Intermittent fasting (IF) is defined as periods of not-eating and eating. During eating periods, your body requires nutrient-dense meals, not calorie-dense meals. But when it comes to not-eating periods, your body cells and tissues regenerate, your immune system boosts up, your digestive system rests and you achieve hormone balance.
Prolonged fasting leads to hormone-level balance. Here’s a few benefits:
Intermittent fasting positively affects the way our body uses fat stores as an energy source. When you’re fasting, the body is more sensitive to insulin. When insulin levels drop, the body accesses stored fat as an energy source.
Fasting makes you hungrier. Your body’s response is more sensitivity to other hormones such as leptin and ghrelin while releasing more cholesterol – forcing you to use fat reserves instead of sugar.
HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE
Fasting for 18 hours or more can lead to increases in the Human Growth Hormone by 100 percent in both men and women. The higher the HGH, the leaner our bodies. Better metabolism can aid fat loss and build more muscle.
METABOLIC SYNDROME AND DIABETES
Intermittent fasting protects and treats Diabetes Type II and Metabolic Syndrome. Combine fasting periods with regular exercise is normalizes insulin levels and resistance. Insulin resistance is one of the most common symptoms in chronic diseases.
Scientific evidence shows an increase of testosterone levels and utilization by the body of more than 50%, just for short periods of fasting. That means that IF is a great strategy to balance the testosterone levels. The more balanced testosterone you have, you will get the benefits from it like reduce the stress in the body, helps to reduce fatigue of the muscles, improves in body composition (less fat, more muscle), and makes you be in a better mood.
Other benefits of intermittent fasting
- Reduces inflammation
- Protects from oxidative stress in body cells
- Reduces heart disease risks
- Promotes brain health, mindfulness and eating awareness
Before You Start Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting raises hormones’ sensitivity levels. Before adopting IF, we recommend to consult a professional on the tools, information and suggestions. This method can be harsh on your body with unintended side effects. A great supervised intermittent fasting program encompasses your habits, lifestyle and physical determinants with your personal goals and requirements.
Consult a nutritionist on how to build the right program for you if weight loss is one of your goals.
About the Author
Marcela is a Nutritionist and Dietitian, with a specialisation in Sports Nutrition. She earned her undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Costa Rica in 2008, then completed her master’s degree in Human Movement and Integrative Health with emphasis on Athletes and Sports Nutrition in the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica in 2010. Marcela dedicated the past ten years to Muay Thai and holds the WBC Asia World Championship.