Intermittent fasting has many benefits.
What if you could improve your memory, reduce inflammation, maybe live longer, all thanks to one change—eating only during certain hours? With intermittent fasting and its numerous benefits, you can. Studies show that intermittent fasting offers benefits far beyond weight loss, read on to learn more.
How Does It Work?
Intermittent fasting is simple: Eat only within specified hours. Otherwise, stay hydrated but don’t eat. Intermittent fasting takes several forms:
· Daily. Eat during an 8- or 10-hour period, such as only between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. or noon and 8 p.m.
· 5:2 fasting. Five days a week eat a “normal” (but healthy) diet and fast on the other two days. “Fasting” here means consuming some food, but only about 500-600 calories on each fasting day.
· Alternate day fasts. Alternate one day of fasting—total fast or low-calorie—and one day of a regular, healthy diet. Repeat.
· Once a week fasts. Fast on only one day each week.
Experts add: Whatever plan you use, don’t snack. Never eat at night and end your eating window early. While intermittent fasting doesn’t require or forbid any specific foods—it’s about the hours, not the food—it’s important to stick to a healthy diet and not overeat.
How does intermittent fasting work? It encourages your body to burn fat.
Insulin moves glucose—sugar—from the blood into the body’s cells. Going without food makes insulin drop. When insulin dips low enough for long enough, cells release stored sugars as energy—in layman’s terms, you burn fat. Fat-burning starts about 12 hours after you last eat, and kicks into a higher gear at about 16 hours without food, according to the University of Michigan.
Benefits Beyond Dropping Pounds
Intermittent fasting improves body systems from brains to muscles:
- Reduces inflammation, which fights conditions including arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis.
- Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Helps clear toxins.
- Increases the body’s metabolic and cellular repair rates.
- Toning. Cuts weight without reducing muscle mass.
- Gives the gastrointestinal tract time to “rest and repair” itself.
- May increase lifespan. Studies show that restricted eating may be tied to “younger” cells and longer lives.
- Improves memory and cognitive abilities.
Is Intermittent Fasting Right for You?
Watch for side effects, especially in the first two to four weeks of adjustment, such as hunger, fatigue, insomnia, and constipation. If you are diabetic, pregnant, or breastfeeding, or have a history of eating disorders, these plans aren’t for you.
If you try intermittent fasting on Long Island, complement it with expert holistic care at Integrative Family Wellness in Suffolk County, New York. Visit our website here to book an appointment in Smithtown today.