It’s one of the most popular health and wellness trends right now, but what is it? Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that moves between periods of fasting and eating. There are no specific foods you should or shouldn’t eat – it solely revolves around when you eat and when you don’t.
Common methods include daily 16-hour fasts, fasting for 24 hours twice per week or alternate day fasting. IF has powerful benefits on the health of your body and brain, and some studies have even shown it may help you live longer.
The main benefits of IF are weight loss, insulin resistance, inflammation, heart health, cancer, brain health, and anti-aging.
Fasting has been present in human culture since the beginning of time. Hunter-gatherers who relied on their own luck and skill to eat often had to fast, meaning humans have evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time. If we look back in time, fasting is actually more natural than eating 3-4 meals every day.
So how does IF work? It has several impacts on your body on both the cellular and molecular level. When we fast, our bodies adjust hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. Our cells also start important repair processes and change gene expression.
When we fast, our Human Growth Hormone (HGH) increases five-fold, helping us to lose muscle and gain weight, amongst other things. We also see insulin sensitivity improve when we fast, leading insulin levels to drop dramatically, making stored body fat more accessible.
As well as the myriad of health benefits IF brings to your life, fasting is also an amazing way to simplify your lifestyle and limit stress and worry. Say goodbye to stressing over 3-4 meals a day and hello to a brand new outlook on life!