Intermittent fasting is a weight loss method used to interweave fasting periods with feeding periods. The goal is to make the body use the fat stores and thereby lose fat mass. Fasting works like a feeding schedule, for example, as there are no food prohibitions. The important thing is to maintain meal times.
This process is a consequence of our evolution and this time without food improves glucose regulation and suppresses inflammation by activating free radical reduction processes by removing or repairing cells.
When we eat the cells are stimulated to grow, that is, if a person eats three times a day and eats snacks between meals, then he does not have the opportunity to repair the damaged cells because there is no fasting period.
When we eat, glucose is used for energy and fat is stored in adipose tissue as triglycerides. During the fasting period, after 8 to 12 hours of the meal, they are broken down into fatty acids and the liver converts them into ketones that provide energy for the brain and other tissues. It is the ketones produced during fasting that influence brain health and decrease the risk of degenerative diseases and improve cognition.
Intermittent fasting and weight loss
Some studies separate the benefits of weight loss from intermittent fasting, but the subject is controversial. Intermittent fasting may be related to decreased obesity, improved insulin resistance, improved dyslipidemia and inflammation, compared to individuals who only lost weight.
In addition, weight loss decreases asthma symptoms in obese patients and in some patients fasting can help with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Epidemiological studies suggest that overeating particularly in middle age increases the risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s. However, there are some references that suggest that in animals, intermittent fasting can delay the onset or slow the progression of these diseases.
The indication of intermittent fasting needs to be carefully evaluated because our eating habits are closely linked to our culture and because people may be more irritated by fasting.
It is necessary to assess whether the reduction in calories would not be enough to affect the metabolism and, if necessary, to assess whether long-term fasting can have any side effects on the body.
Who shouldn’t do it?
For healthy adults there is no contraindication. Intermittent fasting should not be done in cases of:
Diabetes and other metabolic diseases
Thus, the indication of intermittent fasting needs to be carefully evaluated. It should not be done by children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and those over 60 years of age. Always consult a doctor before changing your diet.
Types of intermittent fasting
Eat – stop – eat: this type of intermittent fasting alternates between feeding days and fasting days. You can eat whatever you want for 24 hours and you must fast the next day. Repeat this pattern once or twice a week. Calorie-free drinks like black coffee, unsweetened tea, etc. They are allowed
Method 16 by 8: this method is known as “Leangains”. It alternates 16h of fasting and an 8h window in which you can eat. Basically, fasting corresponds to the period of night sleep. Therefore, you may not have breakfast, for example, and then eat your first meal at noon and continue eating until 8 pm
5 for 2 diet: here, the idea is to reduce calorie consumption to a maximum of 500 to 600 per day for two days a week. They can be separate days. On the other days, you can eat at will, but without exaggeration
In summary, these are some types of intermittent fasting. But, as previously mentioned, it is necessary to consult specialists to adapt the fast to your diet and routine.
Finally, a good diet and the practice of physical activities can greatly improve your quality of life.
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