Intermittent fasting is when you skip eating for a specific period on specific days every week. It’s easy to follow, but you can also eat whatever you want after an 8hour break. Intermittent fasting has unlimited benefits.
This trendy diet is famous for its weight loss and longevity benefits. Current studies on intermittent fasting are limited in size – involve less than 50 people. Due to the lack of participants, the results are hard to generalize.
There is a lack of large randomized control trials, so most existing research is done on mice. Fortunately, the studies on small groups of people and those done are mice pretty promising. Firstly, weight loss results from fasting for 8 hours a day on average is 0.5 to 1.8 pounds.
Besides, some studies show that intermittent fasting improves insulin resistance. In the latest research, it is also linked with improved cholesterol and blood pressure level and decreased lower body fat. The research participants lost about two pounds of fat in one month of intermittent fasting.
The incredible part of the research happens without calorie restriction. Researchers thought people would take few calories after 16 hours of fasting in a day. But to their surprise, they eat the same amount of food as they usually did, even for a shorter period.
There are a few things to note: the benefits are mainly due to the circadian rhythms. Certain mechanisms in our body perform specific functions in specific parts of the day. It includes the melatonin production that is released in the late to make you sleepy.
In addition, insulin moves the glucose out of the blood while eating. It’s efficient in the morning and less in the evening. If you eat at night, you will have a high glucose level and insulin in the blood. That can result in insulin resistance.
In intermittent fasting, the 16-hour window starts in the evening and continues overnight; it decreases your glucose and insulin. Besides, when you reduce the calories for a few hours and stay that way for a few days a week, you give your liver rest. Your liver processes everything that goes down your throat, and in that way, you are giving it a rest.
Want to give it a shot? But make sure to consult a registered dietitian or your doctor before making any change to your diet plan. You may also want to consider which intermittent fasting type is ideal for you.
The two ideal methods are selecting two specific days to limit calories to around 500 calories or picking a window for avoiding food every day. The first one is a little tough; people often prefer the first situation. It’s a 16-hour fast, but it can also be a 12 to 14.
Remember that fasting isn’t for everyone; if you are growing, you are under 18, have an eating disorder, are pregnant, on certain medications, or have any chronic disease like diabetes. Always consult your doctor.