Intermittent fasting (IF) stands out in the world of diets and nutrition trends. Calling IF a fad would be a serious mistake, although this is a common misconception. If you practice IF and often decline your coworkers’ invitation to lunch, we’re willing to bet good money that they’ve warned you numerous times about how dangerous it is to “starve yourself.”
But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here’s why you should just keep smiling and nodding, or (if you’re up for it) try to convince them to jump on the IF bandwagon.
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Intermittent fasting is natural
The whole “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” ritual is a modern invention defined by the working hours that became the norm after the Industrial Revolution. Do you really want your health to be defined by the habits of mid-18th century factory workers?
There’s plenty of evidence that early humans had no set meal frequency; they just ate whenever food was available. The Ancient Romans ate one meal a day, and many other modern and bygone cultures never adopted the Western 3-to-5 daily meal schedule, thriving instead on as few as 2 meals a day.
And prolonged fasting is a big part of most world religions. These fasts are known to have favorable effects on several health-related outcomes, such as blood pressure, blood lipids, insulin sensitivity, and biomarkers of oxidative stress.
Intermittent fasting helps melt fat and grow muscle
All the plentiful anecdotal evidence aside, science actually supports these claims with rigorous research. A 2017 paper, for example, concluded that greater weight loss can be achieved with IF, compared with calorie restriction.
Another study, from 2016, published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, showed that weight loss due to fasting for 16 hours at a time did not affect muscle mass. So, if your goal is bulking or body recomposition, IF might be a great help!
Speaking of muscle growth, fasting has been shown to increase the secretion of human growth hormone. It also improves body composition by decreasing body fat and maintaining muscle mass.
Intermittent fasting regulates the insulin response and reduces inflammation
IF boasts many health benefits beyond weight loss and improved physical appearance. Multiple studies have shown that time-restricted eating reduces inflammation and improves chronic inflammatory diseases. There are multiple speculated mechanisms behind this improvement, such as general anti-inflammatory action, autophagy, and improved gut microbiome. Whether it be intermittent fasting or alternate-day fasting, such restrictions improve overall health considerably. If this does isn’t convincing, then what is?
And the list goes on…
It was a struggle to pick just three top reasons for getting into IF because the list of benefits is vast. Feel free to do some more research to uncover these for yourself!
But if you want to improve your health, clear your mind, and simplify your eating habits, choose your IF tracking app of choice (or just get a timer going), and see what wonders it can do for you!
Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
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