5 Surprising Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting Besides Weight Loss
With the help of technology, a lot of things are machine-made nowadays. That left people with less and less workload that leads to laziness due to the loss of manual activities. In order to keep up the pace and outrun obesity because of it, getting healthy and getting fit is all the rave. New methods of dieting plans are created that are said to help people lose weight and get healthy.
However, not all newly developed methods of weight loss are deemed successful.
With all this hype about future approaches for weight loss, we know little to nothing about successful weight loss methods that had been practiced many years ago. They were discovered and used in ancient times for another reason but now they are revived with the purpose of weight loss for today’s generation.
Throughout history, our ancestors rely on their environment to be able to eat. There will always be a time when scarcity of food occurs. Therefore, in order to preserve what is left of their food, they fast and eat little from their reserve until they can get new supplies.
It is normal for your body to initiate a fast whenever you feel sick due to lack of appetite. However, other people perform fasting because of their religion. A research conducted by Trepanowski et al. shows that they garnered favorable results about the health of people engaging in their religious fasting.
Other than that, fasting is done every day since then and now. Even you do intermittent fasting every time without knowing it. The perfect example of everyday fasting? Sleeping.
How Does It Work?
Fasting is used years ago to control eating from their dwindling food supply. In contrast from today, intermittent fasting is used to control the time when to eat from the ever-growing food supply. It is technically not a diet, though, because it doesn’t involve any specific food to eat.
If you don’t eat for 10–16 hours, your body will go to its fat stores for energy, and fatty acids called ketones will be released into the bloodstream. Ketones are the result of the body burning fat for energy or fuel.
Furthermore, intermittent fasting can be done in various ways but here are some popular methods:
Eat-Stop-Eat: A 24-hour fasting that happens once or twice a week. Since sleeping hours is counted as fasting hours, this method can be done by skipping lunch or dinner to make it more bearable. During eating of feasting time, eat regular-sized meals.
The 5:2: This diet is like a 24-hour fast but it allows light eating. It consists of two non-consecutive days in a week to eat only 500-600 calories in a day and eat normally for the rest of the week.
16/8 Method: This is the most popular and easiest intermittent fasting variety among the three. It usually involves a 16 hour fast and 8 hours of eating normal-sized meals. For example, skipping breakfast after your fast from sleeping (assuming you’ve eaten at 8 pm) and eating normally at 12 pm until 8 pm again. Then repeat. Simple, fast and easy to follow.
What Does It Offer?
- It can help you lose weight
Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight by affecting three major weight loss hormones such as Insulin, Human Growth Hormone and Nopinephrine. Because of these, they are also altering how your body normally works while dealing with food intake. It reduces insulin in the body which makes it easier to burn down fat. Then, it increases the human growth hormone and the norepinephrine hormone which speeds up fat burning and muscle gain.
- It helps people with epilepsy
Ketogenic diet(KD) has been used for controlling epilepsy in the past, however, the patients had difficulty in adhering to the strict high-fat, medium protein, low-carb diet. Despite that, they gained encouraging results while supporting KD with intermittent fasting to affected patients.
- It aids in detoxifying the body
Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are man-made organic chemicals that can be toxic to the human body. They can cause a lot of adverse effects on the human health like cancer. A recent study from Skidmore College found that fasting can detoxify and cleanse the body from PCBs by burning and shedding fat that possibly stores PCBs from contaminated food or air.
- It helps fight diabetes and improve health
A research (Aly, 2014) and study (Brown et al. 2013) suggests that intermittent fasting may result in the prevention of progression of type 2 diabetes, increase in longevity, and decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- It can help fight against cancer
A 2016 study (Brandhorst et al.), an article from Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and a research (Zhigang Lu et al.) from UT Southwestern Medical Center stated that fasting can help fight cancer alongside chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Fasting and calorie restriction may slow or even stop the progression of cancer, kill cancer cells and improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy on patients.
What To Look Out For:
Although intermittent fasting can have a lot of benefits it has its fair share of disadvantages. An article revealed the possible negative effects of intermittent fasting to people.
Over-reliance on coffee. In order to stave off hunger, intermittent dieters turn to coffee. However, drinking coffee during every fast increases the level of caffeine in the body which can cause disruptions in sleep. Sleep is important whenever you are losing weight and if you lack sleep you are easily subjected to anxiety, depression, and stress.
Elevation of Cortisol. Cortisol is one of the hormones that affect your ability to gain and lose weight. Intermittent fasting makes you rely on coffee and affects your sleep, which can result in stress. Triggered by stress, cortisol increases and makes you crave for sugary and fatty foods which can lead to weight gain.
Negatively affects exercise performance. In a 2012 research (Chaouachit et al.), fasting negatively impacts the performance of some athletes. Moreover, it is found to result in higher perceived exertion and fatigued felt. However, as of today, no concrete research is established due to the different factors that are involved while doing the research.
Intermittent fasting is not only used to lose weight. It can also offer you various benefits that you can utilize in order to live a long and healthy life. However, all of these methods are not going to be effective as long as you don’t have good thinking and positivity on your side.
Having a positive mental attitude in aiming for a better you is one of the most important keys to a successful weight loss and healthy exercise regimen.
Despite all of that, no diet and weight loss method are perfect. It may or may not work for everybody. The best thing you can do is check with your doctor if it’s the right diet for you. Find the option that works best and fits your lifestyle before committing to it for a better and healthier you.
Author’s Bio: An editor at scoopfed.com, Kristine loves reading and writing. If she is not reading or writing, she draws or plays video games. She mostly spends time jogging and running with her pets or with a book in hand.