You’ve probably heard the rules “Never skip a meal “and “Eat 3 times a day” quite often. According to basic health knowledge, you should never go too long without eating. Intermittent fasting on an 8 hour eating plan turns that idea on its head, focusing on eating less frequently for better health and fitness.
This way of eating makes historical sense because in the past, humans didn’t have the luxury of full fridges or fast food and often went without eating for many hours, while they hunted or gathered their daily meals. And with 8 hour eating plans providing evidence of incredible results from weight loss to cellular repair and cardiovascular protection, it may be time to postpone that meal.
The basic idea behind intermittent fasting is to switch from eating 3 or more meals spread over a day to only eating during a limited 8-hour period every day. Many who practice intermittent fasting prefer to eat only between the hours of 12 pm and 8 pm, while others choose 9 am to 5 pm. Whatever the hours you select, the most important aspect of this type of diet is to strictly keep your meals within a specific timeframe.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
1. Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Intermittent fasting improves your insulin sensitivity while also increasing mitochondrial energy efficiency. These improvements slow down processes such as aging and disease development that are linked to decreased insulin sensitivity and failing mitochondrial energy.
2. Increases Human Growth Hormone Levels
Switching between periods of fasting and feasting can boost your body’s human growth hormone levels. This increase is linked to faster and more efficient fat burning and better muscle gains.
3. Speeds Up Your Metabolism
Short term fasting leads to a faster metabolism by increasing human growth hormone and noradrenaline levels. Intermittent fasting can speed up your metabolism by as much as 14 %!
4. Helps You Lose Weight Effectively
Intermittent fasting was found to be more effective for weight loss than restricting calories. Its relatively simple rules also make it easier to stick with long-term.
5. Targets Your Belly Fat
While it does wonders for over-all weight loss, intermittent fasting could also hold the key to the washboard abs we all crave. It could help you to lose up to 7 % of your waist circumference long-term.
6. Promotes Cellular Repair
When you restrict eating to 8 hours a day, your cells go into a kind of “clean-up” mode, called autophagy. During autophagy, your cells clean out any built-up, broken, waste proteins, helping to prevent the development of many diseases.
7. Improves Heart Health
Animal studies show that fasting works to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels and reduce blood glucose levels, all of which can help to prevent heart disease.
8. Boosts Your Brain Power
Fasting has been shown to raise levels of levels brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF-deficiencies have been linked to brain-dangers like depression. Intermittent fasting leads to new neuronal growth and in humans, daily fasting reduced Alzheimer symptoms in 9 out of 10 sufferers.
Fasting twice a week could be enough to lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. It works by stressing out brain cells in a good way-similar to the beneficial stress of working out on muscles.
With benefits like weight-reduction, insulin regulation and the prevention of heart disease and dementia, intermittent fasting looks set to be the natural cure of choice for the top health problems of our time. But while the early results of the 8-hour plan are encouraging, make sure to speak with your health care provider before trying it for yourself.