Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern, that is, abstaining from eating any calories for a period of time. It is also when you switch between eating and fasting.
What do dietitians say about intermittent fasting?
That if you try intermittent fasting, do so under the supervision of a healthcare professional, as it's difficult to maintain and can lead to negative health consequences if not done correctly.
When did intermittent fasting begin?
Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016.
He received the award for his study of the mechanisms of autophagy, a natural cell renewal process in which unnecessary and damaged components are removed.
Later, the Japanese would call him "the creator of the life-prolonging method of intermittent fasting", which Yoshinori Ohsumi did not personally claim.
The term literally comes from Latin and can be translated as "self-eating".
The mechanism of cell autophagy can lead to a lack of energy and resources that come with starvation.
Thus, the only thing left for the organism is to use what is already available.
Yoshinori Ohsumi's research began with a solution to the problem of tumors in the digestive system.
But the public embraced the discovery and literally made it popular. The principles of autophagy underlie intermittent fasting or fasting.
It turns out that even before Japanese experts, Silicon Valley residents were fascinated by the problems of regeneration, recovery, and, above all, increased energy and thus increased productivity.
California biotech educators decided to "hack" their organisms like computers. The newly formed community members actively shared their findings and recommendations.
Many were cut off from their favorite jobs and starved for 60 hours. They were the first to link the development of Japanese autophagy to the benefits of intermittent fasting.
[Read More: Intermittent Fasting According to Your Body Type]
[Read More: Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss]
What do doctors say about keto intermittent fasting (IF)?
Doctors say about keto intermittent fasting that it has benefits, including:
- Improves brain function, as the latter gets its energy from burning glucose, and when it is finished, it begins to break down fat cells or increases fat burning.
- It reduces the rate of atherosclerosis, and thus provides blood flow to the rest of the body, and blood flow is not limited to the stomach only.
- Burning fat increases the level of satiety, reduces inflammation in the body, improves immunity, and increases body efficiency.
- Intermittent fasting cleanses the body (detox), as it eliminates all free radicals in the body.
- Intermittent fasting helps in burning fat, when the body finishes burning glucose, it resorts to fat cells.
- The body also begins to break down damaged white cells, thus reducing the rate of cancer.
Which best Periods of fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not in itself something new. In many religious movements, there are periods of intermittent fasting.
Among other things, they include periodic restrictions or even a refusal to eat and somewhere to drink to cleanse the soul spiritually and physically, dedicating their time to prayers and inner renewal.
The most popular fast is the 16/8 fast when you can eat satiating food for 8 hours and then starve for 16 hours and only drink water.
There are also more categorical types of intermittent fasting with periods of 6-18 or 20/4.
WeFast proponents claim that intermittent fasting improves brain activity and all health indicators, strengthens the immune system, and can increase life expectancy.
To do this, they provide a 36-hour refusal to eat, during which the body at the cellular level uses everything superfluous.
What are the negatives of intermittent fasting (IF)?
Intermittent fasting may cause some potential problems, including:
- Low blood sugar level
- Eating too much
- unexpected weight loss
- Bone health problems
How long should I do alternate day fasting?
Alternate day fasting is one of the methods of intermittent fasting, in this system, they adhere to this diet alternating between a full day of eating and a day of fasting, which usually includes a meal containing 500 calories.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Like the residents of Silicon Valley, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland (USA) also note the positive effect of intermittent fasting on cognitive and analytical abilities:
- Increases mental clarity
- Improves focus
Because of the faster production of ketones in the breakdown of fats, the likelihood of developing epilepsy, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's syndromes are reduced.
Hunger, one of the driving forces behind evolution, causes the brain to work in a stressful and acute mode to think better and faster than in comfortable conditions in greenhouses.
The decrease in excess adipose tissue leads to the fact that all processes in the body are coordinated, and general well-being improves.
In addition, eating according to the pattern of intermittent fasting involves helping to:
- Increased sensitivity of the body to insulin.
- Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
- Normalization of blood pressure.
- Slimming diet.
- Get rid of excess weight.
- It begins the process of purifying the body at the cellular level.
- A competent approach improves the body as a whole.
Experiments on mice have also shown that intermittent fasting positively affects fighting cancer cells.
This is exactly what Yoshinori Ohsumi began searching for. Such experiments have not yet been conducted on humans.
What are the dangers of fasting?
Studies on the benefits of intermittent fasting are primarily expressed by proponents of this weight loss diet.
But experts admit that good intermittent fasting does not harm the body.
At the same time, it has been repeatedly proven that prolonged refusal to eat leads to negative consequences:
- Slows down the metabolism.
- Depletion of the physical and moral resources of the body.
- Quick return to lost kilograms when you return to your previous diet.
Experience shows that even with very comfortable periods, such as 16/8, not to mention the stricter options for intermittent fasting, it is necessary to consult a doctor before practicing it.
There are several contraindications, and fasting can exacerbate existing health problems if one does not identify them.
What should I know before starting intermittent fasting?
If you come to a specialist, you will most likely undergo a full examination.
This may include the following actions:
- Complete blood count (including leukocyte, protein, albumin, serum iron, ferritin, glucose, insulin, thyroid function markers, lipid profile with hypersensitive C-reactive protein).
- Ultrasound of the abdominal organs.
- Gastroscopy (EGDS) may sometimes be needed.
- Bioimpedance measurement.
- For each patient, the nutritionist selects a series of examinations individually.
- It all depends on the disease's presence and the body's general condition.
The importance of a fasting diet
There are no general recommendations for an intermittent fasting diet; it's all subjective too. Therefore, it is important to get help from a specialist.
For example, if there are disturbances in carbohydrate metabolism, it is important not to refuse but to limit the intake of fast carbohydrates.
If there are no serious health problems, you can choose the diet you feel comfortable with.
The number of servings can be different - 2, 3, or 5, depending on what suits you.
But if there are problems with the digestive system, then the "comfort" fades into the background:
- There should be at least three meals.
- It is absolutely impossible to eat constantly when taking intermittent fasting.
- Consultation with a doctor is necessary - independent experiments with diet and the frequency of meals can cause irreparable harm.
- In the standard version of Lent, only periods of eating and fasting are specified.
- The composition of the diet is not regulated, which makes possible the lack of vitamins and other trace elements.
So, the bioimpedance measurement method, which was mentioned earlier, helps to establish not only body mass index (BMI) but also its qualitative composition using an electric pulse:
- Fat and muscle mass as a percentage and in kilograms.
- The amount and distribution of fluid in the body.
- Biological age and other data.
Says nutritionists, the information received will help create a balanced diet within the specified "food window" - the daily eating period.
What are the contraindications of intermittent fasting?
Like any other diet and recovery method, fasting has some contraindications. Intermittent fasting should not be considered.
In the case of eating disorders.
Low body mass index (BMI).
In the presence of problems with the gastrointestinal tract (gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, erosion, and any of the stages of cholelithiasis).
- During the recovery period after infectious diseases.
- In thyroid diseases.
- In type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus (due to the risk of hypoglycemia).
- During pregnancy and lactation.
- During chemotherapy.
If you are healthy and intermittent fasting does not cause discomfort or impair your well-being, you can use the 16/8 option as often as you like and even raise it to your regular nutrition.
You should not fear that the lost pounds will return when you stop fasting. This is only possible if you shorten the speed and your energy costs remain unchanged.
In this case, it is important to control the calorie content of your daily diet so that you get out of intermittent fasting without harming your figure.
Do dietitians recommend intermittent fasting?
During this intermittent fasting, the body uses glucose in the blood or in the liver to continue to function well.
And if intermittent fasting continues for more than 3 days, the body begins to consume reserves of fats and proteins, especially in muscles. The goal is to clean and rejuvenate the body, but also lose weight and fight certain diseases.