When it comes to dieting, promising new fads seem to spring up almost daily, and there’s no shortage of supplements or methodical formulas to help you achieve your health goal. But with such a saturated market, it’s more difficult to determine which approach is worth your time and effort when it comes to adopting a diet that fits your lifestyle. It’s no surprise, then, that of the more popular wellness trends to rise to popularity is micro fasting, better known as “intermittent fasting” (IF for short).
The reason so many are jumping on the fast(ing) train is thanks to the simplicity of the diet plan. The whole premise revolves around not what you consume but rather when you consume it. It’s all about timing. While IF is making a resurgence in health and wellness circles, the foundation of this regimen, based on strategic starvation, can be dated back to the evolution of man when food was not always readily available to the hunters and gatherers, who were forced to adapt to fasting for survival.
The practice of this diet, which may be better depicted as an “eating pattern,” is not limited to one specific protocol, leaving it up to the individual to choose a sustainable method of fasting that fits into their schedule. One of the more popular—and conducive—plans related to IF is the 16/8method, which, as the name suggests, requires 16 hours of fasting between 8 hours of eating. Another approach requires 24-hour fasts twice per week (on non-consecutive days), without restricting consumption during the non-fasting days. Lastly, the 5:2 protocol, one of the most popular methods, suggests limiting intake to 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days per week, while eating consciously for remaining five days of the recurring cycle. All short-term fasting practices reduce caloric consumption, which on any level, alerts the body to make fats more available accessible to burn through hormonal and cellular adaptations.
These naturally-induced fasting benefits can have a lasting positive effect on the body and mind, check out a few of the most common benefits associated with micro fasting below:
Fasting boosts the production of the hormone norepinephrine, which burns fat naturally. While it increases hormones, fasting may also boost the metabolic rate of the body as it reduces insulin resistance, and in turn, blood sugar to help reduce the risk of diabetes. Short-term fasting requires consuming fewer calories overall, and when paired with a moderate diet, it helps promote weight loss naturally.
Intermittent fasting may also promote new nerve cell growth, which can positively affect cognitive function. Fasting is known to increase the hormone known as BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), which helps with the creation of new neurons connected with improved memory, mood, and productivity. Bye, bye brain fog.
Micro fasting boosts the production of beta-hydroxybutyrate, which blocks inflammation as a result of the immune system, specifically with inflammatory diseases like arthritis and diabetes.
Short-term fasting allows your body and, most importantly, the digestive tract and organs crucial time to heal and rejuvenate to improve the overall composition of the microbiota of the gut.
Important to note: Non-caloric liquids and black coffee or tea without added sugars or milk can be consumed during fasting periods.
With the proven anti-inflammatory, digestive, and metabolic benefits attributed to the practice of intermittent fasting, we here at Pure Change encourage introducing a short-term fasting method while completing our 7-Day or 21-Day Pure Change Program. The body is provided the necessary time to heal and rest through these periods of fasting, most commonly at night. Hence, it’s recommended to avoid eating after dinner in order to give the body the necessary time to heal, rest, and rejuvenate through micro fasting.
*Always consult your physician before starting a new dietary regimen.
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