Benefits of Time-Restricted eating (intermittent fasting)

People tend to search for different diets and workouts to reduce their weight and improve their overall health. Many different diets have been discussed about on the internet, some people are advocating for putting fewer calories in your body or not eating a certain food. However recently time-restricted eating (often regarded as intermittent fasting) became one of the most effective tools for losing unnecessary weight and improving health. We will talk about all the benefits of intermittent fasting and why you should try it.

What is Time-Restricted eating?

Time-restricted eating is very important for health and metabolism. Humans are normally diurnal creatures. This is to say that we are active during the day and that we sleep at night. Because of that, all our enzymes are active during the day and things that activate them are light exposure and food intake. When we consume food we activate those enzymes and they are on a 12-hour clock. Your body is metabolizing glucose, fatty acids, etc if you are eating within a 12-hour clock. However, if you are eating beyond that 12-hour clock that’s when things go wrong for your body. Your metabolism as such is not working well when you eat after 12 hours. According to  Dr. Ted Naiman, MD research your body is having two different states: “Fed” and “fasted”. In the fed state, insulin is elevated, and this signals your body to stop any fat burning, to store excess calories in your fat cells, and burn glucose (from your last meal) instead. n the fasted state, insulin is low (while glucagon and growth hormone, opposing hormones to insulin, are elevated). The body first burns stored glucose from glycogen, and then starts mobilizing stored body fat from your fat cells and burning it for energy (instead of glucose). You can burn more stored body fat while in the fasted state, and you store more body fat while in the fed state.

How to do intermittent fasting?

If you are just beginning to do intermittent fasting you can do it step by step. You can start with 14 hours of fasting and 10 hours of eating. It’s generally recommended that women only fast 14–15 hours because they seem to do better with slightly shorter fasts. For people that like to eat breakfast, this method may be hard to get used to at first. However, many people who skip breakfast instinctively eat this way. You may experience a headache for the first few days, but eventually, your body will adapt and learn not to consume food first thing in the morning. Intermittent fasting is a form of acute, short-term, mild stress. This type of stress is really good for your body. For example, running is an acute, short-term, mild stress. After you are done with running you have benefits for the brain, benefits for disease prevention and it affects your weight loss. Similar to that intermittent fasting has its own benefits. It is scientifically proven that fasting will increase your mental sharpness, optimize your hormones, make you lose weight, and lower your inflammation. After acknowledging all of these facts about intermittent fasting we can try to learn how to do it effectively. Let’s say that you stopped eating by 8 p.m, you should try not to consume any calories until 10 a.m. Consuming water will not break your fast, so make sure that you are hydrated while you are fasting. Later you can try to increase your fasting time to 16 hours and reduce your eating time to 8 hours. If you are wondering how many days of a week you should fast, many studies indicate that 5 days in a week are efficient enough to get all the benefits from the fast. You must eat healthy foods while fasting. This method of fasting may not work if you are eating too much junk food and putting too many calories in your body. This method has helped many people reduce their weight and increase their muscle mass. There are few more methods such as “Eat, Stop, Eat” which involves a 24-hour fast once or twice per week. However, I wouldn’t recommend this method to athletes as it is very hard to do two training sessions a day and fast along with it. In the end, I would like to stress out that you should always consider a doctor or nutritionist regarding this method of eating.

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