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THE BENEFITS AND RISKS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

With the holiday season around the corner, now might be the best time to try intermittent fasting and see the multiple benefits on your health. 

Firstly, what is intermittent fasting? It is not so much a diet, and more an eating pattern where you cycle between patterns of eating and fasting. There is more of a focus on when you eat, rather than what you eat, and it has become a very popular method of upkeep for your physical health. 

There are many different methods behind intermittent fasting, with time frames allotted for eating periods and fasting periods that reap different benefits. One fasting experience is to eat within an 8-hour period throughout the day and fast for the remaining hours (known as the 16/8 method), or you may choose to just eat one meal a day. 

Whatever the method, humans have been practicing intermittent fasting for as long as we go back. As we evolved, we could survive days without eating food, as sometimes hunters could not find food to eat. Nowadays, with supermarkets and grocery stores, we are no short of food options. However, our options aren’t always what is best for our health, and that is where intermittent fasting can help. 

Intermittent fasting is a great way to burn fat. Known by scientists as the ‘metabolic switch’, fasting for hours signals your body to change its energy source from glucose which is stored in the liver, to ketones which is stored in fat cells. Thus, your body begins burning fat instead of sugar.

Research has shown a number of benefits reported both mentally and physically in relation to intermittent fasting. This includes boosting memory, improved blood pressure and overall heart health, and prevention of diabetes and obesity. 

White intermittent fasting can be a very powerful weight loss tool which is appealing to many, there are some risks that come with it and doctors do not recommend it to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or people with diabetes or blood sugar problems. 

For women, intermittent fasting can sometimes do more harm than good – especially for those in the reproductive age. Fasting causes a certain degree of stress to the body – and undereating has a negative influence on female hormones – which can lead to menstrual cycle issues, and can cause infertility in some cases. 

Another concern some have with intermittent fasting is that it can lead to other health risks such as eating disorders. Intermittent fasting is often associated with binge eating and bulimia nervosa, which can cause serious damage to your system and have long-term effects. 

At the end of the day, there are many studies still being conducted regarding the safety and effectiveness of intermittent fasting. Like everything else in life – one size does not fit all. It is important for people – especially women – to find a balance according to your body on what form of intermittent fasting is right for them. 

It should not just be about losing weight, but about achieving a healthy body, mind, and soul – which should always be the ultimate outcome in regards to our personal health. 

Sources: 

https://www.mindvalley.com/fasting/content/factory-line?utm_source=maropost-email-1&utm_campaign=launch_bf_oct_2021&utm_content=content_vishensstory&utm_medium=blog&utm_term=&otag=maropost_daily&mpweb=583-9519094-744449436 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide#weight-loss https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-i t-and-how-does-it-work 

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7874733/intermittent-fasting-for-women/

 

Written By Cassandra Briscoe

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