Intermittent Fasting

girl smiling and eating her oatmeal

If you have trouble sticking with a strict diet and are looking for something that doesn’t require a ton of planning, intermittent fasting might be just for you. Over the last couple of years, research has shown that intermittent fasting will not only help you lose weight but also has many other important benefits. If you are not familiar with the term, intermittent fasting involves alternating between times of eating and times of fasting. The reason it is so effective is because during periods of fasting, the cells in the body shift from using glucose as their source of energy to using the body’s stored fat as energy. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the benefits of intermittent fasting and some ways that you can try this for yourself.

Here are the top benefits to intermittent fasting:

1. Weight Loss

Body fat is your body’s way of storing energy and during periods of fasting, your body has to change things up in order to access the stored energy. Some of those changes include being lower insulin levels which help facilitate the fat burning process and the breaking down of body fat into free fatty acids which can be burned for energy. This will result in weight loss. In particular, it helps to burn belly fat, which is the most harmful type of fat. Intermittent fasting can help increase your metabolic rate by 3-14{e1d1da273b635f16417ba655440684ad637b1b2ba84c62680fba63d76bda128b}, which also helps to preserve muscle.

2. Improve Heart Health

While researchers have not been able to pinpoint an exact reason why, it is believed that fasting and better heart health are linked to the way that your body metabolizes cholesterol and sugar. Regular fasting has been shown to decrease the “bad” cholesterol in the body and improve how fast sugar is metabolized. Additionally, it has also been shown to improve blood pressure and heart rate.

3. Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Intermittent fasting encourages the body to make repairs to damage without entering into starvation mode and evidence shows that it helps to improve insulin sensitivity, which is great news for people with Type 2 Diabetes or are prediabetic. Since intermittent fasting also helps with weight loss, this will in turn help with Type 2 Diabetes.

4. Improve Brain Health

One study shows that intermittent fasting can help improve motor coordination, improve healthy aging of the brain and improve the brain’s ability to learn and retain information (referred to as synaptic plasticity). Not only that, it can even help in recovery after a stroke or a traumatic brain injury and improve the quality of life for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. The science behind it is pretty easy for anyone to understand. Fasting challenges your body’s cells in a way that is safe and controlled and as a result, they become stronger and more efficient.

While there are a few different ways to try intermittent fasting, here are 3 of the most popular:

1. The 16/8 method:

This method involves eating during a 8 hour window of the day and fasting during 16 hours of the day. For example: Only eat between the hours of 11 am-7 pm or noon-8 pm every day.

2. Eat-Stop-Eat:

This method involves doing one or two 24 hour fasts each week. It is important to make sure that no two fasting days should be consecutive.

3. The 5:2 Diet:

This method involves eating only about 500-600 calories a day on two days of the week, but eating normally the other days of the week. This type of fast has been shown to be the most beneficial for those with Type 2 Diabetes. In order to make the most of your calories on fasting days, stick with low calorie vegetables such as celery or bell peppers, eggs or grilled chicken with no skin.

It is important to realize that in order for intermittent fasting to work, you shouldn’t overindulge in times of non-fasting. After going through of a fasting period, it can be tempting to eat whatever you want but you should still be mindful to stick to unprocessed, whole foods. It is also important to check with your doctor before starting any type of fast. If you decide intermittent fasting is right for you, you will simplify your lifestyle and reap a wide range of benefits.


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Gunnars, Kris. “10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting”. Healthline. 16 August 2016. Accessed 31 August 2017.

Gunnars, Kris. “How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight.” Healthline. 4 June 2017.

Hensrud, Donald. “Fasting diet: Can it improve my heart health?” Mayo Clinic. 3 October 2014. Accessed 31 August 2017.

Kirkpatrick, Kristin. “Intermittent Fasting Has Benefits Beyond Weight Loss”. Cleveland Clinic. 23 October 2015. Accessed 31 August 2017.

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