust.
Women tend to be more sensitive to nutritional changes than men, resulting from a protein-like molecule called kisspeptin. This molecule produces GnRH, a hormone that controls feelings of hunger and fullness, and it’s susceptible to insulin, leptin and ghrelin. Women have more of this hormone, so fasting can cause it to dip and upset the entire monthly cycle.
This doesn’t mean you can’t try fasting if you’re a woman. But you may need to adapt the method to suit you. For instance, low-protein diets maybe not the best solution for you, because low levels of amino acids can affect your estrogen receptors, influencing metabolism, mood, body fat and fertility.
Avoid intermittent fasting if you are trying to have a baby.
On the flip side, women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can benefit from the lower kisspeptin and higher insulin sensitivity that comes with fasting. Scientists believe PCOS is caused by a disturbance in the HPG (hypothalamic pituitary gland), the gland that produces kisspeptin.
Women with PCOS have higher levels of kisspeptin, and fasting reduces these levels. Research has shown that women with PCOS who keep 16-hour fasts have lower markers of cell damage and inflammation.
What Intermittent Fasting Is Best For Weight Loss
Generally, there are several options you can choose for losing weight with IF. MAP (My Action Project) has several weight loss programs including effective Intermittent Fasting Diets for weight loss plans that are worthwhile reviewing. These are trusted programs that have been designed by a Qualified Nutritionist.
The 16:8 Intermittent Fasting appears to have the strongest following and proven to offer the best results for weight loss. Eating your calories in over an 8 hour period while fasting for 16 is effective.
USANA Nutri Meal has been an excellent Protein Shake for replacing a meals during the IF phase although bear in mind…USANA Nutrimeal is a science based engineered meal replacement and to have these shakes with your IF program will enhance the weight loss results as it’s a controlled calorie program.
The Bottom-line. Intermittent Fasting for Men and Women.
Clearly, intermittent fasting is here to stay. It can give men who also exercise a six-pack in a shorter time than they could ever imagine. It can help the obese lose their excess weight faster than they thought was possible and it can be hugely beneficial to women when done correctly.
However, women must be careful when they take on periodic intermittent fasting and consult a medical professional before undertaking any change in diet plans or exercise regime.
Rather than long-term intermittent fasting, women may benefit more from a 16 or 24-hour full fast twice a week, or 12-16 hours twice or thrice a week. It is also not recommended for diabetics, those underweight, those who snack from time to time, and those who suffer from eating disorders.
Remember – every new day is a new chance to change your life.