What Is Fasting?
Yes it’s the month of Ramadan, wherein people from the Muslim community fast from dawn to dusk every day. It is a part their religious belief and faith. This involves abstinence from food and drinks during the entire period. So, let’s discuss the benefits of fasting on our physical condition here.
Various metabolic changes occur when we starve. In general, our body uses the readily available carbohydrates stored in us as fuel. Then, when it starts getting extinct, energy has to be derived from other sources. Non-carbohydrates like amino acids help our bodies to obtain glucose. This procedure is termed as gluconeogenesis.
According to a recent study, fasting increases metabolic functioning and may also encompass anti-aging benefits. Certain humans can also lose weight through intermittent fasting. A period of fasting around 12 to 36 hours is known as intermittent fasting. But, a debate is still going on among scientists about measuring the impact of fasting on weight management.
Other than weight loss, fasting can also prove advantageous to our body in many other ways. It can reduce the risks of cancer and diabetes mellitus type 2, lower blood pressure and improve the conditions of the heart and brain.
How Fasting Helps Lose Weight
During the fasting period, our insulin levels go down and energy is released in the form of glucose, stored in the cells. When this process is repeated continuously, it can result in weight loss.
Evidently, obesity or being overweight can be considered as the major factor for developing type 2 diabetes and also several types of cancers. As discussed above, that intermittent fasting can help weight management, likewise, it can decrease the risk of diabetes and cancer. Certain natural factors related to cancer including insulin levels, inflammation, etc. can be reduced by intermittent fasting. However, more research needs to be conducted on this claim.
The British Journal of Nutrition published a new study. It reported that 5:2 diets which restrict energy sporadically, remove fat from the blood faster after taking meals, in comparison to the regular calorie restriction diets. 5:2 diet means eating normally for five days and then fasting for two days. Hence, it could contribute to reducing the risk factor for heart diseases.
A condition linked to the brain like Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation, Parkinson’s disease and stroke can be prevented through intermittent fasting. Studies on animals suggested this theory .
Further Research Required
Apparently, there arises the necessity of interpreting the research done on animals into humans specifically. Although to confirm the benefits of fasting on health still requires proper evidence, it does seem to have an impact on weight management. So, as body fat is a major concern and is a source of various illnesses, we can restrict our calorie intake in our regular meals. This could be a more convenient method than intermittent fasting. Anyways, both the techniques can be effective in weight control.