You have definitely heard of intermittent fasting, it is an eating style that is used as a tool for many health-related purposes and has become very popular in recent years.
Usually, what most people know is its relationship to losing belly fat. But is this as true as it is claimed? let’s see…
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a meal protocol, not a diet type, you just have to check how often you eat.
This protocol divides the day into two different parts:
on the one hand, periods of fasting, and on the other hand, periods of breastfeeding.
Periods of fasting: By definition, don’t eat (or eat foods with very low calorie energy such as black coffee, tea, liquids, or broth).
Feeding periods: It is the number of meals that we plan to prepare to reach our daily caloric intake.
So, depending on the intermittent fasting protocol we decide to do, we will have a more or less restrictive feeding period.
Most intermittent fasting patterns are known to have a 6 to 8 hour feeding window throughout the day.
For example, one of the most popular protocols, fasting 16/8 involves having an 8-hour feeding window per day and abstaining from eating for the remaining 16 hours.
Unlike traditional diets or other programs that focus on losing belly fat, intermittent fasting does not restrict any food group.
The only thing he focuses on is differentiating between periods of fasting and periods of feeding.
There are several methods of intermittent fasting:
The first is the 16/8 method: which is a 16-hour fast. You consume your calories per day during an 8-hour feeding window.
Another method is 5: 2: where you should reduce your calories (500 to 600 calories) per day over two days a week, and on the other five days, you can eat whenever you want naturally.
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Did you not understand this? I give you some examples:
You skipped breakfast (or ate breakfast a few hours later)
Then you have dinner early, around 7 PM, and you have nothing until 11 AM the next day.
You do not eat anything for 24 hours (you eat dinner at night and do not eat anything again until dinner the next day)
This can be done several days a week, for example.
Sure, what a nonsense! With this, what we do is eat less and naturally lose weight …
Not exactly … I’ll explain:
With fasting not necessarily to eat less food because you can divide the calories in food that you jump into another food, but leaving your body in this case leads to an increase in the efficiency of the metabolism process in burning belly fat.
How long is the time of fasting? 24 hours sounds like a lot …
You don’t have to start with this long fast. I advise you to start with a fast for about 12 hours (snooze breakfast a little and dinner in advance) and then you can increase up to 16 hours (these are the most common meals that are concentrated in 8 hours).
But … is fasting really as bad as people think?
Of course not, this is something further from the truth. Fasting is not bad.
There is a lot of scientific evidence to support fasting for short periods of time because of its beneficial effects on health. (Source)
Intermittent fasting is often criticized a lot because it is said that if you do not give the body food continuously, it enters what some call “survival mode”, where the metabolism slows down and the body begins to use muscle protein for energy at an irresistible rate because it is believed that there is a deficiency in the food.
I can confirm from now on that the human body does not enter “survival mode” too early, but rather it takes days to reach those extremes.
Let us also remember the forty-day fasting of Christ from food on the mountain, and his health was really tired, but this fasting never hit him.
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Does it really work to lose belly fat?
While some sources claim that intermittent fasting can be a safe and healthy way to lose excess belly fat, others dismiss it as ineffective and unsustainable. But who is right?
Several studies already show that intermittent fasting can promote loss of belly fat through various mechanisms.
First, restricting the number of meals eaten throughout the day to a shorter period of time can reduce total calories, as well as unhealthy “snacks” that a person makes during the day.
Short periods of fasting have also been shown to help “speed up” the metabolism, due to increased levels of nor-epinephrine (a hormone and neurotransmitter in the brain). Additionally, this process is also linked to lower levels of insulin, which may aid the oxidation of fatty acids.
What is the mechanism of intermittent fasting protocol ?
When you fast for a long time, your body can undergo some changes, which can help you lose weight.
1- Low insulin levels:
The low insulin levels that occur during intermittent fasting make it easier to get rid of stored body fats. (Source)
2- Growth hormone:
Another way that intermittent fasting can interfere with weight loss is that it causes high levels of growth hormone, as this hormone in turn does the illusion of losing body fat and increasing muscle mass. (Source)
In addition to these changes, from an increase in the level of growth humor and a decrease in the level of insulin, the hormone nor-epinephrine is released and helps to burn fat, especially belly fat.
A study published in Science Direct, where it followed people who fasted intermittently, reported that they lost 3 to 8% of their weight and saw a significant loss of belly fat.
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Can anyone follow intermittent fasting?
If you are going to do intermittent fasting, you should see a professional because although intermittent fasting is a good option for losing belly fat, you should bear in mind that doing this eating pattern can make you feel weak.
This eating style is not suitable for everyone and may cause problems in people with certain diseases or disorders.
Intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone with certain diseases or disorders, as it can cause problems.
Intermittent fasting is a very effective way to improve health and lose belly fat, but it is not recommended to start from day to day.
The most effective thing is to start with a 12-hour fast, then distribute your food over the next 12 hours, and gradually increase it every hour until you reach 16 hours. ”
It should be noted that it is normal to experience headache, hunger and anxiety while fasting.
Finally, some research shows that intermittent fasting can help us maintain muscle mass more efficiently than doing a traditional calorie deficit.
Let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of this approach:
- The concept is very simple
- You have many alternatives to put it into practice
- Don’t take risks
- Save cooking time
- Additional health benefits
- You can feel hungry, especially the first few times
- The results are not visible in the very short term
- Not anyone with certain diseases or disorders can follow this protocol