Intermittent Fasting – 9 Benefits and Best Practices

Through intermittent fasting By controlling caloric intake, the human body can increase the amount and function of stem cells, which are vital to the normal aging process and reduce inflammation. What is intermittent fasting? What are the benefits of intermittent fasting? How do we know if we are suitable for intermittent fasting?

“Fasting” means not eating or drinking anything containing calories for a period of time. One can drink water, black coffee, or other calorie-free drinks.

Types of fasting methods

Jack Dorsey, Twitter founder and former CEO, told Journalism He only eats one meal a day between 6 and 9 pm, which consists of proteins and vegetables. Fasting helped him feel more focused and able to devote more attention to daily life.

Skipping breakfast and lunch, Jack gained more time to focus on the important things. This method of intermittent fasting is known as “Samurai Fasting” or OMAD (One Meal A Day). In ancient times, samurai did not eat three meals a day but ate a large dinner instead. This method allows people to drink water, black coffee, and low-calorie things within 20 hours, and eat high-calorie foods for the remaining four hours of the day.

However, the evening may not be the healthiest time for a huge meal.

Chris Pratt, star of Guardians of the Galaxy, told his fans that intermittent fasting is a “must try.” Pratt claims that fasting has helped him play superhero roles well in his film. He said he usually drinks coffee and exercises before noon and doesn’t eat anything after 8 p.m. His method of intermittent fasting is called 16/8 intermittent fasting or “time-restricted eating.” This method involves limiting food and beverage intake to eight hours a day. Some suggest that 18 hours, rather than 16 hours, produces a better result.

Jimmy Kimmel, an American late-night talk show host, lost excess body weight by doing two days of fasting each week. Although he consumed some food and drink during the two days (Monday and Thursday), he kept his intake within 500 calories.

Jimmy said he got the idea from a BBC documentary about a 138-year-old Indian man whose secret to longevity was restricting his calorie intake through fasting. Introduce the fasting method as the 5:2 diet: eat regular meals for five days and eat fewer than 500 calories for two days.

There are many celebrities, bodybuilders, and online influencers sharing and promoting their intermittent fasting experience.

Although they may not be experts in the medical or health fields, they can have a huge impact on the public by sharing their personal experiences.

Is the celebrity endorsement that makes intermittent fasting just a healthy trend? Or is it scientifically backed? How do real experts weigh in on the subject?

Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine published a collaborative journal reconsidering Entitled “The Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease.” The article comprehensively concluded the results of the research on intermittent fasting.

Three types of intermittent fasting have been studied, including alternate day fasting (ADF), the 5:2 diet, and Emad.

The benefits of intermittent fasting

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

1. Anti-aging

Eating less food can help our bodies produce fewer harmful metabolites, including free radicals. More importantly, it can improve the interaction of cells and organs, promote blood sugar regulation and stress resistance, and at the same time suppress inflammatory responses.

Free radicals are a type of unstable molecule that forms during the normal metabolism of a cell (the chemical changes that occur in a cell). Free radicals can build up in cells and damage other molecules, such as DNA, fats, and proteins. This damage may increase risk Cancer and other diseases.

A lifestyle of eating three meals a day, snacks now and then, and sitting mostly is harmful to our body. Exercising more and getting enough or limited calories is good for your health. Intermittent fasting protects and heals our bodies.

2. Weight loss.

Normally, the body provides energy through glucose converted from consuming carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. In the event of overeating, the liver converts the excess glucose into fat and stores it. Overeating, not enough exercise, and sitting too much cause fat to be stored in our body. Fasting for more than 16 hours causes the body to first use up stored glycogen, and then burn fat. Dissolving fat will produce ketone bodies that provide energy for our brain and play an important role in transmitting signals between organs and participating in the function of cells and organs.

3. Ignite autophagy

During fasting, a series of chemical reactions occur in the body, including enhancing antioxidant mechanisms, restoring genomic DNA material, increasing protein quality, increasing ATP synthase in mitochondria, cell self-renewal function, as well as reducing inflammation. The function of self-renewal of cells is carried out through a mechanism called autophagy. It is very important for the recovery of our body.

4. Improve chronic diseases

Not only does intermittent fasting help with weight loss, but it can also increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin to reduce blood lipids, blood sugar, and blood pressure, thus improving chronic inflammatory diseases.

Researchers divided 100 obese women into two groups – one group reduced food consumption by 25 percent, and the other group underwent the 5:2 diet. After six months, both groups lost similar weight, but the 5:2 diet group had higher insulin sensitivity and a clear loss of belly fat.

5. Increase stamina and performance

The researchers compared the physical activity level of mice that were given ADF and fed regular meals. The ADF mice had significantly better endurance than the regularly fed mice and showed better balance and coordination ability. In addition, the young males, who fasted for 16 hours, lost fat without losing muscle.

6. Cancer prevention

Most animal research has found that restricting caloric intake and ADF can reduce the risk of tumors, inhibit tumor growth, and increase the sensitivity of tumors to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It is shown that the therapeutic effect has been significantly enlarged.

7. Reducing the development of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

Through animal research, it has been found that the occurrence and progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease can be delayed through ADF. Intermittent fasting brings many benefits to our brain, including promoting the remodeling of neurons to cope with nutritional stress, strengthening mitochondrial function in the brain, stimulating cell regeneration and generating neuroprotective factors, antioxidant function, and restoring heredity genes.

8. Reducing immune diseases

Recent research found that if patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) continued intermittent fasting, symptoms of the disease improved within two months. This may have something to do with its inflammation-reducing function.

Therefore, it can also benefit rheumatoid arthritis and other immune diseases. Multiple sclerosis is a disease that causes impairment of the brain and spinal cord. In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body.

9. Reducing concussion damage

This may come as a surprise — repairing damage such as memory loss, lack of focus, increased tantrums, and hypersomnia due to concussions is an unexpected boon for people with brain injuries.

One of the important benefits of intermittent fasting is that it can directly activate the anti-aging tunnel in our body and thus reduce the aging process.

Three observations that must be taken into account in intermittent fasting

What kind of intermittent fasting is right for you? In learning about the multiple benefits of intermittent fasting, many people want to give it a try. Here are some things to consider.

  1. Although there are many benefits to fasting, it can also be a challenge. Many people are used to eating three meals a day and also have snacks. The influence of advertisements that lure consumers in with an endless array of tempting foods makes quitting smoking difficult. For fasting, absolute determination is required.
  1. Many people feel unfit while fasting. During fasting, one may feel hungry, mood may be short, and lack concentration, but these symptoms will gradually disappear within a month. One needs to prepare mentally for fasting.

Fasting with breakfast may be an easier option than fasting with dinner—however, since dinner tends to be a larger meal, leaving it as the skipped meal may provide better results. Also, skipping dinner does not affect sleep quality as much as skipping breakfast might. It is not recommended to fast every day at first. You can gradually increase the fasting time day by day starting from 12 hours and then gradually increase the fasting time to 18 and then 20 hours.

  1. If you have any existing medical conditions such as diabetes, do not attempt fasting without consulting your doctor first. Regulate your eating habits only under the supervision of a doctor. You may want to try the Mediterranean diet for a few weeks before fasting.

to me The Taiwanese Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research, the Mediterranean diet is an overall eating habit. It encourages eating healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish and oils, and choosing natural food over processed foods to reduce inflammation.

How to practice intermittent fasting

If you have read the article up to this point, you may feel ready to fast. There is a sound approach recommended for safe and effective fasting.

For an ADF, one eats regular, healthy meals one day, and then consumes fewer than 500 calories the next.

For a 5:2 fast, one eats regular meals on weekdays and then consumes fewer than 500 calories each day on the weekend. In addition to both, there are 16 hours in the day between meals.

Westerners sometimes promote skipping breakfast and finishing their meals between noon and 8 pm, but eating meals between 7 am and 3 pm is more in line with our bio clock. When you eat a late dinner, the body secretes melatonin, which affects the quality of sleep – and the digestive system does not work well while you sleep.

Be careful not to overeat outside of fasting times. Continue to enjoy regular sized meals and eat a well-balanced diet consisting of two servings of fruits and vegetables, one part animal or vegetable protein, one part carbohydrates, and some healthy fats. In addition, slow down when you eat to allow for a greater sense of satiety and healthy digestion.

Depending on your own situation, you can start intermittent fasting for a day and gradually increase to a weekend to ensure that you achieve your goals.

Jingduan Yang

Dr. Jingduan Yang is a faculty member at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, a former assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture Program at the Jefferson Myrna Brain Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University. He completed a research fellowship in clinical psychopharmacology at Oxford University, a residency training in psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and a Bravewell fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona. You can learn more about Dr. Yang at his website,

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