Why Intermittent Fasting Is Smoking Hot
Intermittent fasting (IF) is smoking hot in scientific circles and deservedly so. According to a comprehensive review of published studies to date, IF appears to have far-reaching positive effects throughout the body. IF encompasses two basic approaches: the 5:2 method or the 6-8 time-restricted method. In the 5:2 method, two days a week food is limited to one moderate sized meal. In the 6-8 method, each day all food is eaten within a 6-8-hour window. The health benefits for IF noted in this report included:
· Greater longevity (slowed aging)
· Enhanced stress resiliency
· Improved blood sugar regulation
· Lower blood pressure
· Lower inflammation
· Improved blood lipids (cholesterol, etc.)
· Weight loss
· Improved memory
Scientists believe IF’s sweeping health benefits relate to a process called “metabolic switching.” Simply stated, when cells use up all of their available sugar fuel, namely glucose, they switch to burning fat. It appears this fuel source transition triggers a host of protective processes at the cellular level, ultimately translating to health improvements.
I have become wildly enthusiastic about IF and now utilize it in my own life and often recommend it to those seeking my guidance. My experience is that it works, and people find it relatively easy to adhere to. If it seems too arduous as defined above, studies show benefits for most any level of fasting and time-restricted eating, including limiting eating to a 10 hour daily window. (1)
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- New England Journal of Medicine, 2019; 381 (26): 2541 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1905136