Intermittent fasting has fast become a popular topic in the health and wellness space.
And rightly so.
In fact, many celebrities today talk about intermittent fasting and its incredible effects.
But what exactly is it?
Let's dig right in!
Intermittent fasting is a method of eating that substitutes periods of eating with periods of fasting.
Unlike a diet plan, It doesn't necessarily dictate which foods you should eat or which meals you must give up. Instead, intermittent fasting prioritizes on when you should eat and when to let your body's digestive system rest.
And it works! And scientific evidence proves it has incredible health benefits, as well.
In fact, intermittent fasting is actually nothing new. In the past, our prehistoric predecessors used intermittent fasting when hunting and gathering food. Intermittent fasting has also long been part of religious customs and medical treatments.
What is intermittent fasting?
With intermittent fasting, you are only permitted allowed to eat only during specific times in the day. By fasting for certain periods during the day, you can help your body burn a tremendous amount of fat.
The reason is, going without food for a couple of hours a day will allow your body to do what it needs, which is to rejuvenate and repair itself.
One of the biggest advantages of intermittent fasting is its huge effect on weight loss.
It should make complete sense! Since you're not going to be depriving yourself of food for long periods of time, you won't feel so starved to the point you'll start craving those unhealthy treats.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
The benefits of intermittent fasting are undeniable. To date, intermittent fasting remains one of the best ways to restore balance in the body.
Scientists have proved that fasting accelerates stem cell production, and this process speeds up the rate at which our body heals itself.
Additionally, intermittent fasting has also shown it can be useful in treating and preventing some medical conditions, including diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic conditions.
If you're struggling to shed excess weight, intermittent fasting is a simple and yet efficient technique that can help you improve your health without any drastic changes to your lifestyle.
Intermittent fasting also helps to reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels by as much as 16 percent in diabetic patients.
Intermittent fasting also reduces the health risks that come with metabolic conditions and type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent fasting also helps to reduce digestive stress and increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy for cancer patients.
Unfortunately, you should note that there's no one-size-fits-all plan for intermittent fasting.
For some people, intermittent fasting can show results in as early as a few weeks, while in some others, it can take as long as a few months.
Just like eating, you should fast with moderation. You don't have to starve yourself many times a week in order not to lose out on essential nutrients.
Intermittent fasting is not appropriate for everyone, especially for people with specific conditions like pregnancy.
What does intermittent fasting do to the body?
When you fast, several hormonal, cellular, and gene processes happen in your body. Many of these changes are responsible for the health benefits of intermittent fasting.
Most of these processes include:
Changes in insulin levels: When you don't eat for an extended period, your insulin level drops tremendously, which can accelerate fat burning.
Cellular repair: Your body induces various cellular repair processes throughout the body.
For example, when you don't eat for a while, your body increases the production of stem cells, which helps the body repair and rejuvenate itself.
Removal of waste material: intermittent fasting also aids in removing waste material from cells.
When you don't eat for a long period of time, the cells in the body automatically start a cellular "waste removal" process called autophagy.
The autophagy process involves the cells breaking down and metabolizing unwanted and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time.
Increased autophagy in the body serves as a preventive measure against several diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
Health benefits of Intermittent fasting
Benefit 1: Increased energy levels
Just like caffeine, intermittent fasting increases energy levels and makes you more alert.
This is because, after eating, the body needs a substantial amount of energy to digest food.
The more you eat, the longer it takes your body to digest the food, and the more energy your body consumes.
More so, the type of foods you eat also determines the amount of energy your digestive system will require to digest it completely. For example, your body can digest fresh fruit and vegetables in as little as 20 minutes.
On the other hand, protein, bread, and other processed foods take longer in the digestive tract. In fact, meat can stay in your system for up to 50 hours.
During that time, your body undergoes an energy-consuming digestion process. Intermittent fasting allows ample time for your system to recover before taking in another load of food and provides the unspent energy for your day-to-day activities.
Benefit 2: Helps with weight management
If you have been struggling with obesity or weight loss, it's high time you give intermittent fasting a chance.
The reason is, in an overweight body, blood has to travel an extra 5000 miles through blood vessels. To atone for the extra work, your heart has to pump over time, your breathing speeds up, and you use more energy.
By practicing intermittent fasting, your body is trained to eat only what it needs to function optimally. In the long run, fasting can help you lose weight and prevent weight gain.
Benefit 3: No more food cravings
It isn't rocket science! The less you eat, the more you appreciate food.
You remember the sweet feeling you experienced when you tasted your favorite chocolate cake? Of course, you do. The brain saves the sweet experience, so it makes you crave it again. So when you over consume treats, you always want more. Through intermittent fasting, you'll become more aware/mindful about when and what you eat, which can help you reduce cravings. With a bit of discipline, you can get rid of cravings that come every time you open the fridge.
Benefit 4: Increased body perception
Intermittent fasting helps you train your body to track digestion, mood, and energy levels.
How to get started on your intermittent fasting
If you've been looking to start your intermittent fasting journey, the time is now. No doubt, intermittent fasting can help you improve your life.
What's more? It's super easy to get started.
How to get started on your intermittent fasting journey
Step 1: The first step is limiting the hours of the day when you eat to 8 hours per day.
If you want the best effect, I advise you to start early in the day, like 10 am to 6 pm.
However, you can experiment before you decide the type of schedule you will follow.
Step 2: Make sure you choose quality food when you have to eat.
Another Alternative to intermittent fasting
Asides from intermittent fasting, another technique you can use to reassess your diet and reduce weight is detoxifying.
Detoxifying is a simple and effective way to remove toxins from your body, improve your overall health and promote weight loss.
To achieve optimum results from intermittent fasting, you can try fasting along with a detox.
One of the best detoxifiers you should definitely have in your kitchen is Chandanni's liver detox.
What's more? This detox works along with toxins while promoting your health.
What's more? You can see the results in as little as 14 days.
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