Intermittent fasting (IF) is a diet in which you switch between meals and fasting. For example, a day can be divided into two parts, of which the hungry interval between meals is can be 8 hours (8/16), 12 hours (12/12) or 16 hours (16/8). Everyone chooses the most suitable option. During fasting, no snacks are allowed, only water! With more gentle regimes, fruit and vegetable juices are allowed.
There is also a more radical version which is 24/0. This is fasting for the whole day, but it is recommended no more than one to two days a week.
The extreme version of IF is ⅖. It was developed by Michael Mosley, author of The FastDiet. The bottom line is that for five days you eat whatever you want, and then for two days you don’t eat anything, or you allow yourself light snacks, but the total calorie intake per day should not exceed 500 kcal.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Diet
1. Changes the Functioning of Cells, Hormones, and Genes
Interesting changes occur in the body during starvation. It starts the process of repairing damaged cells and changes the level of hormones to facilitate the body’s access to fat so it becomes fuel.
Insulin levels drop, which contributes to fat burning. In the blood, the level of growth hormone increases (up to five times) and this also contributes to the burning of fat, an increase in muscle mass, and faster recovery of cells after physical strain. Some cells and genes undergo changes that increase longevity and help fight diseases.
2. Contributes to Weight Loss
The main purpose of the interval fasting diet is weight loss. This diet makes you eat less. Even if you eat a lot during the hours of eating, it will still be less (a maximum of a couple of calories more) than the amount of food that you eat during the day with a normal diet.
Lower levels of insulin, higher levels of growth hormone, and an increased amount of norepinephrine increase the breakdown of fat in the body and contribute to its use as an energy source. Intermittent fasting speeds up your metabolism by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories. According to research, IF causes 3-8% weight loss within 3-24 weeks.
3. Lowers Insulin Levels and Reduces the Likelihood of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is an acquired disease. This means that with improper nutrition (foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates) and a sedentary lifestyle, your chances of getting this disease are greatly increased, especially if you have a predisposition to it. Everything that lowers insulin levels in the blood is diabetes prevention. Interval fasting leads to an impressive decrease in blood sugar.
4. Improve Your Oral Health
By limiting the amount of sugars in your mouth and the time they spend in there, you can limit the bacteria that cause plaque. Plaque can lead to inflammation of the gums, which can ultimately lead to gum and teeth pain. Keeping your mouth free of food for 16 to 24 hours is like a daily detox for the gums and teeth.
5. Positively Affect Cognitive Function and Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Since intermittent fasting boosts metabolism (reduces oxidative stress, inflammation, blood sugar, and insulin resistance), it also affects our ability to think and solve problems. Several rat studies have shown that IF increases the growth of new nerve cells and increases the level of the brain’s hormone called neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a deficiency of which is associated with depression and other cognitive problems.
Intermittent starvation in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has greatly facilitated its course. Experiments have shown that this method of nutrition can protect against other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.