Intermittent fasting is used to define several approaches to the short-term abstention of food. There are two approaches – Whole Day and Time-Restricted – that are most common for promoting weight loss, improving cognitive function, and resisting or reversing chronic disease.* Whole Day Fasts are longer periods of abstention that may be done once a month or once a week pending on the individual. Time-Restricted Eating compresses the eating window to anywhere between 6- and 8-hours.
Evolutionarily speaking, our bodies were designed to consume during the day and fast throughout the evening because of the possible dangers in our immediate environments.** Our metabolism is generally more efficient when we adhere to these natural rhythms.** Intermittent Fasting has a growing body of research that may contribute positively to our overall well-being.
Our bodies burn fat, rather than glucose, when in a fasted state which can lead to weight loss and improved cognitive function.* When our bodies use fat as its primary energy source, it releases fatty acids called ketones into the bloodstream. Ketones play a role in weight loss, preserving brain function, and offering support for neurodegenerative disorders.** Such benefits may occur because ketones help trigger the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which strengthens neural connections, particularly in areas involved in memory and learning.** Research has also shown that intermittent fasting may promote the generation of new nerve cells.**
Another important component of intermittent fasting is insulin. Insulin regulates whether excess glucose is eliminated or stored in the body as fat. When you fast, your insulin levels naturally decrease while the concentration of human growth hormone and norepinephrine increase. This spike in norepinephrine, a stress hormone, positively impacts metabolism and helps metabolize fats for fuel.*** Furthermore, it enhances the ability of nerve cells to cope with and resist stress; the kinds of stress believed to degenerate nerve cells.***
It is important to consult with your primary practitioner about the integration of intermittent fasting and monitoring its impacts throughout.
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Disclaimer: Information contained in this blog post is for educational and general purposes only and is designed to assist you in making informed decisions about your health. Any information contained herein is not intended to substitute advice from your doctor or other healthcare professional.