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The science behind intermittent fasting — and how you can make it work for you

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What Intermittent fasting is

Intermittent fasting is based on the idea that when you reduce your calorie intake for limited stretches of time, your body will use its stored fat for energy. Intermittent fasting has many health benefits, including losing weight.

There is no one way to d...

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One intermittent fasting method is known as time-restricted eating: A person consumes all of their calories for the day within an 8-to-12-hour window. You might eat breakfast at 8 AM, including coffee, and finishing your dinner by 6 PM.

In an experiment, two s...

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Many of the human body’s processes are tied to our circadian rhythms.

Eating food at the right time can nurture us, and healthy food at the wrong time can be junk food because it gets stored as fat instead of being used as fuel.

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Time-restricted eating gives our body a chance to use up fat. When we eat, our body uses carbohydrates for energy. When we don't need them right away, they get stored in the liver as glycogen or converted into fat.

When we finish eating for the day, our b...

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When we shorten the period for eating and extend the time for fasting, we stay in the fat-burning mode of our metabolism.

The moment we eat food, even coffee with a bit of sugar and milk, we switch to the other mode and start burning carbohydrates while storing glycogen a...

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  • Subjects in a study reported experiencing better sleep, more energy in the mornings, and less hunger at bedtime.
  • In a study of men at risk for type-2 diabetes, after one week of restricting eating to a nine-hour window, the men showed a lower spike in blood glucose after a test mea...

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  • Only consume water during your fasting window. It means no coffee, tea, or herbal tea.
  • Drink only plain hot water after waking up as it can give you the same soothing feeling as coffee.
  • If you have to be very alert in the morning, it's OK to have black coffee, but don't ...

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While the time-restricted eating holds promise, there is a need for more research.

  • There haven't been studies with humans that lasted longer than a few months.
  • The gut microbiome actually changes in mice that restrict their eating to an eight-hour window, so they digest nutr...

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