A buzzword in the world of diet and exercise is “intermittent fasting.” People are talking about this method of consuming calories as a way to lose weight and diminish your cravings, helping you succeed at a diet.
However, intermittent fasting is so much more than that.
Today, we’re going to look at the benefits of intermittent fasting so you can figure out whether or not you should give it a try.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is defined as an eating pattern that alternates periods of fasting with meals during the same 24 hour cycle. In other words, you restrict the window of time that you eat.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting isn’t a diet. You don’t have to restrict calories or even cut out anything from your diet unless you want to.
Secondly, you don’t intermittent fast every single day.
You do it throughout the week, maybe 3-4 times a week, and just eat normally for the next 3-4 days. For that reason, most people who follow the intermittent fasting diet pattern usually tend to use another form of diet, such as Paleo, Keto, or even vegetarianism or veganism.
An example of intermittent fasting is to stop eating 4 or 5 pm the evening before, workout in the morning, skip breakfast, and then eat a brunch around 11:30/12:00 pm.
Ideally, you should eat within a frame of 8 hours per every 24 hours.
During the 6-8 hour window that you do consume food, the focus should be on healthy proteins and fats while limiting carbohydrates.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Research has yielded amazing results about how beneficial intermittent fasting is for people. Even if you don’t plan on losing any weight, there are reasons why you should incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle.
1. The Fountain of Youth
Although caloric restriction can also cause malnutrition in the long term, intermittent fasting has shown improvements in the overall chemical makeup of the body—in both animals and humans.
By allowing your body to digest and rest, you improve your health, increase your longevity, and even look younger for longer.
2. Brain Functioning and Repair
Intermittent fasting improves memory, concentration, helps grow new neurons, helps the brain recover from certain traumas, makes you happier, and even lowers the risk of cognitive decline as you age.
On the reasons for this is because of something called autophagy, which is a process where cells recycle themselves to optimize the body for survival.
If you plan on aging gracefully, try fasting.
3. Hormone Regulation
A reason why many people struggle with weight loss is because of imbalanced hormones. Insulin, leptin, and ghrelin levels contribute to hunger and weight gain.
When you fast, the body can bring the levels of these hormones back to where they should be, allowing your blood glucose to stabilize and for hunger to subside.
4. Increased Fat Burning
When insulin levels are low, the body doesn’t consume glucose. In other words, lower insulin levels that result from fasting mean the body is forced to burn fat for fuel.
This is enhanced when you restrict carbohydrates during your fast and work out when in a fasted state. You can even drink a natural pre workout such as black coffee or green tea before your workout for even better results!
The result is better fat burning and time better spent in the gym.
There are wonderful benefits to intermittent fasting, and more are being discovered every single day. If you want to live longer, stay fuller, lose weight, and generally be healthier, give intermittent fasting a try.
It is one eating pattern that isn’t complicated and is easy to commit to, so what are you waiting for?