What Are the Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

What Are the Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle that has been gaining steam as of late, and for good reason. There are many benefits that this lifestyle has for your health. 

Positive Changes In Hormones, Cell Functions

Fasting periods have been shown to affect the body by altering certain hormone levels that allow stored body fat to be burned as fuel. Insulin levels drop, which increases the fat-burning process. Human growth hormone is also released, which, along with burning stored fat also causes muscle mass to increase with exercise and proper diet. 

On a cellular level, waste materials are moved out of the cells and out of the body more rapidly with intermittent fasting.

Insulin Resistance Is Improved

Insulin resistance is a key reason that many adults develop type 2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, also causing changes to prevent insulin resistance. These changes can also, therefore, help prevent type 2 diabetes if periods of fasting are a lifestyle choice (versus a short-term solution). Blood sugar levels are reduced, and the amount of insulin needed by the body is reduced. Hormone fluctuations related to chronic high blood sugar are remedied, allowing for a healthier balance of insulin and blood sugar. 

Molecular changes aid in body longevity and help protect against not only diabetes but also kidney damage that is directly linked to chronic high blood sugar. 

Although these changes are quite positive on the whole, men seem to benefit more from this change with intermittent fasting more, and in the short term, insulin levels may actually worsen in women, according to one small study. That said, intermittent fasting for women has many other health benefits that are worth looking at, before deciding if it is for you.

Weight Loss and Reduced Body Fat

Most people are prompted into a lifestyle of intermittent, at least initially, because of a desire to lose weight. If you are able to keep your daily caloric intake stable along with periods of fasting, it is likely that you will lose excess weight as well as body fat. Intermittent fasting increases resting metabolism, which helps the excess weight to be burned off. 

Over 3 — 24 weeks, one study showed that a weight loss of 3 — 8% of total body weight was lost after sticking to this lifestyle, which is a significant amount. Further, you also have to count your calories and macros in your diet during weight loss. You can use a macro calculator to calculate the macros in your diet accurately.

Belly fat, in particular, seems to be affected in a positive way with intermittent fasting. About 4 — 7% of waist circumference was lost in the same study as noted above. 

Good For Heart Health

Because intermittent fasting can help to eliminate risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, heavy abdominal fat, and type 2 diabetes, it can also lower the risk for heart disease in at-risk adults. Improvements in blood pressure, LDL (cholesterol) levels, certain serum inflammatory markers, as well as blood sugar all contribute to lowering the chances of a significant cardiac event. Thus, the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, as well as heart attack, and angina are all reduced with positive changes gotten from intermittent fasting. 

If you are looking for an answer to obesity, high blood sugar, and other high-risk health problems that you are struggling with, choosing to try intermittent fasting might be the best plan for you and your lifestyle. It can boost energy, as well as cause many other positive changes to help you have a healthier, happier life. 

Always speak to your health care practitioner before making any major changes in your diet, especially if you have any chronic health issues if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have any major concerns about a dietary change. 

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