What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that revolves around fasting and eating on a regular schedule. Intermittent fasting involves eating during a specific time. According to this concept of dieting a person fast for some defined number of hours per day or he/she eats only one meal for a couple of days, a week which ultimately helps the body to burn fat.
Facts also suggest that it provides some remarkable health benefits too. Since, nowadays entertainment, internet, mobile, etc. is available to us all time, our habit of being awake for long hours has increased and we crave for snacks and high-calorie food a lot.
As a result of high calories and less physical movement, the risk of obesity and laziness increases. Research and studies say that intermittent fasting can assist in reversing these trends.
Most of the researchers say that after hours without food, the sugar stores in the body start to exhaust and the body starts burning the fat. This process is known as metabolic switching.
Practicing intermittent fasting extensively and religiously can actually help a person in their weight loss journey. The most important part of the program is choosing an eight-hour window in which you will eat all the meals.
Reducing consumption of calories at least two weeks appears to improve the neurotic connection in the hippocampus. Due to intermittent fasting, the fat is then converted into ketones, which are used as fuel in the brain and are known to have a positive effect on memory and cognition.
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5 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
1) Helps in Weight Loss:
Intermittent fasting is a very effective way to reduce weight. The food we eat is broken down due to enzymes present in our gut and it eventually ends up in the form of molecules into our bloodstream.
It is applicable to all kinds of food, but carbohydrates, particularly sucrose and refined grains are quickly broken down into sugar, which the cells use for energy. If in any case, the cells don’t use all the sugar, it gets stored up in fat cells.
Only sugar is allowed to enter the cells with a hormone called insulin, made in the pancreas. Its function is to bring sugar back into the fat cells and restore it there. In between meals, as long as we don’t eat, the level of insulin goes down and the fat globules release their stored sugar, to be used as energy.
We lose weight when we let the insulin level go down. The concept is to let it go down long enough to burn the fat.
2) Reduce Cell Damage from Oxidation and Inflammation:
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are very common health conditions that are often ignored. These conditions induce free radicals which are also known as unstable molecules. They tend to interact with the protein, DNA, and other molecules causing cell damage in the body.
Intermittent fasting assists the body in developing resistance towards the stress caused due to oxidation and aids in fighting off inflammation. Even a short term of fasting showed a significant reduction in the stress caused.
3) Reduce the Risk of Cancer:
Cancer is a disease that is sensitive to obesity and the fat composition of the body. Tissues that accumulate fat develop and promote the growth of cancer in the body. Therefore, the weight-loss strategies can help to lower down the fat level and promote a healthy balance in the body.
It turns out to be a perfect tool for the improvement of metabolic health. Intermittent fasting keeps the insulin level in balance which helps us to keep the risk of cancer development in check. It also helps in regulating the hormone level like estrogen which fuels the growth of cancer cells up to 80 percent.
So due to intermittent fasting, the fat is conveniently burnt off which increases the insulin level in the body and reduces the level of estrogen hormone in the body.
4) Helps in Maintaining the Blood Pressure:
Elevated blood pressure is a common health issue today, which has come into existence due to an unhealthy lifestyle and is the reason for unidentified risks and conditions such as strokes and cardiac arrest.
According to a study, fasting can decrease heart-related complications and increase longevity. Due to frequent intermittent fasting, bad cholesterol is decreased and the metabolism of the body is improved because of the removal of toxins from the body.
Intermittent fasting helps to lose weight and cut down the risk of developing metabolic and chronic diseases. Keeping all this in check automatically cuts down the risk of cardiovascular issues by 80 percent.
5) Helps in Improving the Brain Memory:
Intermittent fasting helps in improving memory. As heard by, patients feel more alert, more awake, and mentally sharper. Their ability to retain and concentrate increases. It also reduces the effect of age-related cognitive decline and memory loss.
Due to intermittent fasting inflammation in the brain reduces. Inflammation underlies chronic illness of all kinds including dementia and Alzheimer’s. The fat stored is a cleaner source for the brain to get energy.
Intermittent fasting helps to create a protein called Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which helps to create new brain cells. In addition to this, it also helps in the development of existing brain cells and enhanced the connection and communication within the brain.
Therefore it is seen that intermittent fasting is a diet that is not only easy and safe but makes dieting pleasant and is very beneficial for good health and the fitness of the body.
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