Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that has no rules for what to eat, but rather rules about when to eat it. It has become a popular way to lose weight, and seems to be effective for many people who struggle with their weight. Intermittent fasting is said to lower inflammation, reduce insulin resistance, reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, help with brain health and the prevention of Alzheimer’s.
The Five Stages of Intermittent Fasting:
Stage 1: 12 hours
When it’s been 12 hours after your last meal, your body is in a metabolic state we call ketosis, where your body breaks down fat for fuel.
Stage 2: 18 hours
18 hours after you stop eating, your body is making a lot of ketones, and they start to signal to your body to reduce inflammation and repair damaged DNA.
Stage 3: 24 hours
At 24 hours after eating, your body begins a process called autophagy, which is when your body recycles old damaged cells, and breaks down proteins linked to Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Autophagy reduces with aging, and is the reason that intermittent fasting is often touted as an antiaging diet.
- Stage 4: 48 hours
After 48 hours without taking in any food your growth hormone level will have increased as much as five times from what it was before you started your fast.
- Stage 5: 72 hours
After 72 hours your body begins breaking down old immune cells and making new ones. Some studies have shown that prolonged fasting can preserve healthy white blood cells in patients that are treated with chemotherapy.
Jennifer Aniston’s Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss
Jennifer Aniston said she noticed a big difference when she started intermittent fasting on the 16:8 plan. Her diet practice on a daily basis is to not eat anything in the morning, keeping her eating window to eight hours per day, and fasting the remaining 16. This is the classic 16:8, where one basically skips breakfast and stops eating after dinner.
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Does the 16:8 Intermittent Fast Diet Actually Work?
People who follow the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet do seem to lose some weight as well as seeing results in lowering their blood pressure. For some people the effect of intermittent fasting may simply be because their eating window falls outside their nightly snack window, and so they suddenly consume less junk food at night. Others seem to think that the weight loss is due to simply eating less overall because you aren’t eating for 16 hours, i.e. skipping a meal.
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Can intermittent fasting lead to an eating disorder?
Intermittent fasting rarely leads to an eating disorder, but like with any strict regimen, it can happen. If you keep prolonging your fasting window, or follow your 16 hour fast with a binge eating session, these might be signs you need to talk to your doctor.
Does yoga help with weight loss?
Yoga helps with weight loss by helping you listen to your body, leading you to make better choices for yourself and ultimately lose weight.
How does intermittent fasting affect the blood pressure?
Intermittent fasting should not be attempted by people with low blood pressure.
But is it really healthy to fast for 16 hours?
The 16:8 diet is supposed to help with weight loss as well as improved health in general. It does seem like sticking to nutritious food during your eating window is also the best practice. If you have additional health conditions you also shouldn’t fast, and some women may have trouble with their hormones when fasting.
Intermittent fasting has gained a pretty solid following, and does seem to have some science behind it. While it isn’t the perfect fit for everyone, if you struggle with your weight it is at least worth looking into.