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Is intermittent fasting effective?

Is intermittent fasting effective?

During the Spring Festival holiday, many people's eating rhythm is disrupted. Either overeating, or big fish and meat, all kinds of delicacies make people unable to extricate themselves. However, as soon as the holiday was over, many people couldn't help but sigh: "If you don't feel well, you will get fat!"

Some people have begun various weight loss attempts while being annoyed by the lack of rational management of their diet during the Spring Festival. One of the most popular attempts is intermittent fasting.

Transient fasting

Since ancient times, people have regarded fasting as a spiritual practice. Today, many people claim that fasting also has many health benefits. In fact, research shows that a short fast of 20 to 36 hours can indeed reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and may even reduce the risk of cancer.

This is because not eating for a few hours will not slow down the body's metabolism or cause severe damage to blood sugar. In fact, a short fast can increase insulin sensitivity, which is particularly important. When the body's cells are sensitive to the action of insulin, they can better regulate the blood sugar level of the body after meals, which will "reduce" the body's pancreas. Loss of insulin sensitivity is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.

Short-term fasting can also reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in cells. Many theories believe that this helps prevent and repair DNA damage that can lead to cancer. There are even studies showing that fasting can slow down the mitochondrial circadian clock that causes aging or aging. In other words, fasting can keep our organs young and help people live longer.

 Intermittent fasting

Today, one of the biggest dietary and nutritional trends is intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term that includes a variety of methods, which can be broadly divided into two categories: fasting every other day and restricted eating windows.

Fasting every other day is a diet pattern that cycles back and forth between fasting and eating. In some cases, you eat nothing or almost nothing on a fasting day and eat normally on other days. Another option is to reduce your usual food intake by one third to half on a fasting day, and eat more than usual during a normal diet (this is sometimes called a calorie cycle.)

The ratio of fasting to eating also varies. Some are fasting every other day. Another popular method is the 5: 2 fasting method, which means fasting for two days a week.

Another method that often appears in intermittent fasting discussions is to limit the eating window, that is, not to limit food intake, but to limit your meal time.

Similarly, there are many changes in this method. Some people follow a four-hour eating window and basically eat only one meal a day; others may eat two to three meals within eight to ten hours (if you are a person who does not eat breakfast, you may already be I did this unconsciously!).

In fact, the setting of the window is also controversial. Due to the circadian rhythm of the human body, it is best to set the eating window in the first half of the day. However, contrary to expectations, most people who follow this method prefer to enjoy their food in the second half of the day due to our social rhythm.

At present, many studies on intermittent fasting are still based on some early animal studies. These studies have found that even if rats eat the same amount of food, intermittent fasting can reduce weight and improve blood glucose metabolism.

However, the study of humans is not so compelling. Intermittent fasting and restricted eating often lead to weight loss-but this is because people who follow these diets will eventually eat less. These methods can also improve cholesterol and blood sugar metabolism, but they are not effective for those who lose weight through more traditional diet methods.

Does Intermittent fasting and losing weight have connection?


Some researchers have pointed out that intermittent fasting does not necessarily lead to weight loss. Because research shows that when people eat one less meal or do n’t eat all day, they do eat more in the next meal. But even if they let themselves eat as much as they want, they cannot fully compensate for the calories they missed.

In fact, all weight loss methods have their pros and cons, and people can discuss how to optimize each method. However, when it comes to which method is best for weight loss and all the health benefits it brings, in fact it can be attributed to which method is the most sustainable for the individual. In other words, which method is suitable for your lifestyle, personality and preferences? Because when it comes to weight loss, your ability to maintain a low weight for a long time is almost better than all other factors that should be considered.

But what if you don't need to lose weight? Are there any benefits of intermittent fasting? Some studies are trying to distinguish between the effect of eating time and the effect of weight loss by studying that people eat only once a day, but still eat enough food to maintain weight.

Fasting safely

Fasting is not for everyone. Although some people describe themselves as feeling happy and energetic after fasting, others feel grumpy and sick. If you are pregnant, have diabetes, are severely underweight, are recovering after surgery, or have a serious illness, you cannot fast without strict medical supervision.

If you are not in the above situation and just want to try fasting occasionally, the following guidelines on safe fasting may be useful.

One is to keep the fasting time as short as possible. You don't have to fast for several days at a time to get the effect of metabolism or weight loss. As some published studies have shown, eating one less meal every other day is enough to produce a moderate weight loss effect. Fasting for 20 hours at a time is sufficient to improve insulin sensitivity and other metabolic functions. The researchers recommend that the fast should not exceed 36 hours.

The second is to maintain moisture. Some people usually do not drink water during fasting. Although there seems to be no lasting harm, these people are often a little dehydrated at the end of the fast. So be sure to drink plenty of water during fasting.

The third is to give up strenuous exercise when fasting. Brisk walking is ok, but running a marathon or swimming in the English Channel is not a good idea when you do n’t eat as much as usual.

The fourth is to improve your nutrition. When you are not fasting, be sure to eat healthy and nutritious food. If you plan to eat less, the nutritional quality of the food you eat becomes more important. Fasting one day and eating special junk food the next day will do nothing to your health.

Fifth, don't lose weight too low. If your weight starts to fall below your healthy weight range, you often fast and you may be at risk of malnutrition.

In fact, researchers need to do more research on the long-term effects of intermittent fasting on health, and find out which of the various methods can produce the best results and who can help. Minorities who are not suitable for intermittent fasting should seek guidance from nutrition or health experts before attempting any fasting program.

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