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Health Benefits of Doing Intermittent Fasting

Written by on August 19, 2020 in Diet, Weight Loss, Obesity with 0 Comments

If you want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, lately, you may have heard about intermittent fasting. This refers to the 6:18 timeframe in every 24 hours. This means that within a 6-hour timeframe, you’ll be able to eat. But during the remaining hours, you fast. To make it more manageable to their dietary needs and even their lifestyle, some also do the 8:16 timeframe.

Since it's now quite popular, there are many health benefits that many people discover with this diet method. For one, the body experiences a metabolic switch–from glucose-based to ketone-based energy. This occurs during the fasting period whereby your body is consuming more stored energy since you aren't taking meals.

Apart from losing weight, some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  1. Reduces Inflammation Levels

Those who observe the Ramadan fasting show positive results of lowering inflammation during this period. This was evident in their body weight, body fat, and inflammatory markers.

During the Ramadan, participants fast from sunrise and sunset and eat only overnight. This timeframe is similar to what you can do with intermittent fasting. Hence, it's expected that you can enjoy the same effects, especially in regard to the reduction of the body's inflammation levels.

When the body's inflammation levels are lowered, it can also help lower cholesterol levels. Especially when combined with consistent exercise, fasting can reduce the triglycerides level of the body or the fats in the blood.

  1. Protects The Organs From Diseases

Protecting your organs is the key to living a longer life. Once your organs no longer function as well as they used to, this can often mean the onset of many diseases that can be fatal.

Intermittent fasting can protect the organs from many diseases, including:

  • Type 2 Diabetes: This refers to the type of diabetes where the body isn't able to produce enough insulin or the body can't efficiently react to insulin. This means glucose stays in your blood, rather than being used for energy.
  • Heart Disease: This broad term encompasses all forms of heart disease that can be life-threatening if left alone to progress.
  • Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases: This is a general term that’s used to refer to all of the diseases that affect the neurons of the brain. These can often lead to the death of certain nerve cells that affects both movement and mental functioning.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: These are diseases that are characterized by chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. When inflammation is prolonged, damage in this area can occur.
  1. Can Slow Down Aging

The aging process is sped up when the body has high levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. Fortunately, intermittent fasting can combat these two problems, henceforth slowing down aging as a direct effect.

Not only does this include physical aging, but also age-related diseases like cancer. These effects happen because of fasting's ability to supercharge the body's metabolism. This means your overall health improves as you age, allowing the body to efficiently break down nutrients and burn the necessary calories.

Along with those, here are other means why intermittent fasting can slow down aging:

  • Lowers the degeneration of the body's DNA and accelerates its repair. Therefore, the aging process also slows down.
  • Increases the body's antioxidants to prevent the body's cells from being broken down by free radicals
  • Reduces chronic inflammation, which is common as people age

  1. Reduces Weight

Weight reduction is more than just a physical thing. It's also one of the best ways to improve the body's health. Losing weight also means losing all of the unnecessary fat, thereby keeping the body healthier.

Losing weight is made possible with intermittent fasting because the body uses up its fat as the source of energy when the body isn't taking in any food. It's because of this function that fasting protocols are usually at a minimum of 16 hours to give time for the body to transition to fat burning.

The average weight loss expected from individuals that practice intermittent fasting is at around one to two pounds a week. Couple this up with exercise, it can increase to around three to four pounds.

  1. Improves Mental Health

When you're still adjusting to the changes your body goes through when you start intermittent fasting, you may notice that your mood will change quite a bit. This is because your body and mind may still not be used to have fewer food intake.

As you get used to it, however, your overall mood and mental health improve. When you look good, you also tend to feel better about yourself. Plus, you no longer have to live with the anxiety of constantly worrying about your future because of poor health.

Takeaway

Intermittent fasting is a diet plan that enables you to switch between fasting and eating on a regular schedule. For the benefits above, and many more others, this is one diet regime that's worth trying. You don't just lose weight, but your overall physical and mental health improves, too.

However, like any other aspect that affects your body, whenever you're unsure, do seek the advice of a medical professional. That way, you’ll know that what you're doing is the right way for your body.

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