Happy, Healthy Body – Intermittent Fasting 

Happy, Healthy Body
Intermittent Fasting
There has been a lot buzz about intermittent fasting lately. How beneficial is it for our health? And most importantly, for the purpose of this blog, can it help you lose weight? Weight loss is probably the most common reason why someone will even research and ultimately, try intermittent fasting. I know for me, when I started practicing intuitive eating, it seemed like I would intermittent fast naturally. Of course, by reducing our food intake, intermittent fasting leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.  Intermittent fasting also changes our hormone levels which will aid in weight loss as well. Intermittent fasting affects and lowers insulin levels, which will increase our growth hormone levels. That in turn will increase our fat burning hormones. And, because intermittent fasting changes different hormones in our bodies, short term fasting may even increase our metabolism. Sounds good so far, right? There’s more. One study found that intermittent fasting can cause 3–8% weight loss over 3–24 weeks, which is a significant amount, compared to most weight loss studies. And the same study found people also lost 4–7% of their waist circumference, indicating a significant loss of harmful belly fat that builds up around your organs and causes disease. This is a win win for sure. Now remember, it goes without saying that if you eat massive amounts of food during your non fasting eating periods, you may not lose any weight at all.
So what are the health benefits? If you read up on intermittent fasting, which I recommend you do, you will see that there are a wide range of health benefits. In addition to weight loss, some of the benefits include better blood sugar balance, increase in energy levels, decreased food and sugar cravings, lower joint and tissue inflammation, improved cognitive function, increased health, immunity and longevity, better heart health and athletic performance. How can one simple practice possibly do all this? Well, according to leading researchers, this all comes down to a cellular process called autophagy. Autophagy is what happens in the body when cells clean house and the weak ones die off. When you give your body and digestive system a rest, it allows the true healing to begin.

In your quest for knowledge on the subject, you will also find there are many types of approaches to intermittent fasting. There are 12 and 16 hour fasting window restrictions and even a five and two day eating plan where you limit two days of your eating to 600 calories.  Another approach is to simply fast whenever it’s convenient — simply skip meals from time to time when you’re not hungry or don’t have time to cook. There is no need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to derive at least some of the benefits. You will find lots of different beneficial approaches that could fit into your specific schedule and needs, so feel free to experiment a little. Intermittent fasting can definitely make life easier, as you don’t need to plan, cook or clean up after as many meals as before.

And one last thing: While intermittent fasting can become your new best friend, keep in mind that the way you break your fast is just as important. It’s completely counterproductive—and even dangerous for insulin and blood sugar balance—to fast and then immediately binge on unhealthy foods. And, please don’t forget if you have a medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.

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