Why Intermittent Fasting is Beneficial to Your Health
You’ve undoubtedly heard of intermittent fasting and probably know someone who undertakes the practice of restricting the times or even days on which they eat. It might sound unbelievable, but there are many health benefits to simply only eating between specific hours each day. Intermittent fasting can be beneficial to both your body and mind if done right. Let’s have a quick look at what intermittent fasting is and some of the associated health benefits.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting, at the most basic level, is restricting yourself to only eating at certain times of the day and fasting during all the other times. A common intermittent fasting schedule is to only eat for 8 hours a day, usually between about 12pm and 8pm, and not consume any calories outside of this window. Generally, during the fasting periods you’re permitted to drink only water, tea and black coffee. Some more experienced people who practice intermittent fasting might shorten the eating window or even fast for entire days during a 7-day cycle.
Intermittent fasting is broken down into fasting stages and understanding them can help you psychologically prepare for intermittent fasting and how your body will react and how you’ll feel during the first few days so you don’t become discouraged and want to give up.
It Can Help with Weight Loss
By restricting eating times, your body undergoes some physiological changes and some changes in the functions of your hormones and cells.
For weight loss, you start to use your stored body fat for energy while you’re fasting which burns this body fat. You could also experience a drop in insulin levels which can also contribute to fat loss. While all this fat burning is happening, your body uses the opportunity to repair damaged cells and remove waste material from cells. These fundamental cell changes are said to be beneficial to more than just weight loss, according to some studies.
Of course, because you’re eating less often, you’re also likely consuming less calories and that can lead to weight loss too.
It Can Lower Your Disease Risk Markers
With the ever-increasing number of people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes, tools to decrease your chances of suffering from this disease are important. Intermittent fasting has been shown to help decrease the risk markers of type 2 diabetes because it lowers blood sugar levels. One study demonstrated a decrease in blood sugar of up to 6% in pre-diabetes cases simply by using intermittent fasting. It is always a good idea to monitor your blood sugar when you make changes to your diet, however, to make sure that it’s helping or having a positive effect on you since everybody is different.
Intermittent fasting can be difficult and might not suit everybody, but it is well worth a try if you’re looking for a way to improve your general health without a massive time or financial investment. There’s a treasure trove of information and support available online, so give it a go.