INTERMITTENT FASTING: FREE, FLEXIBLE AND SIMPLE
Fasting on auspicious days has existed in India since time immemorial but many of us believed that it’s unscientific and illogical until the work on autophagy induced during fasting has been awarded the Nobel prize.
Intermittent Fasting refers to eating plans that alternate between fasting and eating periods. It’s not a diet but an eating pattern. Intermittent fasting methods involve fasting that lasts for 16-hour twice per week. The goal is to systematically starve the body long enough to trigger fat burning. While research is still underway and the method may not be suitable for everyone, there is evidence that, when done correctly, intermittent fasting can help lose weight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent or control diabetes, and improve brain’s health.
During a meal, carbohydrates in food are broken down into glucose. Glucose absorbs through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream and is transported to various organs, where it serves as the major energy source. Excess glucose is stored for later use in the liver and adipose tissue, in the form of glycogen and fats.
In between meals, when the body is in the fasted state, the liver converts glycogen back to glucose to keep supplying the body with energy.
Typically, an inactive person takes about 10 – 12 hours to use up the glycogen stores, although someone who exercises may do so in much less time. Once the reserve of glycogen in the liver is depleted, the body taps into energy stores in adipose tissues.This is when fats are broken down into free fatty acids which are then converted into additional metabolic fuel in the liver. Thus, if fasting state lasts long enough, the body burns fat for energy and loses that extra fat.
BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING:-
It lowers insulin levels, blood pressure, improves our cholesterol profile and can reduce the risk for developing cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Fasting also has beneficial effects on the brain. It challenges the brain the same way physical or cognitive exercise does. It promotes production of neurotrophic factors, which supports the growth and survival of neurones.