Fasting has been around for centuries, practised within Buddhist, Muslim and Christian cultures, to aid and purify the body and mind.
In this article we are going to go through what Intermittent fasting is, how it works on the body and what are the health benefits.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
There are a number of methods of intermittent fasting schedules, in each method there is a time of no consumption or a very low consumption of calories.
With the 5:2 method of fasting you eat “normally” but healthily for 5 days, for 2 days (ideally not consecutive) you are restricted to 600 calories.
24 Hours Fasting
This fasting method is straight forward, you simply fast for 24 hours, once a week, you are able to consume water, herb teas, coffee and tea (no milk or sugar).
Time Restricted Fasting
This method restricts fasting between certain times, consuming 2 healthy meals and possibly a snack depending on your levels of activity.
There are 3 core fasting times.
Fasting for 16 hours with an 8 hour eating window
Fasting for 18 hours with a 6 hour eating window
Fasting for 20 hours with a 4 hour eating window
Fasting for 16 hours with an 8 hour eating window is a sustainable method whereas we would advise fasting for 20 hours as a reset.
The Impact Intermittent Fasting has on the Body?
Fasting initiates 2 processes in the body, autophagy and re-establishes circadian rhythms which are disrupted when we graze on food.
Fasting initiates the process of “autophagy”, which literally means ‘self-eating’. Autophagy is absolutely critical for health maintenance and disease prevention. Autophagy is the body’s way of scouring the cellular matrix for waste in order to dispose and/or recycle it. The primary purpose is to pick up any bacteria, subcellular organelles or damaged proteins and get rid of them by whatever means possible.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Although many people investigate intermittent fasting for weight loss there is a lot more to it than that.
Benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Mental clarity
- Minimise the risk of liver disease
- Minimise the risk of heart disease
- Minimise the risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Reduce hypertension
- Reduce cholesterol
- Decrease neurodegenerative processes
- Weight loss
We have discussed; what is intermittent fasting, methods of fasting and the benefits of fasting.