Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy? A Science-Based Approach

January 1, 2022

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Intermittent fasting has taken the world by storm as a way to make your body burn fat and lose weight.

But is intermittent fasting healthy? Fasting actually is a great method for full body weight loss, reduced blood pressure and blood sugar, and a myriad of other health benefits.

So, how do these health changes occur, and what does fasting do to your body — let’s take a closer look at the scientific evidence behind intermittent fasting as a weight loss approach, including the following:

  • Why do doctors recommend intermittent fasting?
  • 8 intermittent fasting benefits every faster loves.
  • What happens in our bodies when we fast?
  • Who shouldn’t try intermittent fasting?

Why Do Doctors Recommend Intermittent Fasting?

Instead of concentrating solely on how much you eat and which foods make it into your eating plan, it’s also important to think about when you eat. 

By implementing an eating window and fasting period in your day, research suggests that your metabolism can process food and switch from burning glucose in the blood to burning stored fat in the body for energy. 

Intermittent fasting works on the premise of a metabolic switch to ketosis that a time-restricted eating pattern promotes, including a multi-hour window for fasting versus feeding.

The metabolic switch pushes your entire system into a state for maximum body fat burning, among other health benefits, like lower cholesterol levels, healthier insulin levels, and weight management.

That’s one of the many reasons why doctors recommend intermittent fasting as a way to burn fat and achieve a healthy weight, for most people. 

Because this weight loss is triggered by a healthy caloric deficit that your body naturally processes faster than other diet types, you are still eating regularly during intermittent fasting — just not during fasting periods. 

Otherwise, foods like whole grains, healthy fats, proteins, fruits, and vegetables make up your diet so you don’t feel hungry. This way, intermittent fasting works for women and men alike.

For How Long Is It Considered Safe to Fast?

Depending on the type of intermittent fasting plan you choose, your fasting window could last between an eight-hour slot to 16 hours each day, or you could try alternate day fasting. 

Intermittent fasting may even include such long periods as going 24 hours without food, but that is generally the limit of how long you can safely fast

However, more research has shown that fasting periods that last between 10 and 16 hours are some of the best methods for achieving several hours of fat loss during ketosis, and have a great effect on your overall health.

However, beginners should ease themselves into a fasting diet routine, as it often takes the body two to four weeks to settle into the habit of going without food for several waking hours.

8 Healthy Intermittent Fasting Benefits

Not only does intermittent fasting help create better diet habits for weight loss, but it also promotes good health and wellness in many other ways. Read on for 8 of the top health benefits that everyone with an intermittent fasting routine enjoys!

  1. Intermittent Fasting Helps Lose Weight

Weight loss is a proven benefit of intermittent fasting, through an increase in lipolysis for fat burning and hormonal weight loss. 

Additionally, once your metabolism switches to high performance, more HGH (human growth hormone) is produced, further assisting with fat burning and growing muscle instead. 

To enhance your weight loss, using an intermittent fasting app like DoFasting is essential. Track your fasting and weight loss progress, learn more about fasting patterns, and use the built-in timers and notification service for fasting and eating periods to keep your days structured.

  1. It Slows Down the Aging Process

Getting older is inevitable, but intermittent fasting can help with the process. By reworking the very cellular structure of the body, the effects of aging may be slowed, both visually and metabolically.

  1. IF Helps to Clear Your Skin

By heightening your body’s internal processes, eating better foods, and staying well-hydrated, your skin benefits. As the entire body enters detox, the skin — the largest organ — gets healthier and clearer.

  1. Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation in the body is responsible for many health issues, including cancer and multiple sclerosis (MS). But fasting improves inflamed tissue and reduces its prominence within the body, actively working to help fight infections and improve chronic inflammation.

  1. Improves Brain Health

Intermittent fasting also benefits your brain and mental health. By regulating your circadian rhythm and improving neuroplasticity within your brain cells, your resistance to Alzheimer’s disease and others is greatly increased.

  1. IF Can Reduce the Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease

Intermittent fasting is great for reducing high cholesterol, blood pressure, and other symptoms of bad heart health, such as insulin resistance. So, by using diet regulation and fasting periods, the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases is greatly lessened.

  1. Improves Resistance to Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is responsible for imbalances in the body that contribute to the aging process, for one. It’s also a cause of further inflammation that can lead to things like asthma, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease, so reducing these levels is essential through intermittent fasting.

  1. Simplifies Meal Prepping and Saves Money

Finally, by eating a diet of healthy foods, you can make meal preparations a simple chore. 

Protein, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and complex carbs are easy to make into delicious meals, and you will save plenty of money without buying processed foods! You can find plenty of tried and true recipes on the DoFasting app.

What Happens in Our Bodies When We Fast?

Given that your metabolic system goes through some significant processes for fat burning during ketosis, you might be wondering — what does fasting do to your body? 

Let’s briefly look into the science of your metabolism and how fasting impacts your health in stages of fasting.

Once the metabolic switch occurs, somewhere after 10 hours of fasting, your body begins to produce ketones that ignore the glucose within your blood and obliterate fat stores instead for maximum weight loss. 

With a faster metabolism, your digestive tract’s function improves, you maintain muscle mass, and your blood sugar levels lower.

Along with metabolic ketosis, your body enters the autophagy stage of fasting, which gives cells the opportunity to repair themselves and rejuvenate throughout the entire body, reducing inflammation as they do.

Who Shouldn’t Try Intermittent Fasting?

Though, as stated previously, intermittent fasting is generally safe for most people to complete as part of a lifestyle change and weight loss journey, certain groups present more risk factors for intermittent fasting.

Anyone who falls within the following groups should seek medical advice before starting intermittent fasting of any type:

  • A history of eating disorders.
  • Chronic diseases or pain.
  • Experiencing unusual anxiety or depression levels.
  • Insomnia.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking certain prescription medications.
  • Under the age of 18.

Conclusion

From alternate day fasting to a 12-hour window of calorie restriction, intermittent fasting is a healthy and safe way to lose weight, feel more energetic, and naturally prevent a variety of other health conditions, all through the metabolic process.

Intermittent fasting benefits include looking and feeling younger, reduced inflammation, and of course, all the advantages with losing weight and feeling like a whole new you!
 

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