Intermittent Fasting – What is it? And what are the benefits?
Intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular. It is an umbrella term for various diet plans that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting. One of the most popular methods, known as the ‘16/8’, involves fasting for 16 hours straight and then eating during an 8 hour window. Another method of fasting, known as the ‘5/2’, involves consuming a breakfast and dinner of no more than 300 calories each, 12 hours apart, on 2 consecutive days of the week, but eating normally on the other 5 days. Different methods work better for some individuals than others, and depend upon that individual’s lifestyle.
Some of the benefits observed when fasting can be powerful.
Among these highlights, include:
- Reduction of blood sugar levels & improvement in insulin sensitivity
- Weight loss
- Neuroprotective effects – possibly decreasing the risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
- Anti-inflammatory, therefore possibly reducing the incidence of many chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and cancer
- Altering gene expression related to longevity possibly, thereby enhancing one’s lifespan
- An increase in the hormone HGH – Human Growth Hormone. This in turn can improve body composition, aid in weight loss, enhance muscle/bone growth, and be protective for the heart.
- Stimulation of cellular repair, increasing healing time
- Enhancement in energy
- Better sleep
Although Intermittent Fasting has great benefits, one also needs to be cautious.
Not eating for too long of a period can reduce blood pressure and at times drastically lower blood sugar levels. This can be dangerous if one is extremely active during this fasting period, if one’s ‘normal’ blood pressure is low, or if one suffers with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Individuals like this should be counselled on how to approach the diet plan so it can be properly monitored.
If you are looking for more information as to whether Intermittent Fasting may work for you and your lifestyle, please contact Garibaldi Health Clinic: firstname.lastname@example.org