Ineffective types of dieting, a lack of willpower and limitations in our modern society are all reasons to why intermittent fasting is more popular these days. It is a diet that involves eating only within an 8-hour window and not eating any food during the duration of the window. The benefits of fasting include weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, enhanced mental performance and overall mood balance.In this article, I will elaborate on the benefits of intermittent fasting and its popularity with modern day athletes.
1. Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting is very effective in weight loss, in fact they are a great way to lose weight. Intermittent fasting reduces insulin levels and improves sensitivity. This results in fat loss of 20% and potential weight loss of 10 pounds after 3 months
2. Improved cardiovascular health
Intermittent fasting is not just limited to weight loss, it also can improve cardiovascular health. Intermittent fasting stimulates a process called autophagy. Autophagy is essential for the removal of defective organelles and proteins within the cells and improves glucose metabolism. This results in a decrease in insulin resistance and may reduce the risk of cancer.
3. Enhanced mental performance and mood balance
Fasting stimulates brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a growth factor in the brain that stimulates neurogenesis and improves mood balance. For instance, an increase of BDNF can improve depression and anxiety. Therefore, intermittent fasting can potentially help with mental health issues and enhance cognitive performance.
4. Overall health
Intermittent fasting can improve overall health by reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes and asthma. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce insulin levels, glucose absorption and production. This means that intermittent fasting has a significant effect on the prevention of disease.
5. Improved cognitive performance
Intermittent fasting is associated with improved cognitive performance. There have been studies that suggest it can help with mental health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and Parkinson’s disease. And there is even a study by the Salk Institute, where that found that intermittent fasting prolongs life in mice and flies