Intermittent fasting is a word that is very popular among health and fitness fanatics. It is an ancient technique, which is evident throughout the human history. Not merely a practice, intermittent fasting is a habit, which many of us have forgotten.
The latest trend of healthy choices and lifestyle has re-emerged the concept of intermittent fasting. People are now discovering more and more about it. Telling you the truth, intermittent fasting has lots of benefits for health, if you do it in the right way.
Some of the significant health benefits of intermittent fasting are weight loss, energetic boost, type 2 diabetes reversals and control over many other health conditions. The monetarily benefit of intermittent fasting is that it will save your time and money both.
Want to know how intermittent fasting works? This article is beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting. Let’s start with understanding what is intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting – What should you know?
Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting in which you practice eating in a particular way. Intermittent fasting is not starvation in which you deprive your body of food. It is a controlled way of eating for health, spiritual benefits, and other reasons.
There are so many food choices available but what you eat depends on you. It can be done for an extended period or a day only. Intermittent fasting is a selection and timing of eating that you chose. You can start at any time to end anytime.
There is no standard duration set for it. There is some time when you are eating but these hours are limited. All the other others excluding this times are your fasting time.
How does intermittent fasting work for you?
Intermittent fasting is easy. It is a particular type of fasting, which allows the body to burn the extra body fat. You must know that fasting has no health disadvantages as the humans have been shown to fast historically.
There are no detrimental health effects of fasting. Body fat is just energy that is stored inside the body. If you stop eating more, this stored energy will be utilized. So the fat cells will be taken up for energy, causing you several health benefits, i.e., weight loss.
The whole concept of healthy life lies in the balance. The balance between good and bad also applies when it comes to food choices. Fasting just makes the dietary choices to turn upside down. For a few hours of the day you are eating, when you aren’t eating you are fasting.
Let’s make it simpler by understanding the science behind food breakdown and calorie burning.
When we eat anything, the food after ingestion is ready to be used for energy. Some of this energy is immediately used to perform the body functions. But some of it is stored to be used later. The key hormone involved in this energy storage is insulin.
The levels of insulin rise when we are eating. It follows two mechanisms. Glycogens that are long-chained sugars are stored in the liver.
The liver is one of the visceral body organs, and the storage capacity of the liver is limited. Once this limit is reached the liver turns this extra glucose into fat. This whole process is a complete pathway, which is called De-Novo Lipogenesis. The literal meaning of this term is to make fat from new.
This new fat that is stored in the liver. But a majority of it is exported to other body parts, which deposit fat. There is no limit on fat that is created as new fat. So the food stored in the body has two systems to follow.
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One system is of limited storage space in the form of glycogen. The second system is more complicated, but the storage space is unlimited that is spread throughout the body.
This process of fat cell conversion goes to reverse when we aren’t eating. The levels of insulin drop, and it signals the body to burn the stored energy, as there is no food supply. The glucose level of the blood fall and the body take up glucose from the stored fat to be used. As glycogen is the most commonly available energy source, breaking it down releases energy for other cells. It provides energy for 24-36 hours but after that time the body starts to break fat cells for energy.
It explains that the human body has two states. One is the full state in which you have eaten food and insulin levels are high. Second is fasting state in which insulin levels are low. So either way, if you are storing energy in the form of fat or burning it, one of them is always activated. These two process if balanced, the net weight gain will be ZERO.
Imagine it working for your body. If you start eating from the time when you get up after sleeping in the morning till you go to bed, the body is always in the state of high insulin level. In this time, you will gain weight because you are not giving any time to your body for burning fat.
To lose weight, increase the time of fasting and reduce the time of eating. It means that you are eating for less time but giving plenty of the time for the body to burn it. Fasting will allow the body to use all the fat that is stored in the body, without the requirement of fresh food intake.
Remember that there is no harm in fasting if you follow it in a right way. Human bodies are meant to burn fat to maintain a healthy level of weight. Being overweight is a matter of lifestyle and food choices, and its nothing like “nature wants you to be this way.”
Eating frequently will make your insulin levels high all the times, leaving less time for the body to burn the fat. You will only be storing fat and not burning it anytime. If there is no balance between your eating and fasting routine, the result is increased weight, which is a problem of many young adults.
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What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Now that you understand how the human body works to maintain weight, fasting is one of the best ways to control it. Not just the weight loss, benefits of intermittent fasting are so many.
Historically, fasting period was considered detoxification or cleansing period, which is based on the same idea as weight loss. When you ‘re not eating food for a specific period, it clears the body from toxins and rejuvenates it. More benefits of intermittent fasting are as follows.
- It improves mental clarity.
- It enhances concentration.
- It maintains a healthy weight.
- It lowers the blood insulin levels.
- It is helpful against type-2 diabetes.
- It increases your energy.
- It speeds up fat burning.
- It increases the human growth hormone.
- It reduces the cholesterol.
- It reduces internal inflammation.
- It reduces the risks of disease.
- It prolongs life.
Fasting offers benefits that are unique. Most of the other weight loss plans don’t provide these benefits that make intermitted fasting a better way to lose weight. Dieting complicates life; you are confused between food choices, recipes, calorie count, managing the food budget and what not.
Fasting is more straightforward, simpler and easy on the budget. There are no specific ingredients, portion control, calorie count and restriction of calories. There are many variable options available. By far no other weight loss mechanism is powerful enough to lower insulin and reduce body weight at a time.
There are many ways that you can try, short-term fasting, long-term fasting and interval fasting. Before you make up your mind explore all the possible ways to do intermittent fasting.