They say timing is everything and that’s certainly true when it comes to intermittent fasting—IE. IE isn’t a new type of diet. It uses the principles of healthy eating. It’s more about when you time your meals. The concept of fasting has been touted for centuries and about a half century ago, scientists discovered that rats that were fed every-other-day lived 83% longer than those who had on-demand feeding. The rats who ate every-other-day also aged slower and had fewer illnesses of age.
There are many ways to do IE.
IE can be done one or two days a week, where calories are severely restricted or it can limit the number of hours when you’re allowed to eat. Some use an eight-hour window to eat, while you fast the other sixteen. Using that outline, if you first meal was at ten a.m., your last meal for the day would be at six. After six, you wouldn’t eat until the next day at ten. Limiting the time you can eat tends to cut down the amount you eat throughout the day.
There are some healthy changes IE offers.
People who do IE notice insulin levels in the blood drop. That drop may increase the amount of fat burned by the body. It allows the body to repair itself on a cellular level, even with the shorter 16 hour fasts. Cellular waste is removed more efficiently. In some studies, it showed the genes that control longevity were beneficially changed. Human growth hormone increased in the blood, which increased the potential to build muscle and burn fat.
Studies are being done to identify whether IE can help reduce chronic conditions.
Studies are now showing that the risk of Alzheimer’s might be lowered with IE. That may occur because IE reduces inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to aging, chronic diseases and increase the potential for oxidative stress. One hypothesis came from a researcher that believes that IE can reduce the stress on cells, allowing them to adapt. It allows cells to enhance their ability to deal with stress. It helps the cells very much like exercise does.
- Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death. Since intermittent fasting can help you lose weight, that may be one of the reasons it proves so beneficial for health.
- Keytones help protect the brain and improve learning and memory. They also help slow diseases of the brain. Fasting helps create keytones, which may be why it’s shown to boost memory.
- Rat studies have been very promising, while human studies are just starting. Short term fasts in humans have now shown that they may reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in 80% of the subjects significantly.
- Even though IE can help you lose weight and gain health benefits, it won’t work unless you eat a healthy diet. If you spend your eight hours chugging burgers and fries, don’t expect any positive change.
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