Most weight loss advice strictly suggests restricting calories and increasing exercise. However, new research is suggesting that intermittent fasting may help fight everything from obesity and cancer to heart disease and diabetes. So, what is intermittent fasting and what are the possible benefits?
Intermittent fasting means that you are not eating three square meals per day. Instead, your caloric intake is a bit more sporadic, similar to the way hunter-gatherers would have eaten when they had the opportunity. You may only eat dinner every other day, or you may significantly limit the amount of calories you eat every second or third day. Many people fast for up to 12 hours at a time.
What are the potential benefits of intermittent fasting?Repair and rejuvenation
Some studies suggest that fasting can reduce inflammation and help the body get rid of damaged molecules. Because digestion requires a lot of work from the body, fasting gives it a significant break.
Better response to food
Prior to artificial light, we woke with the sun and rested with the darkness. Therefore, we may still have a better response to food at certain times. We were more likely to eat only during light, so there were no large late night dinners or bedtime snacks. Instead, our bodies received roughly a 12-hour break from digestion.
Normalizing insulin and leptin sensitivity
Intermittent fasting enables your body to use fats rather than sugar. This might help you maintain a leaner physique while reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes due to insulin resistance.
Increasing human growth hormone (HGH)
Some studies have shown that fasting can increase HGH production by quite a bit. HGH is a fat-burning hormone that can positively impact you as you age. It also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy fitness level.
Have you ever tried intermittent fasting? Do you only eat when hungry, or do you find yourself eating just because it’s meal time?