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Intermittent Fasting and Its Health Benefits

HEY! i'm Salim, i am a high school graduate and like creative writing.

Introduction

So let me guess, you have been struggling to lose weight or to lower your body fat percentage and while you were looking for a way to lose it you came across “intermittent fasting” and wonder what is intermittent fasting? For who is intermittent fasting suitable for? And is fasting well for my health?

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is one the most effective ways of losing weight; instead of sticking to a strict diet you instead eat in a pattern that cycle between a period of eating and fasting. The food you eat is not specified but rather when you eat it, or intermittent fasting, also known as intermittent energy restriction, is an umbrella term for various meal timing schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period.


Is fasting beneficial for my health?

The short answer is yes, fasting initiates a series of processes in the body.

Fasting plans

  • 14-10: 14 hours fasting period and 10 hours eating period.
  • 16-8: 16 hours fasting period and 8 hour eating period.
  • 18-6: 18 hour fasting period and 6 hour eating period.
  • 20-4: 20 hour fasting period and 4 hour eating period.

Stages in intermittent fasting

  • Gluconeogenesis: 8 hours into the fast, the body goes through a process known as gluconeogenesis, in this process the liver will use up the last reserve of glucose left. Studies show that this process is a metabolic pathway that results in the generation of energy from fat stored in the body not from carbohydrate.
  • Ketosis state: 12-18 hours into the fast the body enters the “ketosis state”, here the body converts fat into ketone bodies, an alternative source of energy. In this process, fat is readily released and consumed. This stage is also referred to as the body’s fat burning stage. The by-product is less inflammatory which is good for the cardiovascular health and brain.
  • Autophagy: 24-48 hours into your fast the body reaches the point of “autophagy”, in this process the body starts to remove unnecessary or dysfunctional components. During autophagy the cells in the body breaks down viruses, bacteria and damaged components. It is a good thing because the body allows proper recycling of cellular components this leads to the creation of younger cells.
  • Growth hormone rises: 48-56 hours into the fast, there will be spike in the level of the growth hormone. This makes it easier to gain lean muscle mass and improves cardiovascular health.
  • Immune cell regeneration: After 72 hours into the fast your body turns down cellular survival pathways and recycles the cell in the immune system that were damaged while fighting viruses and bacteria. The body produces new immune cells at a rapid pace and shifts the body to a state of self-renewal. This strengthens the immune system drastically.

My thoughts

Intermittent fasting has proven to be one of the best methods of losing weight as the 16-8 plan has proven effective, but do not expect changes as soon as you start. For better results, pair intermittent fasting with a balanced diet and some exercise. You should also keep in mind that the weight gained was not instant, so weight loss won’t be instant either.

Fasting Tricks

  • Stay hydrated: water is a zero-calorie drink, drinking water may help you prevent hunger and adapt to longer fasting. staying hydrated also reduces symptoms like weakness, nausea, and headaches. its also helps with balancing acid-base levels, regulates hormones and transport nutrients to the whole body. Its expected that a man drinks about 3.7 liters of water while women take about 2.7 liters a day.
  • Eat enough protein
  • Eat food rich in fiber
  • Sleep: if you find it hard to fast, make sleep a part of your fasting window
  • Avoiding obsessing over food
  • Perform low intensity workouts during fast

For who is intermittent fasting suitable for?

Despite the numerous health benefits that come with intermittent fasting, the risks it comes with should also be considered.

Intermittent fasting introduces you to a new lifestyle with benefits, but if you

  • Are underweight
  • Are pregnant or breast feeding
  • Have cardiovascular or diabetic diseases
  • Are under 18

Then you should consider the risks and consult your doctor before starting.

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