Intermittent fasting (IMF) isn’t just a weight loss diet. It’s also an extensively studied and recommended medical diet because of its wide range of health benefits.
In addition to helping you shed unwanted body fat, it can also improve your quality of life and ensure long term health. Here’s the five biggest reasons you should try intermittent fasting.
Insulin production and effectiveness will play a large role in your body composition and weight management. High levels of insulin is a contributing factor for obesity and developing diabetes.
The consumption of carbohydrates increases your blood sugar, causing your pancreas to increase insulin production to normalize blood sugar levels.
The more resistant you are to insulin, however, the more insulin will need to be produced to do its job. The more insulin circulating in your system, the more likely you are to struggle with gaining weight.
What does this have to do with intermittent fasting, right? Studies have shown IMF can increase your insulin sensitivity requiring less to be produced to normalize your blood sugar levels.
Weight Loss & Management
Dieting and trying to lose weight is hard. You have to fight off tempation, cheating, and guilt. Intermittent fasting isn’t a miracle diet, but it does have several factors to help maintain diet discipline.
1) Your meals are going to be bigger compared to normal diets. This gives you a feeling of satisfaction, and keeps you feeling full much longer.
2) Unlike other diets, there isn’t a “one food” source you have to avoid. You can eat carbs, fruit, and most grains on the diet.
3) Your meal structure, and schedule, will create simple easy to follow diet discipline.
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Lean Muscle Mass
Intermittent fasting has been studied extensively as a medical diet, and one of the more interesting effects of fasting is how it influences your growth hormone secretion. When you fast, and avoid all calories, you’ll get a “short burst” of increased growth hormone secretion around the 12-14 hour point of your fast.
Many will identify growth hormone with building muscle mass, but in this case it’s only enough to help preserve lean muscle mass.
Why is that important? When you’re dieting, and restricting calories, you don’t just lose body fat. You also lose a significant amount of lean mass which negatively effects your metabolic rate.
The increased growth hormone secretion while intermittent fasting will help you keep the muscle you have while shedding excess body fat.
While intermittent fasting has gained a lot of recognition in weight management and other health areas, one of the most important benefits to switching to an IMF schedule is its influence on the brain and cognitive decline.
Studies have shown the aging process, and deterioration of brain cells, can be linked to engery intake. Fasting for twice per week can significantly reduce the risk of developing brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
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Inflammation, arthritis, and other age related diseases are linked to oxidative stress. As you age unstable molecules (free radicals) will interact and damage other molecules like protein and DNA.
Intermittent fasting has shown to increase your bodies resistance to oxidative stress which can slow and help prevent many age related diseases.
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