Top 4 Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
1. Intermittent Fasting Changes The Function of Cells, Genes and Hormones
When you don’t eat for a while, several things happen in your body.
For example, your body initiates important cellular recycle and repair processes (known as autophagy) and also hormonal changes that make stored body fat more accessible.
Human growth hormone levels can increase, which has implications for fat burning and muscle gain and there are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease.
Many of the benefits of intermittent fasting are related to these changes in hormones, gene expression and function of cells.
2. Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat
Generally speaking, intermittent fasting will make you eat fewer meals.
That means you will end up taking in fewer calories; unless of course, if you compensate by eating much more during the other meals.
Additionally, intermittent fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss.
Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy.
For this reason, short-term fasting has been shown to increase metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories.
In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate (increases calories out) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in).
According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of 3-8% over 3-24 weeks. This is a huge amount.
The people also lost 4-7% of their waist circumference, which indicates that they lost lots of belly fat, the harmful fat in the abdominal cavity that causes disease.
3. Intermittent Fasting Can Reduce Insulin Resistance, Lowering Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
The main feature of type 2 diabetes is high blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance.
Anything that reduces insulin resistance should help lower blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes. This is where intermittent fasting has been impressive.
In human studies on intermittent fasting, fasting blood sugar has been reduced by 3-6%, while fasting insulin has been reduced by 20-31%.
One study in diabetic rats also showed that intermittent fasting protected against kidney damage, one of the most severe complications of diabetes.
This certainly suggests that intermittent fasting may be highly protective for people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
However – and this is an important however – there may be some differences between genders. One study in women showed that blood sugar control actually worsened after a 22-day long intermittent fasting protocol.
Whether there are gender differences for the other health benefits, including weight loss, remains to be seen, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
4. Intermittent Fasting May Extend Your Lifespan, Helping You Live Longer
One of the most exciting applications of intermittent fasting may be its ability to extend lifespan.
Studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting extends lifespan in a similar way as continuous calorie restriction.
In some of these studies, the effects were quite dramatic. In one of them, rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats who weren’t fasted.
Although this is far from being proven in humans, intermittent fasting has become very popular among the anti-aging crowd.
Given the known benefits for metabolism and all sorts of health markers, and autophagy as well, it makes sense that intermittent fasting could help you live a longer and healthier life.
If you want to know more about intermittent fasting, as well as the different types like Eat-Stop-Eat, the 5:2 diet and more, you can click the card on YouTube or find the link in the video’s description.
Further reading: https://authoritynutrition.com/10-health-benefits-of-intermittent-fasting/
Follow Authority Nutrition:
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+Authoritynutrition/posts
—- Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/user/AuthorityNutrition?sub_confirmation=1
Study mentioned in video:
Study 1: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24993615