Intermittent fasting is a style of eating where you consume food for a specific period of time and not eat at others. Depending on the type of intermittent fasting you choose, these periods can range from fasting several hours a day to fasting every other day of the week.
As a way to promote weight loss, intermittent fasting often works by putting you in a calorie deficit, but many people do it for other related health benefits. When the body goes into ‘starvation’ mode for a brief period, due to low glucose levels, it then initiates a homeostatic process known as autophagy, which can be beneficial in preventing disease.
But does intermittent fasting work for everyone? And are there any negative side effects? Read on to discover the science behind intermittent fasting. And if you decide to go ahead, we recommend investing in one of the best water bottles to make sure you’re getting enough fluids to stay hydrated.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is when you fast for a period of time or eat for a specific period of time, with the aim of changing body composition and improving health outcomes. A review in Nutrition Reviews indicates that fasting can be effective in reducing body weight in people, with most studies focusing on trials of alternate fasting or all-day fasting.
Dr Nurisa Kumaran, Chief Medical Officer & Founder Basic health clinic, which explains more about the concept of intermittent fasting. “Intermittent fasting means changing the timing of your meals so that you eat different foods and calories in shorter periods of time, or changing your eating patterns to have shorter periods,” she says. long time without eating”.
Types of intermittent fasting
Time-restricted dining (TRE)
Limited time fasting is where you have your fasting and eating times over a 24-hour period. This is usually structured in a 16/8 or 14/10 window, where you fast for 16 or 14 hours and eat in a smaller window. As we tend to fast while we sleep, this tends to be the most practical option for most people and pretty easily fits into a nine to five lifestyle.
Fasting alternately throughout the day
This style of intermittent fasting is perhaps the most focused, with one fasting day every other day of the week. On fast days, you’ll cut your calorie intake by about 25%, although some people choose not to eat at all. Then you will eat normally every other day.
5: 2 fasting
The 5:2 intermittent fasting method lasts for an entire week, with two days of fasting and five days of regular eating. Fasting days can include small meals of 200-300 calories, but some people choose to fast completely for two 24-hour periods.
Fasting 24 hours
This style of intermittent fasting is usually done up to several times per week and without eating for 24 hours, usually from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch.
What happens with intermittent fasting?
One of the most notable consequences of intermittent fasting is that it can trigger autophagy, where the body gets rid of dysfunctional cells and recycles parts of them into new cells. It is a system that promotes the regeneration of healthy cells and eliminates mutated cells that can develop into cancer, as well as toxic proteins that can cause the development of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study in EMBO Magazine.
Autophagy begins after a period of fasting and may be an evolutionary step back from our hunter-gatherer days, where we would go for longer periods of time without eating due to its labor-intensive nature. to get food. Research in Autophagy . magazine suggests that putting your body into autophagy regularly can help it function optimally by giving it a chance to ‘reset’ and get rid of cellular debris. Further research is needed, but a study in Carcinogens showed that regular fasting activates autophagy as a ‘hunger’ response that may be cancer-protective and integral to tumor suppression, making it a promising area for cancer research. .
Like autophagy, fasting causes the body to switch to an alternate metabolic state, burning stored fat because carbohydrates are not available for energy. A study in Cell metabolism showed that fat metabolism produces ketones, which the body can use as an alternative energy source. Similar to how keto diet activating this alternate metabolic state, intermittent fasting can put you in a state known as ‘ketosis’, where you are using ketones for fuel.
Is intermittent fasting safe for everyone?
If you are taking any medication, are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, are breastfeeding, or have a chronic health condition, intermittent fasting is not recommended.
Dr. Kumaran recommends special caution for people in the following groups:
- If you have a history of eating disorders
- If you have a low BMI or are underweight
- If you are prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- If you are taking prescription medication, especially medication to lower blood sugar
- If you have high stress levels or are suffering from insomnia
- If you are trying to conceive, are pregnant or breast-feeding
- If you have amenorrhea (no period or irregular periods)
- If you are a teenager or a teenager, because this is an important period for development
If you fall into any of these categories, you can ask your doctor if intermittent fasting under their supervision is appropriate for your situation, but you will likely require follow-up. careful.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice.
https://www.livescience.com/what-is-intermittent-fasting Intermittent fasting: what is it and how does it work?