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Intermittent fasting: does it really work?

Written by Life & Style, Lifestyle

Intermittent fasting contains periods of fasting and eating. It has been argued that it is an effective way to lose weight with many health benefits. This diet does not specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them. It is not a diet in a conventional sense but more of an eating pattern.

This approach of fasting was popularised in 2012 by Dr Michael Mosley’s TV documentary, Eat Fast Live Longer and book The Fast Diet. Since, intermittent fasting has had a steady positive buzz. Dr Monique Tello states that new research has suggested that “not all [intermittent fasting] approaches are the same, and some are actually very reasonable, effective, and sustainable, especially when combined with a nutritious plant-based diet.”

There are many ways to do intermittent fasting. For example, the 16/8 method is where you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8. While the 5:2 method is where you restrict calories to 500-600 for 2 days and eat normally for 5 days of the week. During the periods where you eat, you are allowed to eat whatever you want. Intermittent fasting doesn’t limit the amount of food you can eat, however the results of the fast would be more beneficial if your diet consists of healthy and nutritious food.

The changes in our body, such as hormone levels and cell function, are responsible for the health benefits of intermittent fasting

When we fast, several things happen in our body, such as our cells initiate important repair processes. The changes in our body, such as hormone levels and cell function, are responsible for the health benefits of intermittent fasting. When we fast, our human growth hormone increases while insulin levels decrease.

A review in The New England Journal of Medicine by Dr Rafael de Cabo and Dr Mark P Mattson highlighted the reason why this diet is so effective and popular. The researches, from various animal and human studies, concluded how simple fasting would improve metabolism and lower blood sugar. This would improve a range of health issues and help clear toxins from our body. Not only will this help us in the short run, intermittent fasting may also help us with lowering risk of type 2 diabetes and allow us to have a healthier heart and brain.

With a healthy diet and lifestyle, this approach of intermittent fasting can be particularly effective

So here’s the deal. With a healthy diet and lifestyle, this approach of intermittent fasting can be particularly effective. How can we practise intermittent fasting more effectively? We should avoid sugar in our diet, this includes snacking and eating at night. We should also try to be as active as possible and build muscle. So if fasting works for you, go for it!

Last modified: 23rd March 2020

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