Contrary to popular belief, intermittent fasting is not an extreme or dangerous form of “dieting.” It’s actually a very healthy practice that’s loaded with a number health benefits. What kind of health benefits? Everything from reducing risks that are associated with obesity, reversing diabetes, to possibly assisting in killing cancer and more.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is about timing your meals to allow for regular periods of fasting. Recommendations for allocating time throughout your day to go without food range from approximately 12 to 16 hours. This would mean, for example, only eating between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm, and doing so everyday. There are other ways to do it and we will get to that later in the article.
This does not mean binge eating, and taking in vast amounts of junk food into your system during the times allocated for yourself to eat. Doing so would be extremely counter productive and very unhealthy. In fact, the whole practice of fasting can be lost with how you break that fast. Just as important in the entire process of fasting is what you are eating, and how you are eating during the time allocated for you to do so, as well as what you eat before and after you fast.
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The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Studies have shown that Intermittent fasting offers many great health benefits. These include:
- Increase in fat loss while maintaining lean muscle mass
- Faster fat burning and metabolic adaption when training fasted
- Higher levels of human growth hormone which is essential for muscle growth
- Lower LDL cholesterol levels
- Improved mental and cognitive function
- Reduced hunger and food cravings
- Reduced insulin levels and normalised insulin sensitivity
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Reduced inflammation and oxidative stress
Research in animals has indicated that intermittent fasting may also help fight cancer, diabeties, and aging.
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Video by Dr. Mercola explaining Intermittent Fasting