With an ever growing market of diets, from Keto, Paleo and Whole30, it has become increasingly difficult to navigate the trendy-diet sphere. Many of these strict diets, require meticulous counting of calories and macro nutrients and tracking and monitoring of every ingredient and bite you consume on a daily basis. A proposed solution to this, is one which a growing number of people are adopting as a lifestyle- Intermittent Fasting (IF).
Intermittent Fasting focuses on the when you are eating as opposed to the what. There are various versions of this diet, from fasting for 2 days out of the week and maintaining your regular calorific intake thereafter or fasting for up to 16 hours a day (inc. sleep time). Many people adopt of the 12-16 hour overnight fast meaning that you would finish eating early evening (6-8pm) and hold off breakfast until 12pm the next day only consuming calorie free drinks like water or black tea or coffee.
“Research seems to be finding [IF] benefits to weight, blood sugar, inflammation and potentially to bran health” says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN and found of Isabel Smith Nutrition and Lifestyle
We have put together some of the benefits for intermittent fasting for you.
BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
- INDUCES CELLULAR REPAIR PROCESSES
When we fast, we trigger a process known as autophagy which is essentially a ‘waste removal’ process involving the break-down of cells and metabolism of dysfunctional proteins that build up in cells over time. It is believed that increased autophagy can prevent against several diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
- BURN FAT
Research shows that Intermittent Fasting kick-starts the metabolism leading to a higher fat burn rate via the generation of body heat. “Intermittent Fasting without a reduction in calorie intake can be a preventative and therapeutic approach against obesity and metabolic disorder” says study author Kyoung-Han Kim, according to Science Daily.
- IMPROVES BRAIN HEALTH
One of the most marked and agreed upon benefits of Intermittent Fasting is the promotion of healthy brain function it’s correlation to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinsons.
Research suggests that by fasting you are giving your body more time to deplete its glycogen stores and causes you to burn fat instead of sugar. As a result, ketones are produced which boosts your energy levels and banishes mental clouding.
- IT CAN REVERSE & LOWER YOUR RISK OF DIABETES
There has been a recent surge in the commonality of Type 2 diabetes which is caused by high blood sugar levels as a result of insulin resistance.
Unsurprisingly, Intermittent Fasting has been shown to promote the reduction of insulin resistance and lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels.
There have been studies which have also indicated that IF also protects against kidney damage which is a common complex complication of diabetes.
This research indicates that Intermittent Fasting may be a highly protective lifestyle choice for people who are at risk of type 2 diabetes.