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What Intermittent fasting does to your body and brain?

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Intermittent fasting, the most Googled diet of 2019, focuses more on when people eat rather than how much they eat.

One of the most popular types is the 16:8 method in which people only eat during an eight-hour window and fast the remaining 16 hours of the day. Intermittent Fasting(IF) is simply limiting yourself to eating within a specific time frame.

There are several variations of IF to choose from. Decide which type fits into your lifestyle the best and then talk about it with your doctor.

Read Also: What Does Dietary Fibre Mean, Benefits And How To Do It

Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Mark Mattson, PhD, has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years. He says that our bodies have evolved to be able to go without food for many hours, or even several days.

What Intermittent fasting does to your body and brain?

There are changes that occur in certain cells and genes that help protect against disease and increase new neural and nerve cell growth and the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), both of which improve overall brain function.

Ways to do Intermittent fasting.

1. 16/8 fasting: Also known as time-restricted fasting, this strategy involves eating only during an eight-hour period, such as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and fasting for the rest of the day.

2. Alternate-day fasting: As the name implies, this style of fasting is when you fast or severely restrict your caloric intake everyday.

3. 5:2 diet: With this method, you eat normally five days a week and choose two, nonconsecutive days where you eat only 500 to 600 calories.

This style of eating isn’t for everyone, so before trying intermittent fasting discuss it with your doctor. People who are a particular concern are diabetics, people with heart conditions, and those on blood pressure medication.

Tips That Can Help You do Intermittent fasting.

Stay hydrated: – Drink lots of water and non-caloric drinks such as herbal teas throughout the day during the fast periods.

Avoid obsessing over food: – Plan plenty of distractions on fasting days to avoid thinking about food such as catching up on paperwork or going to see a movie.

Resting and relaxing: Avoid strenuous activities on fasting days although light exercise like yoga can be beneficial.

Conclusion

It’s important to check with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting to get his/her go-ahead as Intermittent fasting is not for everyone.

The body takes time about 2-4 weeks to become adjusted to Intermittent fasting. You might feel hungry or cranky while getting used to the new routine. Longer periods without food, such as 12, 24,36,48 hour fasting periods are not necessarily better and can be dangerous as going too long without eating might actually encourage your body to start storing more fat in response to starvation.

Some people try Intermittent fasting for weight management and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, or arthritis.

But intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone such as children or teens under 18, people with an eating disorder history, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Consistency and ensuring that it is aligning with your mind, body, and soul, you can expect a good weight loss of anywhere between 2-6 kg a month with excellent inch loss and increase in energy levels and brain function.

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