Intermittent Fasting Benefits

Well, everyone heard about it, but not everyone knows what it is. We want to tell you the necessary details about what is intermittent fasting, intermittent fasting benefits, and cons, and also is the intermittent fasting for weight loss good choice. Also, we will mention different types of intermittent fasting and who should avoid it!

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What is Intermittent Fasting

So, what is intermittent fasting? Everyone is talking about it now, from scientists to the showbusiness stars. 

Who made it popular? – Yoshinori Osumi, a 2016 Nobel laureate in physiology and medicine, proved that intermittent fasting contributes to cell renewal and can inhibit the development of diabetes and cancer.

How does it work? – So, this is a kind of meal plan where you have to eat only some period of time. For example, only 4 hours a day, or 8 hours. or 5 days a week.

Who practices this diet? – the stars who officially told that they are using intermittent fasting are Alicia Vikander, Kim Kardashian, Hugh Jackman. For example, Halle Berry said that she starts her breakfast no earlier than at two PM.

Intermittent Fasting Benefits

There are a few main factors of intermittent fasting benefits like: 

  • It lowers blood insulin and sugar levels – Some studies have shown that short-term fasting improves tissue insulin sensitivity better than traditional diets, while other studies have produced comparable results. Researchers also found that short-term fasting and traditional diets provide comparable levels of hemoglobin reduction.
  • Cancer risk reduction – Studies have shown that calorie restriction reduces IGF-1 levels, which slows possible tumors growth. Some clinical studies involving cancer patients demonstrated that fasting reduces the severity of certain side effects of chemotherapy, including weakness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Human growth hormone production – The blood levels of growth hormone can increase to about 5-fold. When the production of growth hormones is higher it can facilitate fat burning and muscle gain and a number of other benefits.
  • Weight loss – a huge amount of studies and proves shows that intermittent fasting can help you to burn fat and reduce extra weight. 

Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

So, one of the main intermittent fasting benefits is weight loss. Definitely, this diet purpose main goal wasn’t a weight loss. But it showed and proved that it is perfect for weight loss. 

The main thing is that you still need to have a calorie deficit to reduce weight. So possibly you want to ask how is it connected to intermittent fasting?  Well, it is much easier to eat less after 16-18 hours of fasting, as your stomach is shrinking at this time. Also, very often people just eat less because your eating period is 8-6 hours only.

If you are interested to know how to get calories deficit you can check our other article about how to burn fat and get shredded

Also, we already mentioned above, that production of extra growth hormone is one of the main benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss. 

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When to Eat and When Not?

Here we want to talk about different ways how to stick to intermittent fasting. There are few the most popular plans, but you can make your own of course too!

The most popular plan 16/8 – Well, 16 hours of fasting (most of which occurs in sleep) and meals during the remaining 8 hours. The time of the beginning and end of periods of satiety and starvation is not so important and easily adapts to your habits and/or needs like: you can have breakfast at 8.00 – have dinner at 16.00, or to have breakfast at 10.00 – have dinner at 18.00.

14/10 the easiest one – 14 hours of hunger with 10 hours of eating. It is even easier to count than previous one. Most nutritionists recommend starting interval fasting with this plan, and then, if you find it too simple or the result does not satisfy you, gradually switch to longer periods of fasting, for example like 16/8.

Full day fasting or 24/0 – Of course not every day, just you are not eating once or twice a week. It should be noted that this is doesn’t mean a refusal of food for a whole day. Firstly, this is incorrect from a mathematical point of view. If you had dinner at 19:00 on Monday, didn’t eat all Tuesday and had breakfast at 7:00 on Wednesday, it means that you went hungry for 36 hours, but not at all agreed 24! Secondly, it is much easier to starve from lunch one day to dinner next. Or from dinner to dinner.

Every second day – This one is much more difficult than the previous one. So, Having dinner on Monday night, you do not eat anything until Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, you are eating until evening, then again you pass a day. This is really hard, and we do not recommend to do it constantly. 

There is, however, a lightweight option, suggesting that in a hungry 24-hour period you do not refuse food completely, but only reduce the number of calories to 500 per day.

Pros & Cons

Well, we will start with the pros first: 

  1. Simple to stick to it – you do not need to count all calories here. You just don’t eat about 14 – 18 hours and then you eat as much as you want. And your stomach is so shrunk for this time of hunger, that you even can’t eat a lot.  
  2. Cleansing your organism – restricting food for a longer time optimizes and extends your body’s natural cleansing process. It may have more benefits, such as improved alertness and attention, lower inflammation and even promoting a longer and healthier life.
  3. It can be a good easier way for weight loss – If you will stay in a caloric deficit, it will be easy to lose weight with intermittent fasting. Also, it is much easier to stay in a caloric deficit after a long time of hunger. 
  4. It is easy to adapt – it doesn’t matter are you sleeping longer, or you are waking up early in the morning. You just need to count hours when you can and when you can’t eat. 

Even if it ha quite a long list of benefits, it has some downsides as well: 

  1. If you have any stomach issues, it will be better to avoid this technique. Some people can have more problems with it then. 
  2. Raise of bad cholesterol – this happens only when people are eating junk food on their no fasting days. They are attacking desserts, french fries, chips, etc. So, this is expectable, that bad cholesterol will raise. 

Who can benefit from intermittent fasting? 

Well, all people who do not have an eating disorder can definitely benefit from it. 

Who should avoid intermittent fasting? 

  • People with the weak immune system 
  • Pregnant women 
  • Breastfeeding women 
  • People with diabetes
  • People with a disease like cancer and similar

Video for Lazy Readers!

Bottom Line

So, we possibly have told you all about what intermittent fasting is and what you need to know about intermittent fasting for weight loss. Also, as you already know, intermittent fasting is a good way to get healthier, and we told you some intermittent fasting benefits. There are some cons though, but basically all diets have these cons for the people we have mentioned above. 

Please note – we do not recommend you take ANY supplements or diet featured on this site without consulting a doctor first.

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Vitalij Kacanovskij

I am a personal trainer, expert in dietology and ex men's physique participant. I am in love with everything related to fitness. I will try to provide the best possible information into my Blog and for this website visitors!

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