Intermittent Fasting (IF) for Healthy Weight Loss


How is Intermittent Fasting healthy for weight loss ?

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is the alternating periods of eating and fasting. One of the major benefits of the intermittent fasting is Weight Loss. There is indeed a great research to support the health benefits of fasting.

Mark Mattson, a senior researcher from National Institute of Aging, part of the US National Institute of Health has indicated that IF can increase lifespan by as much as 30%. Additionally, it can improve glucose regulation, reduce markers of inflammation and increase the production of ketones.  These ketones are released into the blood when the body is burning fat rather than glucose for energy, which have been shown to preserve learning and memory functions and slow disease progression in the brain.

Intermittent Fasting is healthy way to lose body fat and it can also produce similar effects as intensive exercise, including increasing heart rate variability while reducing resting heart rate plus blood pressure.

Types of Intermittent Fasting :

There are different types of fasting 16/18 hour fasting, 20 hours fasting, 24 hours fasting

One thing to keep in mind when fasting is to drink lots of water, atleast 8 – 12 glasses of water is must as majority of our water sources comes from food.

Let me start with fasting which I do on daily basis, it is 18 hours fasting, so the first meal of the day would be around 1.00 pm and last meal would be at 7.00 pm, so I have only 6 hours of window for eating and 18 hours of continuous fasting. During the fasting I take water and green tea.

Second type of fasting is 20 hours fasting where eating window is only 4 hours. For instance first meal of the day would be at 3pm and last meal would be at 7 pm.

Third type of Intermittent Fasting is 24 hour fasting, it can be done once a week, no food should be consumed for 24 hours.

Summary of the IF benefits:

1. Increase lifespan by 30%
2. Helps in weight loss
3. Preserves muscle tissue (lean mass)
4. Lowers LDL, blood pressure and blood sugar
5. Reduce inflammation by handling cellular repair
6. Reduce Insulin levels and help to prevent type 2 diabetes
7. Increase levels of HGH (Human Grwoth Harmone) which help burn fat and gain muscle
8. Increased creation of new cells and harmones that are linked to prevent depression

Mattson has contributed to several other studies on intermittent fasting and caloric restriction. In one, overweight adults with moderate asthma consumed only 20% of their normal calorie intake on alternate days. Participants who adhered to the diet lost 8% of their initial body weight over eight weeks. They also saw a decrease in markers of oxidative stress and inflammation

In another study, Mattson and colleagues explored the effects of intermittent and continuous energy restriction on weight loss and various biomarkers (for conditions including breast cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease) among young overweight woman. They found that intermittent restriction was as effective as continuous restriction for improving weight loss, insulin sensitivity and other health biomarkers.

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