Intermittent Fasting: Benefits and Side Effects

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How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

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Some plans suggest that you do not eat anything for 24 or 36 hours at one time, while some allow you to have your meals, but eat a quarter of your regular calories. Many intermittent fasting plans suggest that you cut between 500 and 600 calories on fasting days. This is generally safe and easy for most people instead of not eating at all on those days.

It is up to you to choose what to eat and what not to eat, but it is advised that you stick to healthy food in order to lose weight and stay healthy. The most important thing is to cut down calorie intake on particular days. Another important thing is to remember to drink enough water on the days of fasting to prevent dehydration.

What Happens to the Body During Fasting?

When you fast, your body is put under stress. According to researchers, this stress makes your cells strong so that they are able to help your body deal with the stress that it is under. Thereafter, your cells will also have a potential to combat some illnesses and diseases.

Benefits of Fasting

Research indicates that fasting regularly can potentially improve cardiovascular health. This could be because individuals who fast regularly show discipline over the amount of calories that they consume. This then controls their weight and eating choices. Fasting regularly can also improve the way that your body breaks down sugar. It can decrease your bad cholesterol, which reduces the chances of putting on more weight and developing diabetes, which are risk factors for heart disease.

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Possible Side Effects of Fasting

Like any other diet plan, fasting regularly comes with side effects. Obviously, fasting brings changes to your body, therefore, your body will respond to these changes. Some of the side effects that you might experience while on the plan are headaches, weakness and fatigue.

Furthermore, people that suffer from eating disorders might end up overindulging after fasting. People who are on diabetes medication might experience intense hypoglycemia, which could lead to serious health issues. Lastly, even though skipping breakfast might be considered fasting, it is also considered unhealthy.

Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

The answer to this is “yes”, “maybe” and “no”. Research has indicated that regular fasting can help you lose weight for a short period of time after following the fasting plan for a number of weeks. However, it is not clear how long the weight loss lasts for. One study showed that obese adults who reduced their calorie intake by 20% on fasting days lost 8% of their body weight within eight weeks of following the plan.

Take Away

It is safe to consult your healthcare professional before you commit to a regular fasting plan, as it can have effects on your health. Remember that eating healthy coupled with exercise can help you lose weight and improve your health.