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Fasting diets are going mainstream - ahead of the science.

Religious fasting

Many religious groups incorporate periods of fasting into their rituals, though the focus there tends to be more spiritual than health-oriented: Muslims fast from dawn until dusk during the month of Ramadan, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus who traditionally fast on designated days of the week or calendar year.

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Fasting diets are going mainstream - ahead of the science.

Fasting diets are going mainstream - ahead of the science.

https://www.vox.com/2019/1/14/18177306/intermittent-fasting-diets

vox.com

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Key Ideas

Fasting

It involves eating no or very little food and caloric beverages for periods ranging from 12 hours to three weeks.

Human studies on fasting are only just beginning to ramp up. And while we have learned that fasting helps people lose weight, it’s only if you can stick with it.

Popular types of fasting

  • Intermittent fasts: eating no food or massively cutting back on calorie intake only intermittently;
  • Time-restricted feeding: involves consuming calories only for a 4- to 6-hour window each day.
  • Periodic fasts, the most extreme, typically last several days or longer. 
  • Fasting-mimicking diet, a plant-based diet that involves eating very few calories for several days each month. 

Research on fasting

Key researchers who study fasting aren’t focusing on weight loss at all. In fact, many of the studies on fasting come from institutes of aging and the researchers behind the studies actually focus on longevity and disease prevention. Weight loss is seen as a bonus.

Weight loss during fasting

  • Restricting your calorie intake for prolonged periods of time may lead to lower overall energy intake and weight reduction.
  • The body shifts into a fat-burning mode when it doesn’t get food for an extended period of time. 
  • People don’t always lose weight on fasting diets. And they don’t necessarily lose more than on plain, old calorie-restriction diets.

Sticking to a fasting diet

Many people can’t stick to fasting diets long enough to keep the weight off. Thus, dropout rates have been as high as 40 percent. 

Despite the statistical significance of weight loss results, the clinical significance and practicality of sustaining intermittent fasting are questionable.

When fasting isn't recommended

Patients with eating disorders do best when they eat regular meals and snacks. 

Intermittent restriction of intake is often one of the behaviors that people with eating disorders engage in as part of their eating disorder and it often sets them up to binge and/or purge.

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Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent Fasting (IF)

The dietary practice of restricting your food consumption to a specific window of time. It is used as a supplement to your diet.
In this fasting state, our bodies can break down extra fat...

Approaches to intermittent fasting
  • Skipped meals - when you skip over a meal to induce extra time of fasting. 
  • Eating windows - this condenses your entire macronutrient intake between a 4 and 7-hour window. The rest of the time you are in a fasting state.
  • 24-48 hour cleanse - where you go into extended fasting periods and do not eat for 1-2 days.
Autophagy definition and benefits

The process by which the cell devours itself.

  • Non-essential parts like damaged proteins are recycled and invading microorganisms and toxic compounds are removed. 
  • Autophagy plays an important role in stopping the aging process, reversing disease, and preventing cancer, but it doesn’t happen all the time. 
  • Autophagic processes can be initiated by fasting, protein restriction and carbohydrate restriction.

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Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting
It's not a diet, it's a pattern of eating, a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. It doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you e...
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
  • It makes your day simpler: fewer meals= less stressing about what you'll eat.
  • It helps you live longer: you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.
  • Still up for debate, but intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer.
  • It is much easier than dieting, once you get over the idea that you need to eat all the time.
Different Fasting Schedules
  • Daily Intermittent Fasting: 16–hour fast followed by an 8–hour eating period. 
  • Weekly Intermittent Fasting: One of the best ways to get started with it - do it once per week.
  • Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting: incorporates longer fasting periods on alternating days throughout the week.
Fasting....

...is the voluntary withholding of food for spiritual, health, or other reasons.

Food is easily available, but you choose not to eat it. This can be for any period of time, from...

Intermittent fasting for weight loss

When we fast, Insulin levels fall, signaling the body to start burning stored energy as no more is coming through food. Blood glucose falls, so the body must now pull glucose out of storage to burn for energy.

In essence, intermittent fasting allows the body to use its stored energy. 

Health benefits of intermittent fasting
  • Weight and body fat loss
  • Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels 
  • Possibly reversal of type 2 diabetes
  • Possibly improved mental clarity and concentration
  • Possibly increased energy
  • Possibly increased growth hormone, at least in the short term
  • Possibly an improved blood cholesterol profile
  • Possibly a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Possibly longer life
  • Possibly activation of cellular cleansing by stimulating autophagy
  • Possibly reduction of inflammation

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