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Intermittent Fasting, detox and weight loss

intermittent fasting

Intermittent Fasting, detox and weight loss

Intermittent Fasting is one of the many popular methods to lose weight and detoxify the body. But does it work? is it healthy? and what are the important facts to keep in mind? Let’s start by talking about what fasting means.

Fasting is simple to define. You fast when you abstain from eating. Some people fast for religious reasons or because they have heard that it will activate the metabolism.

What happens when we fast?

One of the most important substances for cellular function is glucose. Our cells use it as a source of energy. The body stores glucose in the form of glycogen in the liver as a reserve to be broken down into glucose when needed.

When fasting, consuming only water, glycogen stores are depleted and the body starts to burn fatty acids to obtain energy by focusing on fat stores and fatty tissues. Thus, the liver begins to produce more ketones that are used by the body for energy.

lose weight with intermittent fasting

Intermittent Fasting or Prolonged Fasting

There are two types of fasting: intermittent fasting and prolonged fasting.

Prolonged fasting causes more profound effects on the body than intermittent fasting, however, without proper preparation it can cause some discomfort.

Prolonged fasting is when it exceeds 24 hours. Glycogen stores are depleted after 24 hours of fasting and the body already gets its energy mainly from stored fat. But what is found in fat? Toxins. The longer you fast the more toxins are released as you burn fat. This is where difficulties can arise if a proper elimination routine has not been established or if the necessary measures are not taken to help the body eliminate these toxins.

Intermittent fasting is when we fast for short periods between 14, 16, 18 and 24 hours. You can start with trial fasts and then increase the number of hours of fasting depending on individual resistance or need. Intermittent fasting of 16 hours, with a feeding window of 8 hours is the most commonly used.

Benefits of Fasting

Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute have shown that fasting for 24 hours can lead to an increase in human growth hormone, which helps protect metabolic balance and muscle mass.

They also found a reduction in blood sugar and triglyceride levels, and suggested that further studies may identify more information about an association between 24-hour fasts and a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes.

16 hour fast

Effects of Intermittent Fasting

Some of the best changes found in the human lifestyle were first tested in mice. The Salk Institute did a study using two groups of mice of the same gender, age and genes. One group was fed high-fat diets, while the other was allowed to eat as much as they wanted without restriction in time or quantity. The first group was restricted to a feeding window of eight hours per day. In addition, two additional groups of mice were experimented with, but on a regular diet under comparable conditions.

After 100 days, the group of mice that were allowed to eat all day without restriction ended up with more weight, high blood glucose, high cholesterol and liver damage. In contrast, the group of mice that were only fed for eight hours showed no adverse health effects and weighed 28% less, despite eating the same amount of food.

The researchers found that while eating, the body stores fat, but during fasting, fat begins to be burned and cholesterol is broken down into beneficial bile. Time-limited eating reduces the creation of cholesterol, glucose and free fat, and utilizes them in a better way. As fat storage is reduced, overall body fat decreases and liver cells remain healthy.

effects of fasting on health

Another important effect that occurs during fasting is that the liver stops glucose production for a while, which reduces blood glucose. During fasting, the body uses glucose to form molecules that produce new DNA and repair damaged cells. Chronic inflammation that is linked to cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and stroke is also reduced.

Conclusions on intermittent fasting

Thanks to the studies conducted, the recommendations of those who support fasting between 16 and 24 hours point to an increased metabolism, fat loss and other health benefits that include reduced inflammation, memory preservation and a normalization of leptin and insulin sensitivity.

We can consider our doctor’s testimonials and advice to determine whether or not fasting is appropriate in our particular case. But no one can deny that any benefits of intermittent fasting will vanish if the diet we consume during the feeding window is unhealthy. Ideally, intermittent fasting should be complemented with a healthy diet low in carbohydrates, high in animal and vegetable protein, healthy fats and plenty of vegetables.

health benefits of fasting

And something especially important is to stay very well hydrated during the fasting and feeding window.

Finally, if we decide to include intermittent fasting in our routine, it is necessary to plan well, know our body and supplement appropriately in consultation with a qualified health professional. Only in this way can we be sure of truly healthy, long-term results.

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