Intermittent fasting is known as the ancient secret of health. It is an ancient method because it has been practiced throughout all of human history. Many people think that intermittent fasting is starvation but that is absolutely wrong. Starving and fasting are two completely different concepts.
Starvation is the involuntary absence of food whereas on the other handfasting is the voluntary withholding of food for spiritual, health or other reasons.
Fasting is not something curious, but a part of everyday and normal life. It is perhaps the oldest and most powerful dietary form imaginable. Some of the major benefits of intermittent fasting are as follows:
- Reduces Inflammation:
Intermittent fasting has been shown to significantly reduce inflammation.
Excessive inflammation is the cause of many chronic diseases that we face today including Alzheimer’s, dementia, obesity diabetes and more.
- Create More Brain Cells:
You can create more brain cells and therefore improve your brain power. According to a well-known professor of Neurology, fasting has been shown to increase rates of neurogenesis in the brain. Neurogenesis is the growth and development of new brain cells and nerve tissues.
- Burns Fat for Fuel Instead Of Sugar:
Fat is actually a better and cleaner source of fuel than carbohydrates. Not only does fat produce more energy than carbohydrates do, but it actually produces less free radicals, which cause inflammation. When your mitochondria, your cells batteries, use fat or carbohydrates to make energy.
- Boosts Human Growth Hormone:
Intermittent fasting has been shown to naturally boost human growth hormone levels to provide healthy anti-aging, repair, neuroprotective, and long life benefits.
- Supercharges your energy:
Intermittent fasting is known for increasing the creation of mitochondria. Mitochondria are the batteries for your cells. Each one of your cells is filled with hundreds of mitochondria that power your cells to do their job. Their job is to take the food you eat and turn it into energy.
The different techniques or methods of intermittent fasting are as follows:
- Shorter fasts:
a. 16:8- You can eat all your meals within an 8-hour time period and fast for the remaining 16 hours. Generally, this is done daily or almost daily.
b. 20:4- This involves a 4-hour eating window and a 20 hour fast. For example, you might eat between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm every day and fast for the other 20 hours.
- Longer fasts:
a. 5:2- This involves 5 regular eating days and 2 fasting days. These calories can be consumed at any time during the day either spread throughout the day or as a single meal.
b. 36 hour fast: This involves fasting for the entire day. For example, if you eat dinner on day 1, you would fast for all of day 2 and not eat again until breakfast on day 3.
- Extended fast:
You can fast almost indefinitely every day. Generally for fasts greater than 48 hours. The world record for fasting is 382 days, so going 7-14 days is certainly possible.