Fasting is not new in diet and nutrition. It has existed throughout the human history. It is a potentially powerful habit and people are now re-discovering the dietary intervention. Intermittent fasting can provide various health benefits if done right.
Concept of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting, when simply stated, is cycling between periods of fasting and eating. It’s currently a very popular method to lose weight and improve health. Intermittent fasting is not starvation, as some of the people might build a misunderstanding.
There is a remarkable difference between fasting and starvation and that is control. Starvation is the absence of food for prolonged period of time which can lead to suffering and death. Fasting is rather voluntary withholding of food for various reasons which is usually done for health related or spiritual reasons.
Duration for Fasting
There is no fixed standard duration of fasting as it is mostly voluntarily done. Anytime when you’re not eating, then what you’re doing is basically intermittent fasting. For example, you may fast between dinner and breakfast the next day. This is a period of approximately 12-14 hours. In that sense, intermittent fasting can be considered a part of everyday life.
You can start the fasting when you feel like. And similarly, you can end it whenever you feel like. It comes down to personal preference. But irrespective of that, it has numerous health benefits.
1. Improving the functions of cells, genes and hormones
When you fast, insulin levels drop and human growth hormone increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes. And the cells also change which genes they express.
2. Weight loss and cutting belly fat
It makes you eat fewer meals. Hence, it helps in reducing weight. It also enhances the breakdown of body fat and eases the use of energy. As a result, the metabolic rate increases and helps in burning even more calories.
3. Lowering the risk of Type-2 Diabetes
Intermittent fasting fasting shows major results regarding resistance to insulin. And this leads to impressive decrease in blood sugar levels. According to studies, blood sugar reduces by 3-6% and insulin level drops by 20-31%.
This is how Intermittent fasting helps in lowering the risk of Type-2 Diabetes
4. Reducing oxidative stress and inflammation
Oxidative stress leads to premature ageing and chronic health issues. This happens majorly because free radicals react with important molecules proteins and DNA. This leads to damage and destruction of these important molecules.
Several studies depict that it helps in resisting oxidative stress. It also helps the body in combating inflammation, which can cause several diseases.
There are countless benefits of this wonderful fasting technique and it’s difficult to list them all down. It is a healthy practice. It is due to all the positive effects, that it has survived even after thousands of years.
If you want to read about more benefits, check out this post on intermittent fasting.
Also, if you have interests in reading out about more diets, check out our article on ketogenic diets.