5 benefits of intermittent fasting

Biohacking wouldn't be biohacking without talking about diet. Anyone who cares about healthy eating knows that eating enough protein and healthy fats, limiting refined carbohydrates, avoiding processed foods or excess sugar, and eating superfoods is the best thing you can do for your health.

What we should or shouldn't eat is clear. That's all? It isn't. Studies show that healthy eating is not only about what we eat, but also when we eat.

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular diets for health, weight loss and energy. It didn't just earn its permanent place among health-promoting activities.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a type of eating that alternates between periods of starvation and food intake.

Intermittent fasting is sometimes incorrectly referred to as caloric restriction, which is not entirely accurate. Although intermittent fasting may result in a partial restriction of total daily calorie intake, this is not necessarily the case.

Intermittent fasting or time-limited eating is a type of eating in which only a certain time window is reserved for food intake. The most widely used version is 16:8, where for sixteen hours of fasting there are eight hours of free food consumption. For beginners, it is advisable to start with a ratio of 12:12 and gradually shorten the window in which it is possible to eat, up to 20:4 in favor of fasting.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Why voluntarily deny yourself food for a certain part of the day? Well, let's look at the benefits of intermittent fasting, maybe you will jump into it without hesitation.

1. Losing weight

Our liver and adipose tissue act as energy reserves for periods of starvation. Think of it as a storehouse of energy. Excess calories from the diet, which we do not immediately use for energy production, are stored in the form of fat thanks to the increased level of insulin. During fasting, the level of insulin in the blood decreases and the body stops storing energy and starts using it. First, the organism begins to get rid of stored sugar in the liver and muscles, later fat. This is why intermittent fasting has gained so much popularity.

1.1 Improvement of insulin resistance

Weight loss is also related to insulin resistance. With a long-term unhealthy diet and a diet rich in sugars and simple carbohydrates, a person can increase insulin resistance (tissues do not respond to washed-out insulin and are not able to absorb glucose from the blood). As a result, the level of insulin in the blood is elevated for a long time, which results in a slowdown in metabolism and a problem with the use of fats as a source of energy.

Fasting improves insulin resistance and optimizes the body for a proper hormonal response after a meal.

2. Autophagy

Billions of physiological processes take place in the body every second, and each of them creates "waste" that clogs the body. Autophagy helps clean up this waste and thus clean the organism. The sixteen-hour threshold of intermittent fasting has been shown to be the point at which cellular autophagy increases. Fasting between 16-20 hours significantly lowers insulin levels and allows the brain to participate in neuronal autophagy, which helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Impaired or dysfunctional autophagy contributes to many diseases, including cancer.

3. Alleviation of oxidative stress and suppression of inflammation

The organism naturally breaks down and neutralizes free oxygen radicals, which are created as a by-product during cell oxygenation and metabolism. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between the creation and destruction of these free radicals. It results in the development of many diseases. That's why many people consume antioxidants to try to restore this process to balance.

Intermittent fasting has a similar effect. Increases natural antioxidant activity, which reduces oxidative damage to cellular proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. [ 1 ]

Oxidative stress is closely related to inflammation. Inflammation in the body causes several major problems that can lead to chronic fatigue or neurological problems.

4. Energy

Most people usually assume that they will not have enough energy when fasting. However, these concerns are usually unnecessary. On the contrary, during intermittent fasting, a person often feels an increased surge of energy and improved concentration. This is due, among other things, to catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine), which stimulate the activity of the central nervous system and metabolism.

5. Aging

During fasts, some metabolic signaling pathways (mTOR) are inactive, giving the cells a chance to, simply put, repair and clean themselves. In this way, they extend their lifespan and slow down aging. Fasting is one of the most effective scientifically based methods to prolong an individual's life.

So, have we enticed you to try intermittent fasting? Or has it had a firm place in your life for a long time? Tell us on Instagram or Facebook what your beginnings were like and what tips you would give your younger self for fasting beginnings.