Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
By: Kelly Terwilliger
Isn’t Intermittent Fasting the same thing as starvation?
Although some of us may feel that way, especially at first, it is definitely not the same! Unless we are already underweight, IF can be a great way to shed some extra pounds. The idea is that our bodies use our stored fat as fuel, rather than food, for a determined and intentional amount of time. In other words, IF simply allows our bodies to use its stored energy.
So how exactly does IF work? Put simply, IF is cycling between eating and not eating. Every time we eat, we consume more food energy than we can immediately use, so some of it is stored away for later use. Insulin (the key hormone involved in storing food energy) rises when we eat, which helps us store excess energy. While our bodies are fed, we are not burning energy. However, when they are in a fasted state, our glucose and insulin levels drop, which causes the body to burn from elsewhere: our fat cells. If we are constantly in a fed state, our bodies don’t have time to burn any of the energy we have stored.
There are many different methods of IF, some more extreme than others; some people choose to fast for several days at a time! That isn’t necessary, and most people only fast for periods of 12-24 hours. Thinking about our history, it makes sense that our bodies would work in such a way; back when we were hunting and gathering our food, there were often periods of time when it wasn’t readily available, and we would have to fast.
Many people turn to IF for weight loss, which is great! However, there are so many other benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, reduced hypertension and obesity, and more. Additionally, IF may reduce the effects of of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and and rheumatoid arthritis.
Is Intermittent Fasting right for you? Maybe! If you’re struggling with obesity, autoimmune disease, high blood pressure, or other weight-related health issues, it is likely a great option. However, if you are underweight or struggle with thyroid issues or adrenal fatigue, you may want to east yourself into it.
Written by: Lara Wasserman. You can find more good stuff on Instagram!
Photo by: Studio Hop