Intermittent fasting consists of alternating between periods of fasting and short phases of food intake. This method is acclaimed for its slimming properties. But it also has many health benefits. Find out what are the benefits of this food trend.
“You have to eat three meals a day”, “breakfast is essential”, “a snack is necessary” … There are many misconceptions about food . They advocate a certain dietary pattern, which is today shaken by new trends. Intermittent fasting is one of them. This method, which consists of not eating for several hours, is gaining popularity and is gaining more and more followers around the world. Intermittent fasting appeals to people who want to lose weight and those who want to boost their metabolism .
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting , also called fasting, is a mode of eating that can span a period of days, weeks, months, and even year-round. Its principle is relatively simple: the day is divided into two parts. The goal is to alternate between fasting phases and periods during which he can eat. The fasting time is determined by each person beforehand, according to their lifestyle and habits . During the fast, it is essential to hydrate continuously.
The duration between two food intakes is estimated at 12 hours but ideally, you should not eat for 16 hours. This is why the most practiced intermittent fasting is the 16/8. It is a 16 hour fast followed by two meals (lunch / dinner or breakfast / dinner or breakfast / lunch). However, there are also other formulas that can meet everyone’s needs and problems. For example, a 13-hour fast with two meals or an 18-hour fast with one meal.
Intermittent fasting: what are the benefits of this method?
Intermittent fasting has been on the rise for a few years because it allows you to lose weight effectively and sustainably. While this is a good option for losing weight , it should be remembered that this method also has many health benefits. Indeed, this mode of feeding is known to strengthen the immune system and restore energy. Fasting is designed to regulate hormones to facilitate access to fat reserves to generate energy during the day.
This method would also improve concentration . According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity , intermittent fasting stimulates the brain by promoting the growth of new neurons. Another benefit: intermittent fasting would better eliminate toxins from the body, reduce inflammation and better resist stress . This method is also a great way to lower your blood sugar and insulin levels . During the fasting period, the body does not receive glucose, so it must draw on the glucose stock already stored.
Intermittent fasting is also beneficial for cardiovascular health. This technique lowers blood pressure and reduces the production of cholesterol . But that’s not all: fasting would also increase life expectancy and reduce the risk of developing chronic pathologies such as cancer , diabetes or cardiovascular disease .
What are the side effects of intermittent fasting?
Many people praise its virtues, but intermittent fasting also has unwanted effects. If this method is done occasionally, it can have positive effects and is safe because it is a normal physiological process. On the other hand, if fasting is practiced over a long period or repeated, it can be dangerous for health.
When you start fasting, you may feel cold, dizzy, or have potassium deficiency. To avoid this, it is advisable to favor foods rich in mineral salts and trace elements.
In the long term, fasting can lead to muscle wasting and hypoglycaemia . This diet can also accentuate the feeling of fatigue , cause dehydration and make you irritable. Another annoyance: halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath .
Intermittent fasting can, in some cases, cause eating disorders , especially when this method is adopted in order to lose weight. However, it should not be forgotten that intermittent fasting is a way of life, not a diet . It may therefore be useful to seek advice from a doctor.
Intermittent fasting: what are the contraindications?
Intermittent fasting is contraindicated in some cases. It is not recommended for pregnant women , individuals suffering from kidney failure , of heart disease , diabetes or people with a BMI (body mass index) of less than 18. Before adopting the fasting, he is advised to consult your doctor.