Intermittent fasting is a feeding pattern which alternates between periods of fasting and controlled eating. It is a simple dietary method divided into many types. One of the intermittent fasting methods is alternate day fasting, whereby a person takes a normal diet on particular days of the week and fasts on some. During the fasting days, one does not fully abstain from food but rather reduces calorie intake to 1/4 of the normal diet.
The other fasting
type is whereby eating is restricted to a certain time window within a day.
This means restricting eating between an 8 hour window eating period, which
means a person eats once in every eight hours. Some people however reduce the
span to either six, four or even two hours according to their convenience. The
longest time that a person can stay without food on intermittent fasting is 36
hours. If practiced accordingly, it can result in a number of positive health
intermittent fasting promotes general good health. It significantly reduces
cravings for snack foods and sugars. The practice normalizes insulin as well as
leptin sensitivity. Insulin resistance contributes to many chronic diseases
such as diabetes, cancer and heart infections. Intermittent fasting will
therefore protect the body from such infections.
fasting results in improved brain health. Fasting helps the body to convert
stored glycogen into glucose to release energy. If the fasting proceeds for
some time, continued breakdown of body fats induces the liver to secrete ketone
bodies. These small molecules are by-products of fatty acids synthesis, and the
brain can use them as fuel. Research also indicates that exercise and fasting
results in genes and other growth factors which are essential in recycling and
rejuvenating the brain.
This type of
fasting also boosts body fitness and loss of weight. Combined fasting and
exercise increases effects of catalysts and cellular factors so that breakdown
of glycogen and fats is maximized. Exercising while hungry therefore forces the
body to burn stored fats for significant weight loss.
The program is
also known to prevent cognitive decline. Research was conducted in 2006 on
mice, in which water maze tests were used to assess cognitive functions of mice
on normal diet and those on intermittent fasting. It was discovered that mice
put on intermittent fasting experienced slower cognitive declines, which too
applies to human beings.
fasting will also boost muscle building especially in men. This is because
after eating, the energy gained will be used to sustain a workout session. But
if training is done while fasting, the body utilizes stored body fats to
sustain the exercises. Eating after the session ensures that the energy gained
is utilized in replenishing the body in the best way. This assists the muscles
to quickly recover and build up.
intermittent fasting is a healthy practice but it could result in depression to
people who cannot fully sustain it. It needs commitment and perseverance to
move through the changes in diet, since only consistency will achieve these
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Article source: EzineArticles