Intermittent fasting has gained quite a bit of popularity in recent years, but will it serve as a useful tool in our dieting journey? Or is it just another fluke? If we partake in this discipline, is it worth feeling starved in order to reap the benefits of its practice?
One of the core principles in intermittent fasting is an individual’s timing pattern of food consumption throughout the day. In other words, it matters WHEN you eat more than WHAT you eat.
One of the most common fasting techniques used is the 16-hour fast. You consume no calorie surplus of any kind for those 16 hours, but are allowed to drink water and calorie free beverages. The theory is that because our ancestors were hunter gatherers, often experiencing days long periods of starvation before killing an animal for consumption, we are engineered for this type of diet timing.
I see some validity in this theory, as I have personally experienced a boost in brain performance over the course of a fasting period. Of course there is a point of diminishing returns where you are so hungry that it takes every amount of willpower you have to stop from going on an eating rampage, devouring everything in sight. This mostly happens when you get close to the end of your fasting period, whether it be 16 hours or 48 hours. At this point all your brain cares about is your next meal, wherever you can get your hands on it.
However you decide to participate, and no matter the time pattern you choose to use, we are mostly concerned with the benefits.
According to an article by healthline.comSource which is backed up and referenced by scientific peer reviewed articles;
Elevated levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH): This can be beneficial in fat loss as well as muscle gain.
Insulin Sensitivity Improves: This causes ones levels of insulin to drop dramatically, which makes stored body fat more accessible for use
Cellular Repair Initiation: Without all absorption work to worry about when you are constantly consuming food, your cells become freed up to work harder at repair work. An example is autophagy, where cells digest and remove dysfunctional proteins that build up within cells.
Reduction In Inflammation: Less intestinal aggravation by food sources and food breakdown means less inflammation
Heart Health: A reduction in LDL aka “bad cholesterol”, inflammatory markers, and blood triglycerides all reduce the risk of heart disease.
Brain Health: Elevated brain hormone BDNF has been linked to the growth of new nerve cells, and may help prevent alzheimer’s disease.
Looks good to me. I’m game, are you?
Thank you to all the readers out there who took the time to stop by, I appreciate you.
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*None of my advice replaces the council or consent of a physician or professional trainer. Do your research to diet and exercise at your own risk. Best of luck in your journey! *