What is Intermittent Fasting?
With all the diet info going around social media and the internet you may be wondering, is there a diet that I can eat whatever I want and still lose weight? Seems like a dream come true, right? But in fact there something you can do called intermittent fasting, which has more benefits than just losing weight. Intermittent fasting was a concept used by our ancestors when food was scarce on the earth, even fasting itself is used in some major religions. The 16/8 intermittent fasting concept restricts your caloric intake to about a 4-8 hour window of eating during the day. Which normally means you are skipping breakfast and not eating anything after dinner. The concept behind this is that by fasting your allowing your body to heal, to regulate your blood sugar and to keep your heart healthy.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Promotes Weight loss
Intermittent fasting can be preferred over other diets because you don’t have to count your calories or carb intake. Your uses fat for fuel instead of glucose that allowing for weight loss to happen at a faster rate.
Keeps Your Heart Healthy
IMF has been shown to help lower your risk of heart disease. “In one study, fasting was shown to influence several components of heart health. It increased good HDL cholesterol and decreased both bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.”
Protects Your Brain
IMF can have many benefits that help to protect your brain, your memory and your cognitive function. “Another animal study found that intermittent fasting helped protect the brains of mice by influencing certain proteins involved in brain aging.”
Improves Blood Sugar
Intermittent fasting helps to keep your blood sugar regulated, it prevents spikes and crashes and ultimately helps you to lose weight decrease your calorie intake.
Inflammation in the body can be common if you aren’t taking care of your body correctly. One study proved that fasting for a longer period of time at night helped to decrease inflammation markers.
Leptin is a hormone in the body that tells you when you are full and when to stop eating, if there is too much leptin in the body, than you become leptin resistance, which makes it harder for your body to know when you are done eating. Your leptin levels become lower at night during fasting, leading to less hunger and more weight loss.
When it comes to IMF it doesn’t mean that you can binge on fast food, and processed sugary food during that 4-8 hour window of eating. During that eating period you should feed your body with plenty of healthy fats and proteins along with vegetables, and even some carbs that will give you energy for that 16 hour window that you’ll be fasting for. As you can see IMF can have many benefits on our bodies, it isn’t a magical solution to all our weight loss problems but it can help us as we strive to live a healthy lifestyle.