Intermittent Fasting May be a Secret to Optimal Health and Weight Loss
Because of the research above, combined with many other compelling pieces of evidence, some mentioned below, I have revised my personal eating schedule to eliminate breakfast and restrict the time I eat food to about seven to eight hours, which is typically from noon to 6 or 7 p.m. Just seems to make sense that our ancestors rarely had access to food 24/7 like we do and our genes are optimized for intermittent fasting.It takes about six to eight hours for your body to metabolize your glycogen stores and after that you actually start to shift to burning fat. However, if you are replenishing your glycogen by eating every eight hours, you make it far more difficult for your body to use your fat stores as fuel.It’s long been known that restricting calories in certain animals can increase their lifespan by as much as 50 percent, but more recent research suggests that sudden and intermittent calorie restriction appears to provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction, which may be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake (or aren’t willing to).Fasting has been used as a spiritual practice in many cultures since ancient times, but it might have been done for health purposes as well. Modern science has confirmed there are many health reasons for fasting, including:
- Normalizing your insulin sensitivity, which is key for optimal health as insulin resistance (which is what you get when your insulin sensitivity plummets) is a primary contributing factor to nearly all chronic disease, from diabetes to heart disease and even cancer
- Normalizing ghrelin levels, also known as “the hunger hormone”
- Promoting human growth hormone (HGH) production, which plays an important part in health, fitness and slowing the aging process
- Lowering triglyceride levels
- Reducing inflammation and lessening free radical damageA recent animal study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology showed a beneficial glycemic effect that resulted in a lower gain in body weight than in non-fasting animals.2 Other research suggests fasting triggers a variety of health-promoting hormonal and metabolic changes similar to those that occur when you exercise, which may help preventage-related brain shrinkage and other chronic and debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
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