What Is Intermittent Fasting Good For?
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is a relatively new term in the list of diets. But the principle is actually very old. Scientists were already investigating this in 1943, and with surprising results.
Results that still apply today.
The name says it all:
It is a type of fasting at set times. So don’t eat for a while, or very little. In this article you can read about the benefits that you can achieve with this and whether it might actually work to lose excess kilos.
What effect does Intermittent Fasting have on your body?
A lot of research has already been done into the effects of Intermittent Fasting on the body. These studies were mainly done with the help of animals. It may sound cruel, but I think the animals do not suffer much from such a diet. This showed very clearly that the cells of the animals with a lower intake of calories can offer better resistance to oxidative and thermal stress.
These two are both very harmful processes in the body. The lower intake of calories can result from eating or fasting less every day.
The body cells thus become more resistant to harmful processes in the body.
But how does that work?
During the period that fewer calories are consumed, certain things in your body change on both a biochemical and molecular level. Among other things, the level of vitamin E, enzymes that counteract oxidation, certain proteins that offer protection and the enzyme Q10 is greatly increased.
All these elements play an important role in preventing inflammation and oxidation in your body.
Variants of Intermittent Fasting
This one of the most popular intermittent fasting variant
Intermittent Fasting, regularly planning days when you eat little or no food, of course, has many variants.
Let’s list the most commonly used variants:
Do not eat 6 hours a day
With this variant, you eat nothing, daily between certain times. You can do this between 12 a.m. and 6 p.m. or from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can organize this as you wish, as long as it is 6 consecutive hours.
Eat 5 hours a day
This variant is based on the results of research by Bert Herring, an American dietary authority. He states that it is better to have the opportunity to eat every day for 5 hours.
According to Herring, this should be in the evening, for example between 5 and 10 a.m.
He bases this on the fact that the primeval people did not eat during the day because they were hunting. Only in the evening, when they were home again, could they eat again.
Eat once a day
If you use this variant, you only eat one meal per 24 hours.
So you are fasting every day.
You can, of course, drink the rest of the day, such as herbal teas and/or water
Partly fast on set days
During one or more days a week, you fast, but not completely.
You only limit your calorie intake.
A good example of this is drinking smoothies on these fast days.
5 days of food / 2 days of fasting
This variant is also called the 5/2 diet.
When applying this, 2 full days fast each week. These two days must be consecutive.
It is not that you are not allowed to eat anything, because the intention is to keep the intake of calories very low:
600 calories for men and 500 calories for women.
During the other 5 days, you are completely free, so you can eat whatever you want.
Fasting and eating alternately
The latter is the most widely used variant.
The days are interspersed with eating and fasting. For some, it is a bit difficult to maintain because of the planning of the days.
The week has an odd number of days, so the fast days shift every week.
So you can also choose 3 fixed days per week, for example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That way you have the weekend “free” and you have your fast days on fixed days of the week.
The benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting can be a very effective way to keep your body healthy and also to lose some extra pounds. Many studies have since been conducted into the effects and benefits of Intermittent Fasting. The most important benefits of this are, according to the studies, the following facts:
- Intermittent Fasting could, according to the studies, reduce the development of serious diseases and certain forms of cancer. Brain disorders, cardiovascular diseases, prostate cancer, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer, in particular, would benefit from this. This has all been demonstrated by the many animal tests that have been carried out. Whether this can also have the same effect in humans is plausible, but not yet scientifically proven. Further research needs to be done on this. But the researchers who did the tests on animals are very hopeful about this.
- Intermittent Fasting also seems to have a good effect on your ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is your “good” cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol is your “bad” cholesterol. It is important that the amounts of both are in good balance, that is, as little LDL cholesterol as possible. I would like to point out that if you have been given cholesterol-lowering medication by the doctor, you must be careful with Intermittent Fasting. Discuss this with your doctor, so that you can eventually stop taking the medication in the long term, or at least reduce it, using Intermittent Fasting.
- It has been known for years that insulin sensitivity has a strong influence on the production of growth hormones. Intermittent Fasting will indeed make you more sensitive to insulin, which will increase the production of growth hormones. The reverse also applies: As soon as you have more signs of insulin resistance, the growth hormone production becomes lower. If, in addition to the Intermittent Fasting, you also start to move more, the growth of the muscles will also increase. And we all know by now that good muscles will speed up your metabolism. Not only when you exercise, but also when you do nothing at all. And an acceleration of metabolism will clearly contribute to the loss of weight.
- There is a lot of sugar in today’s diet. Your body will adapt to this, making your body a true “sugar burning factory”. Your body is constantly burning and processing the sugars offered, far too much. As a result, your body no longer knows how to burn real fat at some point, belly fat. And we actually want that for a healthy state of your body and to lose pounds. By applying Intermittent Fasting every day, you wake up your body as it were. This makes your body more alert and will start burning fat again.
Eat, Fast & Live Longer
Michael Mosley, a diet guru, is regularly in the news because he personally tries everything. In the following documentary, he has set one goal: He wants to live longer with a younger body. He also wants to remove some excess kilos. With the help of Intermittent Fasting, he thinks he has found the solution: So eating and fasting, while still enjoying food.
In the documentary, you will see how he tests this. The results have changed his entire life.
Intermittent Fasting can be an important tool to get and keep your body healthy and to lose weight. But never lose sight of the fact that the days on which you can eat “everything” should of course not be “eating days”. It is precisely on those days that it is important to eat healthy and varied food as much as possible. If you do not do this, you will completely destroy everything that you have built up.
In addition, it is also important to exercise more.
By moving and exercising, the effect of muscle building through Intermittent Fasting is even stronger, making it easier to lose weight.
After all, muscles not only use energy when you are exercising, but also when you are sleeping or sitting.
Did you know that research shows that 1 in 3 just gains from a diet instead of losing weight? (source)
Discover how you lose several kilos per week with tasty and easy to make slimming recipes!
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