Intermittent fasting is currently one of the worlds most popular nutrition trends. It is basically an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. The focus is more on when you should eat, rather than on what you should eat.
Health-conscious people love it, but is this eating pattern the right choice for you?
Affect on Cells and Hormones
Before we answer that question, lets look at how intermittent fasting affects your cells and hormones. During the fasting phase, there are various processes and changes that happen in your body. A few changes include the following:
- Improvement in Insulin sensitivity.
The levels of insulin drop drastically and the benefit of lower insulin levels is that stored body fat is much more accessible.
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH) increase rapidly, as much as 5-fold, which is beneficial for fat loss and muscle gain.
- Gene expression that includes changes in the function of genes linked to longevity and protection against diseases.
- Cellular repair is initiated. Autophagy takes place, a process which removes and digest old dysfunctional proteins that build up in cells.
Does intermittent fasting help with weight loss?
Yes, intermittent fasting is indeed a very powerful weight loss tool.
Aside from lowering insulin and increasing growth hormone levels, it also promotes the secretion of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine. Intermittent fasting may increase your metabolic rate, cause a significant amount of weight loss and reduce your waist circumference which consist mostly of harmful belly fat around your organs.
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Some evidence suggest that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. Females may react differently due to differences in hormones. Therefore it is very important to watch for changes in menstrual cycles or other negative symptoms. If you have any medical conditions, a history of eating disorders, trying to conceive, are pregnant or breastfeeding then please do not try intermittent fasting before consulting a Doctor and Dietitian.
The bottom line is there is still a lot of research that needs to be done. Especially on the long-term effect in humans. Just remember that the main reason for the success of intermittent fasting is that it helps you to eat fewer calories overall, which can also be achieved through other methods or diets. Intermittent fasting has a lot of benefits but even more so does a personalized healthy diet.
Before deciding if intermittent fasting is right for you, why not consult a Dietitian first?
There are a lot of different methods and diets available to achieve weight loss or a healthier lifestyle, but please be careful and don’t just choose one based on information you have read online from untrustworthy sources. The quality of your diet is also an important factor that go into weight management, not just the window in which you are consuming calories. The best option is always to consult a Dietitian first to assist you in creating a personalized diet based on your specific needs.
Please leave a comment and let us know how you feel about intermittent fasting.