The popularity and prevalence of processed foods mean that more people than ever before suffer from weight issues. Those weight issues can lead to a range of serious health problems and dramatically affect a person's quality of life.
Many people turn to diets in a bid to reverse their weight gains and achieve a healthier weight and ratio of fat. Some people, though, turn to new ways of eating - that includes intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is the umbrella term that refers to eating systems whereby a person eats between extended periods of fasting.
In this article, we will take a look at the health benefits of intermittent fasting. As you will see, there are lots of intermittent fasting benefits. We will also explore dig deeper into the two most popular configurations to understand 20-4 fasting benefits and the benefits of intermittent fasting 16-8.
The Top 10 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Many people ask themselves "is intermittent fasting health?" Let's tuck into the health advantages of intermittent fasting, based upon the latest intermittent fasting research.
10. Lose Weight and Belly Fat
Many people often pursue diets to shed excess weight and tackle both subcutaneous and visceral fat. Lots of people find that fat tends to concentrate around their torso, and that this is where they would like to concentrate their efforts.
Intermittent fasting can help you to achieve this because of two main reasons. Firstly, intermittent fasting helps the majority of people to consume fewer calories - this naturally helps with weight loss given that the body will burn excess fat resources.
Secondly, intermittent fasting helps people to lower their insulin levels while benefiting from higher amounts of noradrenaline and growth hormone levels. Those factors mean that the body becomes a more efficient calorie-burning machine and the metabolic rate can dramatically increase.
This helps people to see some really fantastic results in just a short time frame, whatever type of intermittent fasting they decide to pursue.
9. Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
High blood sugar levels have the potential to dramatically increase a person's susceptibility to type 2 diabetes - a disease that can lead to a range of unpleasant and life-altering symptoms.
Intermittent fasting can reduce a person's insulin resistance and this can lead to lower blood sugar levels. Numerous studies have demonstrated that intermittent fasting has a positive effect on blood sugar levels and helps people to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent fasting has also been linked with a reduction in kidney damage, too. The kidneys are very negatively affected by type 2 diabetes, so intermittent fasting is potentially an excellent eating pattern for high-risk individuals.
8. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response from the body when it is trying to heal itself. When that inflammation persists, though, there is a range of unpleasant side effects. Many people find that information can lead to chronic pain from conditions such as Crohn's disease, arthritis, and more.
More people than ever before are turning to intermittent fasting to tackle their chronic inflammation. This eating pattern is effective because it essentially helps to reduce the amount of leukotriene B4 being produced by the body. This leukotriene has a big impact on a range of cellular processes that lead to inflammation.
The medical and nutrition communities are still investigating the anti-inflammatory effects of fasting and the results are so far very positive. Anecdotal evidence also supports those findings.
7. Boost your Mental Performance
The way that you eat - as well as what you eat - has a very large impact on the way that your brain functions. Intermittent fasting helps the body to regulate its various metabolic features in a way that is important to achieve good brain health.
Intermittent fasting helps to reduce oxidative stress, for example. This is a situation where the body suffers from an excess of free radicals and fails to detoxify their harmful effects with the necessary antioxidants.
Intermittent fasting research also shows that reduced inflammation and a reduction in blood sugar levels can help to boost the mental performance of humans and animals alike. Again, anecdotal evidence also demonstrates that intermittent fasting can lead to improved mental clarity and performance.
6. Extend your Lifespan
A range of studies has demonstrated that intermittent fasting can manipulate the mitochondrial networks that exist with the cells in the body. Those mitochondria process energy within the cell but their ability to do so declines over time - this leads to a range of age-related diseases.
Intermittent fasting helps to keep those mitochondrial networks in a youthful state by essentially restricting their diet. This means that the cells can function effectively for as long as possible and help people to extend their lifespan.
This is another fascinating area of research and researchers continue to dig deeper to understand how intermittent fasting can help a person to age healthily and gracefully.
5. Add Structure to your Life
This is not so much a physiological benefit as a behavioral one. Many people who practice intermittent fasting find that the eating pattern adds a sense of structure to their life. The rigid nature of intermittent fasting means that people are better able to plan their meals and, as an extension, their activities.
If a person is practicing intermittent fasting for dietary purposes, this can give them the structure that they need to also pursue exercise and other healthy habits. This is one of the main reasons that so many people appreciate the potential of intermittent fasting.
4. Inspire Muscle Gain
Lots of people want to diet and adjust their eating habits to get into better shape. Intermittent fasting is particularly impressive given that it can help people to burn more fat while also inspiring muscle growth.
Intermittent fasting helps to accelerate the blood levels of growth hormone (some studies suggest by as much as 5-fold). This hormone can accelerate muscle gain while also burning higher volumes of fat.
3. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. A range of factors affect heart health but one of the most prominent is a person's diet. Other factors include a person's habits and environment.
Intermittent fasting helps the body to improve its insulin resistance while also lowering the severity and frequency of inflammation. These two factors help to preserve heart health and bolster a person's resistance to heart disease.
Many researchers believe that these are key daily intermittent fasting benefits that help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
2. Be more Conscious of your Diet
Processed foods are very addictive. People around the world build up a strong reliance upon sugar and carbohydrates and it can become very difficult to shake the habit. The result is that many people find themselves shackled to unhealthy and unproductive habits.
Intermittent fasting gives people the opportunity to think carefully about their habits and be more conscious of exactly what they are consuming. Many people report that intermittent fasting shines a spotlight on nutrition for them, helping them to reduce their calorie intake while improving their diet in general.
This is one of the main reasons that dieticians and nutritionists are often very keen to recommend intermittent fasting to those people who need to control their weight.
1. Improve your Sleep
Many modern eating habits are terribly unhealthy. The hectic nature of modern life means that many people eat too late in the day before they go to sleep - this means that the body finds itself digesting while simultaneously trying to sleep.
This can lead to disturbed rest and it also carries the risk of heartburn and digestive issues. Intermittent fasting schedules are structured in such a way that people avoid eating just before they go to bed.
Benefits of 16-8 Intermittent Fasting
The 16-8 system is perhaps the most popular intermittent fasting configuration. Here are some of the main benefits of this option:
- Fits with most schedules
- More accessible to beginners
- Offers more flexibility
- A great introduction to intermittent fasting
Benefits of 20-4 Intermittent Fasting
The 20-4 intermittent fasting configuration is often seen as more challenging but the rewards are potentially very vast:
- Delivers faster and more dramatic results
- Benefit from higher HGH levels for longer
- A reduced calorie intake
- Could lead to One Meal a Day (OMAD) intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting has the potential to fundamentally change a person's life. If you are considering trying to shed excess weight and reassess your eating habits, you might want to explore it in further depth.
Choosing between the different configurations is a matter of personal choice. You should feel comfortable and informed when making your decision - this will help you to elevate your chances of success.