Last week I began to talk about how it’s not always necessarily about the foods that we put into our bodies, but how we put those foods into our bodies. What I mean by this, is that the timing in which we choose to put these foods into our bodies plays a big role in what these foods do for us. Not saying that what we eat doesn’t play an important role, but there are more factors than just the foods that we eat, that our bodies take into account. Last week I mentioned that there are two different ways that we can choose how we put these nutrients into our bodies. I went over how we can do this with eating consistently throughout the day, but there is one more option that we can choose from. That option is going to be with fasting.
Fasting is an option that has become increasingly popular lately, especially intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is when we choose to abstain from eating during certain hours of the day, and then have a small window each day in which we can eat. The most common way we see this done is with the 16:8 rule, meaning people will fast for 16 hours and then have a 8 hour window to eat. This has become so popular because it is an easier way for people to be at a caloric deficit. Since they are only allowing themselves a small window each day in which they can eat, it helps limit the extra calories most people waste on snacking throughout the day. Just like with most things, there are many different benefits that we can see from fasting. Below are some things we can expect to see if we choose to do intermittent fasting.
Being at a Caloric Deficit and Boosting Metabolism
One of the reasons that intermittent fasting is becoming so popular is because it is an easier way for most people to get to that caloric deficit that we’re all looking for. This is because intermittent fasting allows us to only eat for an allotted amount of time each day, so it limits us eating at unnecessary times. Not only does intermittent fasting help you stay at a caloric deficit just generally speaking, but it can also help boost your metabolism. Studies have shown that short-term fasting can actually increase your metabolism by 3.6-14%. This means that not only will we be consuming less calories, but we will also be burning more calories.
Change in Functions of Cells and Hormones
Something that people don’t tend to think about when they decide to do intermittent fasting is the effect that it has on the inner part of their body as well as the outer. Surprisingly, intermittent fasting can play a role in the changing of our bodies cells and hormones. One change that occurs is that our insulin levels drop significantly during our fasting period, and this in turn helps to facilitate fat burn. Another change that tends to be seen from intermittent fasting in that our human growth hormone levels go up. Higher levels of this hormone helps our body to increase its fat burning capabilities, as well as helping with muscle gain. Evidence has also been found that intermittent fasting can help our body better perform important cellular functions, such as removing waste from cells, as well as helping with protection against diseases.
Reduction of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Sometimes it seems like not a day goes by that our bodies don’t feel some sort of ache or pain somewhere. Well then maybe intermittent fasting is something you might try to help combat that. Several studies have shown that intermittent fasting can actually help reduce oxidative stress. What this means is that it can help reduce things like fatigue, brain fog, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and susceptibility to infections. Not only has it been shown to help improve in those areas, but it has also been shown in some cases to help with inflammation as well.
So as you can see, there are some benefits that we can get from intermittent fasting that you might not have known before or have even thought about. So if you’re one of those people that have a hard time finding enough time each day to each, or find it hard to stick to a consistent eating schedule then maybe intermittent fasting is the option for you! Being able to find what works best for you, is ultimately the end goal. For some of us it’s eating at scheduled times each day, and for others it’s eating within our allotted time limit and that’s it. Whichever it may be, neither way is a wrong way!
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