- The common reason people try intermittent fasting is for weight loss
- This eating pattern can cause between 3 to 8 percent weight loss over a period of just three to 24 weeks
- Intermittent fasting does not prohibit intake of certain foods, but focuses on when food should be eaten
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating. It does not prohibit intake of certain foods, but focuses on when food should be eaten.
The most popular form of intermittent fasting is called the 16/8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours (including the time spent on sleeping at night), followed by an eating window restricted to 8 hours. Some go for longer fasting periods.
The common complaint about this eating pattern is hunger, but many people find intermittent fasting easier compared with keto and other diet types.
Intermittent fasting comes with a range of benefits, but the common reason people try it is for weight loss. Intermittent fasting can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake because you are likely to eat fewer meals during your shorter eating window.
In a 2014 study, researchers found that this eating pattern can cause between 3 to 8 percent weight loss over a period of just three to 24 weeks. The researchers also found that with intermittent fasting. people lost 4 to 7 percent of their waist circumference, which indicates a significant loss of harmful belly fat that can envelop the internal organs and cause health problems.
Besides weight loss, intermittent fasting can also give you these health benefits:
Improved brain health
Intermittent fasting increases that brain hormone BDNF and may aid in the growth of new nerve cells.
In studies that involved animals, researchers found evidence suggesting that intermittent fasting can extend the li
fe span. Fasted rat, for instance, lived up to 83 percent longer!
Intermittent fasting may also reduce LDL cholesterol, the so-called blood cholesterol, as well as blood sugar levels, inflammatory markers and insulin resistance, which are risk factors for cardiovascular health problems..