Intermittent fasting—IF—is a way to modify the timing of when you eat. It has various pros and cons, like any type of diet or eating regimen. In order to find out if it works for you, you need learn what IF really is and what the negatives and positives are. IF can mean eating an extremely low calorie diet for some days and a regular diet others or eating between specific hours, such as fasting from 6 pm to 10 am and then eating during the eight hour non-fasting time. That sixteen hour break gives your digestion a rest, and normally limits the amount of food you eat.
What are IF benefits?
There have been animal studies since the 1940s using IF. In studies on rats at the University of Chicago, control rats were fed normally and the IF group was fed on alternate days. The rats fed on an IF schedule aged slower and had fewer health conditions. Some believed the pattern of eating more closely mirrored how animals ate in the wild that it benefited them. The rats also had improved blood sugar levels, better metabolism, less inflammation, weight loss, a reduced risk of cancer and improved brain function.
If you want to lose weight, IF may be a huge benefit that works.
We’re just beginning to study the effects of IF on humans, but the studies that are done show it’s beneficial for weight loss. One study found that when overweight individuals used a pattern of IF with no other restrictions, they ate 20% less food than the control group. They also lost 8% of their weight, while reducing insulin resistance and improving asthma.
IF does have some drawbacks.
People with diabetes that requires medication should never undertake IF unsupervised. Your health care provider can guide you on what you should do. If you take blood pressure medication, heart medication, are pregnant or breast-feeding, always consult your health care professional before undertaking intermittent fasting. Anyone with an eating disorder should not attempt it either.
- Recent studies showed an improvement in brain functioning and cardiovascular health. Japanese studies on humans confirmed the findings of early animal studies, metabolism increased and aging slowed.
- While studies had no guidelines for what the people ate, if you chose IF for your health or weight loss, you should. Whether you’re eating in an eight-hour window or fasting every other day, the food you need should be healthy.
- Newer studies show that simply fasting for as little as 16 hours can make changes at a cellular level. It starts the process of cell repair, sends out hormones to burn fat and increases HGH—human growth hormone.
- Intermittent fasting studies showed the group that fasted reduced their waist circumference measurement by as high as 7%—-they lost belly fat—and had less muscle loss than the group on a calorie restricted diet.
For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness