So you wish to alter your body composition, for the better? Have you heard of or experimented with the concept of IF, also know as Intermittent Fasting?
This has become a recent popularity amongst bodybuilders, athletes alike. It’s also popular amongst people just trying an easier way of dieting. Whether your goals be to gain muscle, lose fat, or to just alter body composition, IF is not a topic of dieting that should be avoided. However, I have noticed that many women hesitate to go on a fast thinking that it can have adverse effect.
Let me bust the myth and bring some insight on to it.
There’s are more than a ton of benefits to employing IF to your dieting regimen. In this article will shine some light on the top five that should be thought of if you’re still on the fence with IF.
Note, there are a ton more benefits to be considered, but for the purposes of not making this article a book, we’ll just narrow it down to a small handful. We’ll also explore more of the benefits in future articles. For now.
Here’s just a brief summary of some of the benefits of Intermittent fasting:
- Decreased fasting insulin
- Reduced glucose uptake by muscle
- Reduced protein synthesis
- Increased glucagon & chatelaines
- Increased liver glycogen breakdown
- Formation of glucose from amino acids
- Fat breakdown and ketone production
- Decreased growth hormone
- Decreased metabolic rate
The following benefits are medically proven
Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. It constitutes one of the critically important signs of life or vital signs which include heart beat, breathing, and temperature. The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension. High blood pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work too hard and contributes to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It increases the risk of heart disease (see box 1) and stroke, which are the first- and third-leading causes of death among Americans. High blood pressure also can result in other conditions, such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness. As you can see, there are many benefits to lowering blood pressure.
Reduced markers of inflammation (including CRP, IL-6, TNF, BDNF, and more)
While exercise acts to combat inflammation and aging, the ability to exercise may itself be compromised by inflammation and inflammation’s impact on muscle recovery and joint inflammation. Inflammation is an issue that becomes larger as we progress in life. IF can by employed to reduce the chronic inflammation we experience in life.
Reduced oxidative stress (using markers of protein, lipid, and DNA damage)
Oxidative stress is thought to be involved in the development of many diseases or may exacerbate their symptoms. These include cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, heart failure, myocardial infarction, Schizophrenia; Bipolar disorder,fragile X syndrome,Sickle Cell Disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Reduced risk of cancer (through a host of proposed mechanisms; we’ll save them for another review)
And the final one we’ll focus on that is probably the greatest benefit is…
Accelerated fat burning (increase in fatty acid oxidation later in the fast) – The title alone should tell you the benefits of using IF. If you’re trying to lose weight, knowing how your body uses calories for fuel can make a difference in how you approach your weight loss program. Using IF in your regimen can have an increase in fat burning which is of primary benefit with IF.
It is not for everyone!
Intermittent fasting diets are not for everyone. If you have ever had an eating disorder, it’s best to try losing weight with a more traditional diet. Pregnant women should avoid intermittent fasting diets. If you have a history of any serious medical problems, such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke or hypertension, you should avoid going on an intermittent fasting diet. You should consult a doctor before starting a diet that heavily uses fasting.
- Reduced blood lipids (including decreased triglycerides and LDL cholesterol) –
- Blood lipids are mainly fatty acids and cholesterol. Reducing these helps to reduce factors for cardiovascular disease.
- Reduced blood pressure (perhaps through changes in sympathetic/parasympathetic activity)
In general, fasting involves the self-deprivation of food, liquids or both. Then again, fasting may come in different kinds like water only, fruit or vegetable juice fasting, intermittent, etc. But, in many cases, individuals will totally abstain from food intake. Unfortunately, when talking about achieving goals of rapid weight loss, the answer to the question… is fasting safe, is not as cut and dry as many would hope as the answer is both yes and no!
Should be Part of lifestyle, not life itself!
As with everything else in life, most things are fine in moderation and fasting is no different. If you fast for too long then the effects can be negative causing illnesses and conditions ranging from anorexia to liver failure, but fasting for comparatively short periods of time but on a regular basis can provide many benefits including colonic health and clearer skin as well as weight loss.
When examining the potential advantages of fasting, it’s important to distinguish between chronic caloric deprivation (as in prolonged starvation studies, discussed further below) and intermittent, brief periods of fasting (e.g. 12-36 hours). The research suggests that brief, relatively infrequent periods of fasting may be beneficial. Chronic, prolonged fasting, however, may be detrimental. More than 2 days of fasting results in protein loss, decreased visceral proteins (blood cells, internal organs, serum proteins), impaired immune responses and impaired wound healing.
There’s been studies that short periods of intermittent fasting can improve overall health in a variety of ways, but the only severe negative studies of intermittent fasting are going beyond the 72 hour mark where the bodies experiences negative effects. More can be found here.
Some concerns and potential problems
People often wonder also about brain activity and the negative effects it has on the functioning of the brain. But from our research fasting doesn’t cause your brain tissue to waste away, contrary to what some people will tell you. It’s actually good for brain health. Any dietary restriction tends to increase neuronal plasticity and promote neurogenesis. This is the process of the birth of new neurons. Which is a helpful processes that transmits information by electrical and chemical signaling. Basically establishing your brain to function a bit more properly.
Hopefully I have given you an idea of some of the danger of Intermittent Fasting. But as stated previously, as long as it’s not taken to the extremeness, you should be okay in our opinion.
As you can see there are tons of benefits of incorporating Intermittent Fasting into you diet program. Like I said, I will explore more of the benefits in future articles. For now, I havee shed some light on any questions you might have about the benefits of IF. See this article Intermittent Fasting – Beyond Hype There is a Hope!
It takes sometime to get use to the hunger pain in the beginning stages, which is probably the only significant downside when considering IF. But like anything, gotta take the bad with the good.
Also, a product we’ve been trying during our post workouts which is Scivation Xtend Intra-Workout Catalyst, Watermelon Madness, 375 Grams. Has given us good results.
The Best Fasting guide everyone should read
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