Intermittent fasting is a food system based on the cardinal principle of creating a "window" (time frame) of fasting with a specific duration that affects the overall calorie balance and hormonal metabolism. Read this article to find out more about its functioning and its benefits.
How does intermittent fasting works?
During food abstinence, in addition to a total insulin calm (remember that insulin is the anabolic hormone par excellence but it is also responsible for the fats deposit), there is a significant increase of another hormone: the IGF-1 or somatomedin (some also mention an increase in testosterone). Intermittent fasting is then responsible for the secretion of GH (somatotropin), known as "well-being hormone". Unlike insulin, GH, while increasing hypertrophy, does not determine a fat deposit, but promotes lipolysis necessary for weight loss and muscle definition.
The main diets that provide for intermittent fasting are three: fasting on alternate days, fasting for 2 days a week and daily fasting (the period of the day during which the individual eats is limited to 8-12 hours and the remaining 12-14-16 hours are for fast).
Benefits of intermittent fasting
Some specialists propose to treat overweight and metabolic diseases through intermittent fasting, in this case called therapeutic fasting. This practice is carried out under medical supervision and nutritional support. Intermittent fasting can be beneficial or harmful according to certain factors: duration, completeness of food abstention, pathological conditions for its application, etc. However, what are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Several studies have highlighted the health benefits of intermittent fasting. Not only the slimming and contrast of free radicals, which translated may seem an elixir of long life, but also resources that can regulate the level of blood sugar and inflammation. From the point of view of cardiovascular health, intermittent fasting improves blood pressure levels, resting heart rate, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels in the blood and reduces oxidative stress related to the development of atherosclerosis.
Intermittent fasting also has effects on health and aging. Calorie restriction seems to increase life expectancy. In some studies, people with intermittent fasting have shown: weight loss, reduction of abdominal girth, improved insulin sensitivity and therefore a lower risk of developing diabetes, increased muscular endurance and increased cognitive abilities.
The island of Okinawa (south of Japan) holds the absolute record for the number of centenarian inhabitants in good health. That is why it is one of the five blue zones in the world. Over there, they regularly practice intermittent fasting. They eat mainly vegetables, algae, goya, tofu, fish (very raw, also of big size like tuna) and very little meat. Another very important aspect that characterizes the food style of the inhabitants of this Japanese island is calorie moderation; in this regard, a famous local saying suggests eating about 80% of the food needed to feel satiated.
Useful tips for intermittent fasting
Despite the disparate health benefits of intermittent fasting, inserting this practice into everyday life is not easy. Before starting intermittent fasting, it is necessary to ask for the help of a nutritionist to ensure a balanced supply of macro and micronutrients.
Intermittent fasting with ProLon®
Today you may take advantage of a method to fast without giving up food: the Fasting Mimicking Diet®. ProLon is a 5-day meal program that allows you to get the benefits of fasting by eating. How is this possible? ProLon is composed of a specific amount of micro and macronutrients studied for over 20 years that allow the body not to perceive that it is taking food. Book your free nutritional call now with our nutrition coach to learn more about it.