Fasting likely calls to mind thoughts of fad diets that leave you feeling weak, angry, and even ill. However, research shows that intermittent fasting (IF) is a lot more than a gimmick. Not only can IF help you lose weight and improve overall health, but it might also reduce your chances of developing a more serious condition, like chronic inflammation, diabetes, or even cancer.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting refers to a dietary strategy in which individuals cycle between periods of eating and fasting, whereby calorie consumption is limited or ceased entirely. While some people opt to fast during a particular time of day, such as between 8 pm and noon, others opt to eat normally five days a week and consume fewer calories (typically less than 600) on the remaining two days. The schedule you choose depends on your lifestyle, needs, and desires, and you can enjoy significant benefits from different methods. For example, you can follow this IF schedule with Fitoru:
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Medical professionals are still discovering the benefits associated with intermittent fasting, but the current research is promising. Here are three of the many ways IF can have a profound effect on your health and wellness:
Over the years, dietary trends have ranged from the ridiculous (the Cabbage Soup Diet) to the downright dangerous (the Sleeping Beauty Diet, in which participants use sedatives to sleep away the pounds). According to a study by the the University of Illinois Division of Endocrinology and the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, participants who used an IF regiment saw slightly less weight loss than those who engaged in typical calorie reduction. However, they experienced similar reductions in visceral fat mass, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance. These results offer hope for people who have struggled with more traditional deprivation diets.
A buzzword in modern medicine, inflammation is the virtual bogeyman, causing everything from cancer to heart disease. However, studies show that intermittent fasting could fight inflammation, protecting patients from numerous health hazards. According to a study published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine, alternate-day calorie restriction (a form of IF) reduced both oxidative stress and inflammation in overweight adults with asthma. Participants who followed the protocol lost an average of 8% of their weight over the eight-week study period.
Numerous studies have shown that cancer survivors who engage in intermittent fasting have better long-term results. According to a study published in JAMA Oncology, breast cancer patients who refrained from eating for at least 13 hours overnight experienced a 36% lower rate of recurrence and a 21% lower chance of breast cancer-related mortality.
The jury is still out on whether intermittent fasting is the solution to all our health and weight-loss woes. Consult with a doctor and then decide if IF is right for you—let us know what you find out.