Intermittent Fasting

What is intermittent fasting?

It is not a diet but an eating pattern that cycles between times of fasting and eating. The most common time frame for fasting is 16 hours and this is partly done while you are sleeping, your eating time is the remaining 8 hours. Most people would fast 8pm-12pm and eat 12pm-8pm but this can easily be adjusted to fit your lifestyle and eating habits.

You can start with a simple 12 hours fasting and 12 hours eating and slowly reduce the eating time until you reached the 16/8 method.

What Happens To Your Body When Fasting?

When you fast several things naturally happen to your body on a cellular and molecular level.

Increase in human growth hormone by as much as 5 times as before. This has benefits in fat loss and muscle gain.

Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop significantly. Lower insulin levels make access to stored body fat more accessible.

The cellular repair process is initiated when in a fasted state. Autophagy is where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells.

Gene expression is where changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease. All this and more come from the benefits of intermittent fasting.

Weight (fat) Loss

Weight loss or fat loss to be more accurate is what most people joining a gym or when they start dieting are aiming to achieve. By reducing the amount of time, you are allowed to eat you will automatically eat less reducing the amount of calories you consume.

Intermittent fasting changes hormone levels to facilitate weight (fat) loss. By fasting your body increases the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine. The higher levels of norepinephrine in the body enhance the overall rate of fat loss by stimulating the release of fatty acids from fat cells into the bloodstream for burning as fuel.

Intermittent fasting is a powerful weight loss tool, not only in a 2014 review study found that eating this way can cause 3-8% in weight loss over 3-24 weeks, the same study also found that 4-7% of their waist circumference was reduced indicating a loss in harmful belly fat (visceral fat).

Obviously if you over eat in your eating time frame you won’t lose weight so be careful on how much you are eating.

Other Benefits from Intermittent Fasting.

Apart from weight loss, intermittent fasting can improve, insulin resistance, inflammation, heart health, reduce the risk of cancer, brain health and anti-ageing. The studies done on this have been small, short studies and mostly on animals so this isn’t conclusive. More studies should be done on humans to see the overall benefits.

Pros and Cons

Like with any diet there are pros and cons, different people will get different results and its not necessarily for everyone. You will get hungry that’s a given because you’re reducing your eating time and the amount you eat. Give your body time to adapt but also for you to understand how much you can eat without being grumpy and grouchy (hangry as its called in my house) and lose weight.

Always consult a doctor before starting any diet especially if you have any current conditions that need to be considered.