Let’s Learn More About Intermittent Fasting

Let’s Learn More About Intermittent Fasting

Most people who hear about intermittent fasting don’t really understand it. The concept of eating nothing for 16, 18, 24, or 36 hours at a time then feasting seems insane. However, there are studies which show this weight loss solution could be the answer if you’re asking how to enhance mental acuity, age slower, and how to lose belly fat.

Scientific study into intermittent fasting may have even helped us to better understand the human metabolism, and banish a few dieting myths. Why it might not be the secret to how to get a flat stomach, it may help you maintain better body compositions, and help you lose fat faster.

Here, we’re going to take a closer look at what intermittent fasting is, how it works, and why it could help you.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

The first thing you need to understand is what “IF” is. Although it sounds like a diet when you eat nothing for long periods of time, the truth is that you fast on a regular schedule. Certain diets might have you fast for sixteen hours a day, then eat during the remaining eight hours. On the other hand, another diet might require you to fast for 20 hours a day, then eat for the remaining four-hour window.

Although fasting does involve eating nothing for long periods of time – there’s more to the process than this alone. When you eat food, that food is broken down into various molecules that your cells can use. Those molecules are then released into the blood. Insulin is also released, and the job of that insulin is to shuttle nutrients throughout the cells. Depending on how much food you eat, your insulin levels could remain elevated for hours at a time.

Each day, your body switches between “fasted” and “fed” states. The goal behind intermittent fasting is to extend the amount of time that you spend in the “fasting” state. Most people start eating food at 8am, then stop at 9am, with hours in between each meal. However, this means that the average person only spends about six or seven hours a day “fasting”.

Intermittent fasting flips the process, allowing you to improve the amount of time you fast – but why should you do this?

The Advantages of Intermittent Fasting

The physical process of fasting leads to a physiological response in the body that is known as autophagy by doctors and fitness experts. This response deals with the removal of cells in the body. Autophagy plays an essential role in neutralising some of the degenerative aspects of aging, and maintaining muscle mass. In fact, it’s one of the primary mechanisms behind the anti-aging impact of calorie restriction.

Research also indicates that fasting can help you to reduce systemic inflammation in the body, improve insulin sensitivity, lower oxidative damage, and raise the levels of growth hormones in your system. In other words, fasting allows your body to clean out unwanted substances and “reset” itself to a more productive function.

Can you Lose Weight Faster When Fasting?

Many diets for intermittent fasting recommend that you incorporate some exercise into your routine. This means exercising when your insulin levels are low, and body fat is the only form of energy you have to use. While there’s nothing wrong with training when you’re in a fed state, studies suggest that exercising in fasted states generally offers better fat oxidation and lipolysis rates.

In other words, when you fast and exercise at the same time, your body can mobilise more fat than it would when you were fed. What’s more, in a fasted state, blood flow to the abdominal region is increased.

The only problem is that fasted training can increase muscle breakdown rates. In other words, while fasted training can be good for losing fat quicker, it’s not so good when it comes to helping you maintain your muscle and enjoy workouts. Commonly, the only way to overcome this issue is with proper supplementation.

The Fasting and Weight Loss Connection

At the end of the day, it seems that fasting can help you to maximise your weight loss strategy when done properly. However, it’s important to take care if you want to ensure that you avoid breaking down muscle as well as fat.

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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Photo by Crew on Unsplash

Read this article in English: Intermittent Fasting – Periodisches Fasten – was steckt dahinter?

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