If you are already on a low-calorie diet but are stuck and are not losing weight, intermittent fasting may be your solution. Recent scientific studies seem to find more and more reasons to support intermittent fasting as a method of losing weight. Perhaps this is why the intermittent fasting diet is one of the most talked-about diets today.
There are many diets so it is not always easy to know all of them in detail or to know well what their benefits and risks are. One of the most commented trends lately is intermittent fasting, also known as “interval fasting”. This type of diet is very popular among athletes and for many people who want to lose weight it is the definitive method. But what is intermittent fasting really? How does it work? Is it dangerous to fast like this?
Intermittent fasting is, in a nutshell, cycling between periods when you eat and periods when you fast. Currently it is a very popular method to lose weight and improve health.
But fasting is nothing new. In fact, intermittent fasting is an ancient health secret. It is ancient because it has been realized throughout the history of humanity. And it is secret because until recently this custom has been practically forgotten, especially when it comes to health.
However, many people are rediscovering this nutritional intervention. Since 2010 the number of online searches for “intermittent fasting” has increased by about 10,000 percent, and most of this increase has occurred in recent years.If done correctly, fasting has the potential to deliver significant health benefits: weight loss, type 2 diabetes correction, and much more.
Plus, it can save you time and money. The goal of this beginner’s guide is to help you learn everything you need to know about intermittent fasting, so you can start putting it into practice.
What is intermittent fasting?
Is fasting the same as starvation, or starvation? No, fasting differs from starvation in one crucial aspect: control. Starvation is the involuntary lack of food for a long period of time and can lead to serious suffering or even death.
It is neither intended nor controlled. Fasting, on the other hand, is voluntarily postponing food intake for reasons whether religious, health, or otherwise. It is carried out by people who are not underweight and therefore have enough stored fat to live on it. Intermittent fasting, if done in the right way, should not cause suffering, and definitely does not cause death.
You have easy access to food, but you decide not to eat. The fast can be of any duration, from a few hours to days or – with medical supervision – up to a week or more. It is possible to start a fast at any time, and you can also leave it whenever you want. You can start or end a fast for any reason or no reason.
The fasting period does not have a standard duration, as it is simply not eating. Anytime you don’t eat, you’re fasting. For example, you can fast between dinner and breakfast the next day, an interval of about 12-14 hours. In this sense, fasting can be considered part of daily life. It is perhaps the oldest and most effective dietary intervention imaginable.
Let’s analyze the term “breakfast”. It is made up of the Latin prefix des-, which means inverse action or “exit from”, plus the verb “fast”, which means to abstain from eating. Every day, the first time we eat something, we break the fast, we fast. Rather than hinting at a kind of cruel and unusual punishment, the language implicitly confirms that fasting should be done on a daily basis, even for a short time.
Intermittent fasting, then, is nothing strange or peculiar, but part of ordinary daily life. It is perhaps the oldest and most effective dietary intervention imaginable. But for some reason we have forgotten its formidable effectiveness and ignored its therapeutic possibilities.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT THE BODY?
Intermittent fasting does much more than just restrict calorie intake . It also changes the body’s hormones so they can make better use of your fat stores. The following changes occur:
- Intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity, especially in combination with exercise. This is very important for people who have weight problems because low insulin levels are associated with better fat burning.
- The opposite is insulin resistance. Some studies have shown that weight gain can interfere with insulin’s ability to lower blood sugar levels, resulting in more insulin. This promotes fat storage.
- Growth hormone secretion increases, speeding up protein synthesis and making fat available as an energy source. This means, in a nutshell, that you burn fat and build muscle faster. That is why growth hormone is taken in large amounts in bodybuilding as a doping agent.
In addition, according to studies, fasting activates autophagy, which removes damaged cells, contributes to repair and aids the body’s regeneration process.
DOES INTERMITTENT FASTING HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
If you skip meals and create a calorie deficit, you will lose weight. Unless you make up for fasting with meals that are full of fat and sugar. It can happen: This type of eating pattern does not necessarily tell you what foods you can or cannot eat. Some studies have found that intermittent fasting (if done right) can be effective in both preventing type 2 diabetes and reducing calories. In addition, the body learns to process the foods consumed during the eating period better and more efficiently.
Other studies have found that a combination of the 16/8 method and strength training (both with your own weight and with weights) can reduce more fat than strength training alone. However, no evidence of muscle gain was observed in the study subjects.
There are certain points you should keep in mind if you want to combine fasting (such as intermittent fasting) with physical exercise :
- If you are trying to lose weight, for example, it is very important that the caloric deficit is moderate and that you only try to lose 0.5-1% of weight per week.
- Include strength sessions in your training routine and increase your protein intake (it must represent 25% or more of your total energy intake) to maintain muscle mass.
- Also, you should train just before the biggest meal you eat a day. If, on the contrary, your intention is to combine high-intensity training with fasting periods, we recommend that you consult beforehand with a doctor or specialist in nutrition and sports issues.