Diet fads are no longer new. In fact, when you type in ‘diet fads’ online, you’ll be able to come across countless familiar results results—paleo, vegan, keto, the Mediterranean diet, and many more. As more and more people become conscious about their health and weight, expect that many other types of diets will be introduced to the public.
If you’ve tried several types of diets in the past but didn’t see any improvement in your health, it might be time to try out something new and do intermittent fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is defined as a diet system that allows you to eat food during certain times of the day in order to control your hunger while maintaining optimal levels of energy and nutrients. As the name suggests, following this type of diet will require you to fast and eat during certain periods of the day or week. Unlike other kinds of diets, intermittent fasting doesn’t specify what kind of foods you should eat, but rather focuses on when you should eat.
Studies suggest that intermittent fasting may work because whenever you fast and restrain from eating, your body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat, a process often tagged as ‘metabolic switching.’
Aside from affecting your metabolism, intermittent fasting may also impact your brain and body. Your body may begin to break down old immune cells and start generating new ones after 72 hours of fasting. Websites, such as lifeapps.io, are great resources if you would like to know more about intermittent fasting and its potential benefits.
What are the Potential Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Trying out any new diet requires willpower as you may have to make drastic adjustments to your eating habits. When you try out intermittent fasting, you’ll have to reduce the frequency of your meals in a day or week in order to see results.
If you’re looking for motivation to start and remain consistent with your efforts in doing intermittent fasting, the benefits it may provide you can help. Once you know how your health could improve, you’ll be pumped to start your journey into intermittent fasting.
Listed below are four potential benefits of intermittent fasting:
1. May Help You Lose Weight
One of the most appealing potential benefits of intermittent fasting is that it can help you lose weight. Intermittent fasting has been used for years as a tool for weight loss by many different cultures throughout the world. Fasting has been observed by people since ancient times and has been used to help increase metabolism and burn calories more efficiently.
The scientific concept behind intermittent fasting involves eating large amounts of calories over a set period of time but eating very little on alternate days. When you eat a large number of calories on alternate days, your body begins to use up those calories when you fast and eventually burns them up rather than storing them as fat.
2. May Improve Brain Function
Your brain is the most important organ in the body because it coordinates and controls your reactions and actions, allows you to feel and think, and enables you to have memories. In other terms, the things that make you human are because of your brain.
When you try intermittent fasting, your brain may also benefit from your efforts because this diet may improve mental concentration and acuity. According to studies, intermittent fasting may protect your brain against memory decline that comes with age. This works because intermittent fasting can improve the connections of the hippocampus of your brain and protect them against amyloid plaques—amyloid plaques are abnormally configured proteins in the brain that are known to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
3. May Boost Sleep Quality
Your efforts to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle will be useless if you’re not getting enough sleep every night. For starters, sleep is an important ingredient to your health and wellness because it enables the body to repair itself, so you’ll be ready to take on more responsibilities in the days to come.
It could be easier for you to fall and stay asleep when you follow intermittent fasting as following this diet will give your body more time to digest food before you go to bed. When you take your last meal around 4 PM (assuming that you fast for 16 hours a day and take your first meal by 8 AM), for example, you’ll have more time to fully digest what you’ve eaten during the day. Sleeping with a full stomach can result in heartburn or acid reflux, making it challenging for you to fall asleep.
4. May Reduce Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress occurs when there’s an imbalance between the antioxidants and free radicals in your body. When your body functions properly, free radicals can effectively fight off pathogens, but when there is an imbalance, pathogens can cause infections. When there are more free radicals in your body than antioxidants, you’ll also become more prone to countless health problems such as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about oxidative stress when you start to follow intermittent fasting. According to studies, intermittent fasting can enhance the body’s resistance to oxidative stress because this diet can help manage your weight. Oxidative stress is caused by many factors, and obesity is one of them.
Since intermittent fasting will also limit your eating period during the day or week, this can also result in eating fewer foods that contain high levels of fats and sugar. Excessive consumption of these foods can also increase your risk of oxidative stress.
Consult Your Doctor First
With the number of benefits it offers, intermittent fasting could become your ticket to improving your health and wellness. This diet may not only help you lose weight but improve your bodily functions, as well.
However, before you jump on this bandwagon and start doing intermittent fasting, it’s best if you consult your doctor first. Intermittent fasting is generally healthy, but making abrupt changes to your eating habits can possibly result in side effects and health risks, especially if you have other conditions that could be impacted by a sudden change in diet.