Intermittent fasting has been the most effective method for weight loss for some time. It has become popular because it offers an easy way to reduce energy intake and this often leads to weight loss. In addition to simplicity, it attracts the awareness that deprivation is temporary and that one can free oneself from food hunger once the fasting phase is over.
Both men and women appreciate it, not only for accelerated and sustained weight loss, but also because they know it can improve health and longevity in doing so. Fasting, even for just a few hours, triggers a biological response to food shortages, called “metabolic switching”: once the sugar stores are exhausted, the cells begin to burn body fat. A break from the constant calorie consumption of an infinite number of snacks also gives the metabolism and the energy plant of the body’s cells a chance to reset. Studies tend to show that it works best for men and postmenopausal women, while its effectiveness is less for younger women.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
There are several models: lo scheme 16/8 in which you fast for 16 hours a day and eat meals in the Eight hours remaining, typically performed on up to 2 days per week; the 5: 2 scheme in which caloric intakes imitating fasting (about 500-600 kcal) are foreseen during 2 days in one week, while the rest 5 you eat normally; the “Eat-Stop-Eat” scheme in which yes fast for 24 hours consecutive one or two days per week.
The most common and valid method is the 16/8 method: it consists of fasting for 16 hours, then eating the remaining 8 hours, and thus skipping breakfast or dinner. The portions must be rich in healthy foods and never abundant.
The Benefits: Reduces the risk of chronic disease and improves sleep
“Intermittent fasting can also improve a person’s sleep and quality of life, as well as reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease,” he continues Panda. As recent research has revealed that genes, hormones and metabolism go up and down at different times of the 24-hour day, according to the researchers, “we should align our daily eating habits with the body’s internal clock so that we can improve health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and liver disease ”.
Eating at random moments breaks the “synchrony” of the organism
According to the researchers, eating a meal or in any case eating something at random times of the day breaks the body’s “synchrony”, and if it becomes habitual, it can increase the risk of some diseases. “Intermittent fasting – underline the scientists – is a lifestyle that anyone can adopt. It can help eliminate health disparities and allow everyone to live a healthy and fulfilling life ”.
This innovative and popular diet is very popular because it is easy to follow, requiring no special foods, but is it really risk-free?
The main benefits deriving from the intermittent fasting affect the regulation of blood glucose, with an improvement in triglyceride and cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels and resting heart rate. Also, it appears that they follow the intermittent fasting can help reduce the increase in free radicals and can delay the onset of diseases such as stroke, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
Intermittent fasting: contraindications and side effects
If it is true that the intermittent fasting It has several benefits, in particular related to the regulation of glucose in the blood and to the levels of blood pressure and heart rate, it is also true that if prolonged over time, prolonged and repeated fasting can cause serious damage to the body. Furthermore, the presence of a concomitant disease may represent an additional risk factor.
As stated by the ISS – Higher Institute of Health – “when it comes to reducing the number of calories (calorie restriction) and, above all, fasting, it is good to remember that the effects on health can be unpredictable and in some cases dangerous. For this reason, it is important to avoid radically changing one’s eating habits without the advice of a doctor or an expert in the sector ”.
Usually, in fact, when a professional follows us, it is difficult for other problems to arise besides, of course, the frequent feeling of hunger. On the other hand, if you use the intermittent fasting “Do it yourself” you can run into ailments such as irritability, anger, difficulty concentrating, headaches, fatigue, falling asleep, reduced physical and mental performance, dehydration and insomnia.
Furthermore, some situations are more at risk than others. If you are taking drugs and in the presence of illness it is particularly important to avoid resorting to do-it-yourself and improvised diets.
Finally, any form of intermittent fasting it is absolutely to be avoided in children, adolescents, pregnant or lactating women and in all cases of eating disorder