Updated: Jun 4, 2021
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a break from food intake by intervals. It can help with a metabolic reset. Your metabolism can become sluggish over time and require a jump-start to run at full speed again. A sluggish metabolism often limits your potential to reach your health goals. To gain results desired, such as personal body goals, staying youthful, having efficient digestion, or staying mentally sharp, eating must be approached in a thoughtful, strategic, healthful and responsible way.
How Fasting Works...
Your body will begin to enter a fasted state after 8 to 12 hours to fully digest the last meal. Once that meal is completely digested, your stomach can take a food-processing break. This allows blood flow to be directed away from the gut to the brain and muscles to enhance mental focus and physical energy.
As the fasting period continues, you run out of the body’s preferred energy source, which is glucose. As you reach the 10-12 hour mark and your body depletes its readily available glucose, it is forced to tap into stored fat for energy production.
The hormones ghrelin and leptin travel between the gut and brain to control and regulate feelings of satiation and hunger. Leptin is stored in fat cells; the more fat cells you acquire, the more leptin the body makes. This hormone signals that you are satisfied, do not need food, and should pull energy from stored fat.
The body adapts to being more sensitive to regulating these appetite hormones according to the fast/fed state. This regulation sensitivity includes secreting human growth hormone (HGH), which ramps up to break down fat for energy and promotes building lean tissue while reducing fat cell accumulation. HGH is suppressed during feeding periods and increased during fasting to preserve lean tissue. Women’s bodies have been shown to release additional leptin and adiponectin to counteract ghrelin. When you consistently fast, the on/off cycle improves the signaling of appetite hormones.
Additionally, one may notice diabetes reversal or management, cancer-prevention (helps use up old cells; replacing them with newer, healthier ones), anti-aging (same deal with old cells dying), heart health, improved gut health, Alzheimer's prevention, and a decrease in chronic inflammation.