Intermittent Fasting: An Ancient Adaptation Adapted to Modern Times

Intermittent Fasting: An Ancient Adaptation Adapted to Modern Times

Intermittent fasting has become one of the most popular health and fitness trends because so many of us have lost sight of not only what to eat but when to eat it! Intermittent fasting is not a weight loss diet although it may help people lose weight. It is instead an eating pattern that alternates between periods of food abstinence and eating. Intermittent fasting focuses on when foods are eaten not on WHAT foods are eaten although that should be part of the plan. Its health benefits are maximized if combined with a superior, grain-free diet of fresh, whole vegetables, fish, and poultry that avoids sugar and alcohol. Evolutionary adaptation to seasonal periods of food scarcity left us able to function without food for extended periods of time. Indeed, intermittent fasting is more natural than eating 3 or more times per day. Intermittent fasting methodologies split the day or week into eating and fasting periods. Participants should eat nothing at all while fasting although some programs may allow eating 20% to 40% of normal consumption. Minimal calorie ‚fasts‚ may be necessary for neophytes experiencing difficulty adjusting to intermittent fasts. Replacing food with a few glasses a day of Vibrant Health's Vibrant Cleanse with or without Green Vibrance added to water will provide ample micronutrition from minimal calories. The benefits of intermittent fasting may even be enhanced.

Common Fasting methods

The 16/8 method restricts the daily eating period to 8 hours. The best schedule allows eating from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and fasting from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. This reduces stress on the digestive tract and is associated with healthful weight and appetite control. Alternate Day FastingFast for 24 hours, once or twice a week. The 5:2 diet permits eating only 500‚600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week while eating normally the other 5 days. All intermittent fasting (IF) methods should reduce one's calorie intake. They may also improve the chances to live a long life. Animal studies confirm that calorie restriction extends lifespan. This benefit is possible as long as the faster does not overcompensate for the periods of abstinence by eating too much food when it is again allowed.


Cellular and hormonal effects

1.) Hormone levels adjust to release stored body fat for metabolism.

2.) Cells initiate important repair processes.

3.) The expression of certain genes is changed.


The effects of Intermittent Fasting 

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) increases in blood serum during fasting. Significant elevations are seen over the first full day of fasting until a 5-fold increase occurs by the end of day two. Higher levels of HGH aid fat loss and increase lean muscle mass. But restorative boosts to HGH do not appear in shorter 16-hour fasts. A full one - or two-day fast is required. Insulin levels in the blood drop under all types of fasting, whether of one or more full days duration, of 16 hours, or in a simple calorie-restricted pseudo-fast where only 25% of a normal day‚s calories are consumed. Lower fasting insulin levels are biomarkers in favor of longevity and make stored body fat more accessible, contributing to body fat loss. Cellular repair processes are initiated and accelerated throughout the body by fasting as cells are liberated from the obligation to metabolize incoming nutrients and biochemicals. The process may promote therapeutic autophagy in neurological tissue, including the brain. Gene expression changes the function to improve longevity and protect against disease. Fasting of all sorts affects many biochemical pathways related to cellular growth, metabolism, protection against oxidative stress, and aging. The alterations are positive and appear to be related to the genetic expression of Sirtuin enzymes, reducing the risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and any disorder characterized by inflammation. IF can reduce DNA damage, reducing the risk of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis.

Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss

IF should reduce calorie intake but may bring on hunger, possibly discouraging someone from trying to restrict food intake and lose weight. Eating nutrient-dense fresh whole foods and meats rather than processed foods during eating cycles can mitigate hunger. IF‚s advantage over simple calorie restriction diets results in part by fasting‚s ability to elevate HGH, which can maintain lean muscle mass while calorie restriction customarily leads to a reduction in BOTH fat tissue and lean tissue. Fasting increases the release of the fat-burning hormone, norepinephrine. But it is true fasting ‚ not intermittent or alternate-day fasting ‚ that raises norepinephrine and speeds up the metabolic rate. Expected increases to the metabolic rate are 3.6% after a 48-hour fast and 14.1% over a prolonged fast of 84 hours in response to increased plasma norepinephrine. Intermittent fasting (IF) and alternate-day fasting (ADF) does not drive up norepinephrine levels. IF eating patterns can nevertheless cause a 3% to 8% weight loss over 3 to 24 weeks with a significant loss of dangerous visceral belly fat that is known to contribute to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and shortened lifespan.

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting and Alternate Day Fasting

Stimulates weight loss and loss of belly fat. Lowers insulin and cellular stress and may help extend lifespan. Reduces insulin resistance possibly lowering blood sugar by 3% to 6% and fasting insulin levels by 20‚31%, helping protect against type 2 diabetes. Reduces inflammation witnessed as decreases of markers of inflammation involved in chronic diseases. May reduce Asthma symptoms, improve pulmonary function, and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in overweight adults with moderate asthma. Supports heart health by reducing ‚bad‚ LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammation, blood sugar, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Cancer protection: Studies in mice and rats suggest that IF may have chemopreventive effects and improve survival among cancer patients. . Supports brain health by improving energy production, oxygen radical metabolism, and cellular stress responses in ways that protect brain cells against genetic and environmental stressors during aging. IF can suppress age-related deficits in learning and memory and can increase the resistance of neurons to degeneration, helping keep brain function healthy and may also protect against Alzheimer‚s disease. Resists-aging through biochemical adjustments similar to those seen in rats and mice, indicating that humans may rightly expect similar improvements to lifespan ‚¶if one can remain disciplined enough to follow an intermittent fasting lifestyle.

Putting it all together

Adaptive cellular responses in fasting: reduces oxidative damage and inflammation, optimizes energy metabolism, and bolsters cellular protection. Chronic fasting extends longevity and protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and neurodegeneration in lower species. In humans, it helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Fasting has the potential to delay aging and to help prevent and (adjunctively) treat diseases.

Precautions to Take When Starting a Fasting Routine

Intermittent fasting protocols are not suitable for: Children, pregnant or lactating women, or those planning to become pregnant. It may adversely affect glucose tolerance in non-obese women but not in non-obese men. Some women may experience amenorrhea. In such cases, abandon IF protocols and resume previous eating patterns. As with any major lifestyle change, people with serious medical conditions should consult with their physician ‚ if knowledgeable about fasting ‚ and/or with other competent health professionals before adopting an intermittent fasting regimen.



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