4 Good Reasons to Try Intermittent Fasting
You’ve surely already heard of intermittent fasting. We are not talking about a reduction diet or a short-lived nutrition trend, but rather about a well-tried method, which grounds roots on the metabolic functions of the organism. Intermittent fasting is a well-known system for weight loss or maintenance, and it has also been proven to help physical and mental health. Therefore it is worthwhile to a more intensive study.
Intermittent fasting addresses a common problem in our diet: the constant availability of food. Whether at home or around the city, a great number of snacks tempt us everywhere at every time. Often, you ingest a high number of empty calories that do your body more harm than good. It’s important to learn how to eat according to your needs and enjoy food more consciously. The constant food intake puts metabolism under stress, as it has to process it continuously. Resting periods of regeneration are essential for the organism. Fasting times allow your slowed metabolism to get back on track. It’s healthy for your body, but also increases brain performance: Goodbye Autumn blues!
Intermittent fasting: What does it mean?
There are different types of Intermittent fasting. The 16:8 model, for example, can be integrated well into everyday life. In this case, the fasting is supposed to last 16 hours, and the remaining 8 hours are a window for eating. If you are an early riser, you can eat breakfast and lunch: in the late afternoon the eating cycle ends and you fast until morning. Late risers can shift this schedule to lunch and dinner instead. An alternative is the 5:2 model, which targets days of the week. You usually eat five days a week and fast completely on two days. Fasting, in this case, means abstaining from solid food. Drinking a lot of liquids is highly recommended during fasting time, but beverages should not contain energy-providing nutrients. Water and sugar-free herbal teas are the most recommended drinks.
Why is intermittent fasting good for you?
Intermittent fasting triggers a whole series of processes in your body with a positive impact on your well-being. Here we listed some of the most important and their effect.
1. Accelerated and improved metabolism
With intermittent fasting, your metabolism runs faster and better. Thanks to the prolonged periods of hunger, your metabolism looks for alternative ways to feed. A change from carbohydrate metabolism to fat metabolism takes place. But what does it mean? You supply your body with glucose or sugar through your diet, the blood glucose level rises, and your body uses it to produce energy. If you take in more glucose than what you need, your body stores it – first as glycogen in muscles and liver and then as a reserve in fatty tissue. During intermittent fasting, your body does not receive glucose for a longer time. Therefore, your system looks for other ways to obtain energy, consuming fat cells storage, the ketone bodies.
2. You lose weight and have less hunger
The primary goal of intermittent fasting isn’t weight loss, but it goes by itself. As described in point 1, the metabolism changes, and fat loss is optimized. At the same time, the synthesis of body fat is limited. Temporary fasting has an impact on your hormonal balance too. Thanks to the hormone leptin, you normalize hunger and satiety sensations. Therefore, you feel less hungry and eat less.
3. You lower your insulin level and prevent diabetes
Your body secretes the hormone insulin to transport glucose to the cells. If you eat frequently during the day, the insulin level never rest. In this way, your body loses sensitivity to the hormone, needing more and more insulin to transport glucose to the target cells: this could trigger diabetes development. Since there is no glucose during fasting, insulin secretion decreases together with insulin level.
4. You increase your performance
Intermittent fasting is a performance booster. Why? Your body needs to expend energy to perform. However, glucose as an energy source is beneficial to our brain only. All other metabolic processes can use energy sources such as providing ketone bodies from fat tissue. Once your body has become accustomed to intermittent fasting, it switches from carbohydrate metabolism to fat metabolism as needed. Consequently, it can retain glucose reserves for the brain, improving concentration and increasing mental performance, the best weapon against Autumn blues.
Triggering the metabolism with Intermittent Fasting
We have seen how intermittent fasting can help you feel better physically and mentally by altering metabolic processes, making you lose weight and increase performance. It doesn’t matter whether you choose a short-term fast with a high number of repetitions or a periodic fast over a day.
Give it a try to get through the dark season happier and healthier. Good luck!
Your Humanoo Team