The practice of fasting has been around for centuries, but in recent years, intermittent fasting has gained popularity as a way to lose weight and improve overall health.
So, what is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term for various eating patterns that involve not eating for periods of time followed by periods of eating. In short, it is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.
Although there are different ways of doing it, the most common form of this diet is the 16/8 method, which entails fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window.
And, what are the benefits of intermittent eating? Some people do it for weight loss, while others do it for improved mental clarity and concentration. There is also some evidence to suggest that interval fasting may have positive effects on lifespan and longevity.
This post will explore the benefits of interval fasting for longevity and provide everything you need to know about this popular dieting trend.
What is Intermittent Fasting or eating?
This eating habit is not a diet in the traditional sense, but rather a way of scheduling your meals. There are several different ways to do interval eat, but the most popular method is the 16/8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours and eating only during an 8-hour window.
Other methods include the 5:2 method, which involves eating normally five days per week and restricting calories to 500-600 two days per week, and the eat-stop-eat method, which involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week.
What are The Benefits
There are several potential benefits of intermittent eating, including weight loss, reduced inflammation, improved brain health, and extended lifespan. Let’s take a closer look at some of these benefits.
- Weight Loss: One of the most common reasons people try interval fasting is for weight loss. When you’re not eating for long periods of time, your body starts to burn through its stored glucose (aka glycogen), which causes you to lose water weight and makes it easier to burn fat. In one study, participants who followed an intermittent eating regimen lost 3-8% of their body weight over a period of 3-24 weeks .
- Reduced Inflammation: Chronic inflammation has been linked to several diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Intermittent eating has been shown to reduce markers of inflammation in the body. Another study found that rats who were intermittently fasted had lower levels of inflammation throughout their bodies. This helps to help to reduce the risk of age-related chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Improved Brain Health: Intermittent eating can also improve brain health by reducing oxidative stress and protecting against neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, some studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve cognitive function. A clinical study on rats found that rats who were intermittently fasted had increased levels of a protein known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
- This protein is important because it helps to protect brain cells from damage and promotes neuroplasticity. This refers to the brain’s ability to adapt and change in response to new experiences. As we age, our levels of BDNF naturally decline. However, this decline can be accelerated by chronic stress or poor lifestyle choices. Therefore, by increasing levels of BDNP through intermittent eating, we may be able to slow down the aging process at a cellular level.
- Increased Lifespan: Research shows that interval fasting may have positive effects on lifespan and longevity. One study found that mice placed on an intermittent fasting diet lived 20% longer than mice who were not placed on a diet.
There you have it! These are just a few examples of how this eating habit can help you live a longer and healthier life.
If you’re considering trying intermittent eating, it’s important to consult with your doctor first. This is important especially if you are pregnant or have any chronic health conditions. Once you start intermittent eating, be sure to listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel.
If you experience any negative side effects, such as excessive hunger or fatigue, stop doing it and talk to your doctor. Otherwise, there’s no reason why you can’t give it a try! Who knows—you might just find that it works for you!