Intermittent fasting is becoming an increasingly popular diet trend, and for good reason. This way of eating can offer several health benefits, including weight loss, improved mental clarity, and reduced inflammation. But what is intermittent fasting, exactly? And how can you start incorporating it into your own life? Keep reading to learn more about this healthy eating plan and find out if it’s right for you!
Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern that involves cycles of fasting and eating. You consume no calories during fasting (or very few calories). This can be done either daily or, more commonly, on an alternate-day basis. For example, you might fast for 16 hours daily and eat all your meals within an 8-hour window. Or, you might choose to fast for 24 hours once or twice per week. Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and eating. This type of fasting can be done in various ways, such as going without food for 16 hours and then eating all meals within an 8-hour window or fasting for 24 hours once or twice weekly.
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, so it’s important to find a plan that works for you and your lifestyle. Some people find it easiest to start with shorter fasting periods, such as 12 hours, and then gradually work their way up to longer durations.
There are many potential benefits of intermittent fasting. This way of eating has been shown to help with weight loss, insulin resistance, and heart health. Intermittent fasting can also improve mental clarity and focus and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can lead to various health benefits, such as:
- Weight Loss
One of the most common reasons people try intermittent fasting is for weight loss. And there is some evidence to suggest that it can be effective. A study of 36 obese adults found that those who followed an intermittent fasting diet lost 3-8% of their body weight over a period of 12 weeks, compared to 1-2% for those who followed a calorie-restrictive diet. Another study showed that IF might be more effective than traditional calorie restriction at promoting fat loss. In this study, 100 obese adults were randomly assigned to follow either a traditional calorie-restricted diet or an IF diet. After eight weeks, the fasting group lost more weight and body fat than the calorie restriction group.
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Intermittent fasting can also improve insulin sensitivity. This is important because insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. When insulin sensitivity is impaired, it can lead to conditions like type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve insulin sensitivity by up to 75% in people with type 2 diabetes. Read this blog about how sugar can affect your skin!
- Reduced Inflammation
Inflammation is a process that occurs when the body’s immune system is activated in response to an injury or infection. Chronic inflammation has been linked to various diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation markers by up to 50% in people with chronic inflammatory conditions.
- Other Health Benefits
In addition to the benefits above, intermittent fasting has also been linked to improved brain health, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and increased lifespan.
While more research is needed to confirm these benefits, intermittent fasting appears to be a safe and effective way to improve overall health.
If you’re interested in trying intermittent fasting, be sure to talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you. Once you get the go-ahead, start slowly and gradually increase the length of your fasting periods as your body adjusts. There’s no need to jump into a lengthy fast right away – baby steps will do! With a little bit of planning and preparation, you’ll be on your way to reaping the benefits of this healthy eating pattern in no time.
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