Intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular; yet, despite its popularity, there are critical things to know about intermittent fasting before you try it. Intermittent fasting (IF) consists of fasting for an extended period of time each day or for several days of the week. People who promote IF boast of its many health benefits, and, while IF does have health benefits, there are still critical things to know about intermittent fasting before starting an IF fasting regimen.
1 It’s Not Magic
One of the main reasons people are drawn to IF is for weight loss. While it can help with weight loss, one of the things to know about intermittent fasting is that it is not magic. IF works for weight loss because it decreases the amount of calories you consume, which can be achieved by other means of dieting. So, if you are considering IF for weight loss, remember that weight loss is about how many calories you consume.
While IF may not be a weight loss magic bullet, it can help your body detox. When you fast, your body doesn’t have to devote energy to digestion. Instead, your body can focus on cellular repair and detoxing. The detox that occurs during fasting can help your body get rid of waste that could cause potential health problems. As a result, IF can help improve health due to the detox that occurs during fasting.
3 Different Methods
There is not one specific method for IF, rather there are several different methods. Depending on your metabolism and your personality, one method may be better for you. One example of IF is the Leangains method, which has you fast for 14 to 16 hours a day. Eat Stop Eat is an IF method that has you fast for 24 hours one to two times per week. The Warrior Diet takes a different approach, having you fast for 20 hours a day. These are just a few of the IF methods, and, as you can see, there are many different approaches.
4 Increases Stress Hormones
One of the downsides of IF is that is increases stress hormones. In particular, it increases cortisol levels, which can cause potential health problems. High levels of cortisol can lead to weight gain and excessive fatigue, which are two things no one wants.
5 Blood Sugar Problems
Another reason IF may not be a good idea is that it can cause blood sugar problems. Not eating for an extended period of time can cause a drop in blood sugar, which can be very dangerous. However, not all people who practice IF experience a drop in blood sugar. Some people actually have a rise in blood sugar due to elevated cortisol levels. Because of the blood sugar problems that can arise, IF is not a good idea for anyone with existing blood sugar problems.
6 Increases Human Growth Hormone
Human growth hormone (HGH) can increase endurance and increase the rate at which muscles are repaired. Some studies have demonstrated that if you exercise when you fast HGH levels can increase. Since HGH can improve endurance and muscle repair, some people practice IF for physical fitness reasons.
7 Muscle Loss
Although fasting can increase HGH, it can also cause muscle loss. When you fast long enough, your body begins to break down your muscles to release stored glucose to help keep blood sugar levels steady. Depending on your metabolism, this can occur anywhere from 12 to 16 hours after your last meal. To avoid muscle loss, you may want to steer clear of IF.
IF is a diet trend that many people are practicing. Some people have great success, and others end up feeling very sick. Because of the variations of success, it is important to understand all of the facts about IF before trying it. Have you ever heard of IF?
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