Lose weight: this is why intermittent fasting works

Dimagrire: ecco perché funziona il digiuno intermittente

Intermittent fasting has been considered the most effective method for weight loss for some time. It is a diet that has become popular because it offers an easy way to reduce energy intake and this often leads to weight loss. In addition to simplicity, it attracts the awareness that deprivation is temporary and that one can free oneself from food hunger once the fasting phase is over.

Both men and women appreciate it, not only for the accelerated and sustained weight loss, but also because they know that in this way they can improve their health and longevity. Fasting, even for just a few hours, triggers a biological response to food scarcity, called "metabolic switching": once sugar supplies are exhausted, cells begin to burn body fat. A break from the constant calorie consumption of endless snacks also gives the metabolism and powerhouse of the body's cells a chance to reset. Studies tend to show that it works best for men and post-menopausal women, while the effectiveness is less for younger women.

How intermittent fasting works

There are several models: lo 16/8 scheme in which you fast for 16 hours a day and eat meals in the 8 hours remaining, typically performed on a maximum of 2 days per week; the 5:2 scheme in which caloric intakes imitating fasting are foreseen (about 500-600 kcal) during 2 days in a week, while the remaining 5 you eat normally ; the “Eat-Stop-Eat” scheme in which you fast for 24 hours consecutive one or two days per week.

The most widespread and valid is the 16/8 method: it consists of fasting for 16 hours, then eating for the remaining 8, and thus skipping breakfast or dinner. Portions must be rich in healthy foods and never abundant.

The benefits: reduces the risk of chronic diseases and improves sleep

“Intermittent fasting can also improve a person's sleep and quality of life, as well as reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease,” continues Panda . Since recent research has revealed that genes, hormones and metabolism increase and decrease at different times of the 24-hour day, according to the researchers, “we should align our daily meal habits with the body's internal clock in order to improve health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart and liver diseases".

Eating at random times breaks the "synchrony" of the body

According to researchers, consuming a meal or in any case eating something at random times of the day breaks the "synchrony" of the body, and, if it becomes a habit, it can increase the risk of some diseases. “Intermittent fasting - the scientists underline - is a lifestyle that anyone can adopt. It can help eliminate health disparities and enable everyone to live healthy, fulfilling lives.”

This innovative and popular diet is much loved because it is easy to follow, requiring no particular foods, but is it really risk-free?

The main benefits deriving from intermittent fasting concern the regulation of blood glucose, with an improvement in triglyceride and cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels and resting heart rate. Furthermore, it seems that following intermittent fasting can help reduce the increase in free radicals and can delay the onset of diseases such as stroke, dementia and Parkinson's disease.

Intermittent fasting: contraindications and side effects

If it is true that intermittent fasting brings various benefits, in particular related to the regulation of blood glucose and blood pressure and heart rate levels, it is also true that if prolonged over time, prolonged and repeated fasting can cause serious damage to the 'body.

It is important to avoid radically changing your eating habits without the advice of your doctor or an expert in the sector."

In fact, usually when a professional follows us it is difficult for other problems to arise besides, obviously, the sense of hunger. On the other hand, if you resort to "do-it-yourself" intermittent fasting you may experience problems such as irritability, anger, difficulty concentrating, headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, reduction in physical and mental performance, dehydration and insomnia. .