What is intermittent fasting and its benefits

On intermittent fasting, many people believe that it consists of a type of diet or a protocol that follows a specific diet or combination of diets. But it is none of that. If we look and analyze our origins a little, we can find the answers.

Fasting allows our body to burn the excess body fat.


In this article, you will find

  • Origin of intermittent fasting
  • Myths and legends about intermittent fasting
    • Will I lose muscle if I do intermittent fasting?
  • Functions of intermittent fasting
  • Do we know what intermittent fasting consists of?
  • Types of intermittent fasting
  • Benefits provided by intermittent fasting
  • Tricks to perform intermittent fasting
  • Final considerations on intermittent fasting

Origin of intermittent fasting


If we travel through time and place ourselves 3 million years ago, we can observe how the human being fed. I didn’t have a supermarket or a fridge to eat when I wanted to.

The human being of that time, and over millions of years of evolution, has been feeding through periods of fasting and other periods of food intake. And these foods were obtained by fishing, hunting or collecting vegetables, vegetables, roots, nuts and fruits.

That is, intermittent fasting has been taking place since the beginning of the human species and has evolved to what we are now, or rather, until the 19th century.

Because from the twentieth century, and especially, since the middle of the century, evolution has been altered by a food change in favour of the food industries and their star product: sugar and its multiple variants.


Myths and legends about intermittent fasting


Many people start to say, without any scientific basis, and many other people just read or listen, without corroborating it by itself, that if you do intermittent fasting, you will die from multiple causes.

Let’s see some examples of these hollow words below:


Will I lose muscle if I do intermittent fasting?


This legend comes from the following statement: “if you do not eat every 2 or 3 hours, your body will start losing muscle. ” And the explanation about that explanation comes because they say, without any proof that certifies it of course, that the metabolism begins to slow down and by not eating every 3 hours your body begins to lose muscle mass.

As we have said above, our body has been millions of years adapted to spend long periods in fasting, because they did not have access to the food we have today. Suppose that the creators of such a theory are right, in that case, how could they explain that the human being has evolved and endured as a species if, according to them, you cannot live without stopping eating every 3 hours?

Therefore, this legend makes no sense; there are also studies that show that a body subjected to fasting for 36 to 48 hours increases its metabolism, and increases the segregation of growth hormone. So you can increase muscle because of it. And in that case, until 48 hours have elapsed, muscle tissue is not consumed for energy, since before it has begun to consume the accumulated fat. Since as long as you have amino acids in your blood, you will not start to absorb the muscles, and you will not begin to catabolize.

It is important to say at this point that fasts must be less than 48 hours, because it is proven that after 48 hours in total fasting it can happen that leptin (the hormone that controls our satiety) decreases, the metabolism begins to slow down, in turn reducing testosterone and would cause an increase in the hormone cortisol (the catabolic hormone).

Come on, an impudence of theory, I don’t know where it was taken. If they ever tell you something similar, you already know what to say to them or at least pass them the link to the studies that have studied this and to be instructed before affirming such legends.


Functions of intermittent fasting


The primary function of fasting is to use the fat stored in our body as a source of energy.

The fact that our body stays in a prolonged period in fasting ensures that there is no insulin in the body so that another hormone called glucagon can produce lipolysis. We can burn our accumulated fats and use them as energy for the proper functioning of the body.

Knowing this, if we want to increase energy expenditure, with the consequent consumption of more fats to produce this energy, we can exercise in the periods of fasting to increase our metabolism, getting to increase the need for power and therefore, they will burn more fat.

Tranquillity! That you are not going to faint or are going to faint from exercising during periods of fasting!

Perhaps in the first days that you begin to make the change from feeding on simple carbohydrates to do it with fats, your body is not yet accustomed, and you can notice some discomfort caused by the addiction to sugar.

But after that period, which varies in people depending on their metabolism, but is about a week to four (period of acquisition of a habit), you can put the cane you want that nothing will happen to you. 

We know mountain ultramarathon athletes who have been intermittently fasting for many years and eating healthy based on fats that do not have the slightest symptoms of fatigue, we can assure you, and many of them are doctors.


Do we know what intermittent fasting consists of?


Intermittent fasting (intermittent fasting) is not a diet. But what is intermittent fasting?

It is a correlation between periods of fasting and intake over time. That is if we rely on the 24 hours a day has, an example of intermittent fasting can be:

  • 8 hours of consumption.
  • 16 hours of fasting

There are different types of intermittent fasting.


Types of intermittent fasting


Although there are different types of intermittent fasting, the most used and known is 16 x 8. Let’s see them!

  • Fasting 16 x 8: It is the most famous fast and the one that more studies have been carried out as a base. It consists of eating for 8 hours and the remaining 16 hours of fasting. And it can be done in several ways over a week.
  • Fasting 12 x 12: We eat for 12 hours a day and then fast during the other 12.
  • Fasting of the Warrior or Warrior fasting: It consists of making 20 hours of fasting and only eating in the strip of the remaining 4 hours. Here a single meal would presumably be made.
  • Fasting Eat Stop Eat (Eat, stop, eat): This type of fasting consists of variations for toxin elimination and metabolic regeneration. It can be done as follows:
    • For a week, make a single 48-hour help.
    • Perform one or two fasts 24 hours a week, but without being followed, with at least one day between the two fasts of 24 hours.


Benefits provided by intermittent fasting


Next, let’s see the different benefits that intermittent fasting brings us, as read in the scientific literature :

  • Weightloss.
  • Increase energy and improve concentration.
  • Prolongs life or slows ageing, as we want to see it.
  • Reduction of the risk of chronic diseases, as well as cardiovascular diseases.
  • It improves the lives of people who are overweight and obese.
  • Regulates and effectively manages hormones such as leptin and insulin. Improving its sensitivity, reducing insulin resistance, providing efficient use of it by the body and improving the functionality of the pancreas and liver.
  • Increase growth hormone.
  • Improves and regulates appetite.
  • It generates a more significant promotion of autophagy and oxidation of fats.
  • It helps prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes.
  • It also helps in type 1 diabetes, as it controls blood glucose levels, keeping them low.
  • It prevents the onset and progress of degenerative diseases, of the Alzheimer’s type, because it reduces blood glucose and triglyceride levels and increases the efficiency in the production and use of cholesterol. Since cholesterol is key to the proper functioning of our body. The neuronal axons are covered with a lipid layer, fat of the cholesterol type, called myelin, which allows more excellent protection from neuronal transmissions and better communication of such signals.



Tricks to perform intermittent fasting


To facilitate, especially at the beginning, the performance of intermittent fasting, we give you a series of tips or tricks easy to perform:

  • Something that goes very well for all types of intermittent fasting is to use the hours in which we are sleeping to include them within the periods of starvation. That way if we sleep 8, 9 or 10 hours, those are the ones we take off to avoid eating. Especially at the beginning that the habit is not assimilated yet, as soon as your body gets used to it, you will see how you will not have those moments of itching as you had before.
  • So that fasts do not generate stress, especially at the beginning, try to lengthen the fast by making breakfast (its meaning says everything to go out or return from fasting, break the fast) later or to have dinner the night before, or both.
  • When you are doing intermittent fasting, it is essential to drink a lot of water, because your body needs it for the metabolism of fats.
  • It is essential that you eat foods rich in slow-absorbing proteins such as eggs and chicken.
  • The natural fibres of vegetables, vegetables and fats are functional so that the absorption of macronutrients is carried out in a more optimized way, slowing their absorption.
  • Intermittent fasting is easy to take if we eat healthy without needing to be continuously counting calories, with the slavery of the balance. As if we were robots. Since we can feed when we are hungry and eat the amount we want whenever it is healthy food, without sugar or refined carbohydrates or fast absorption :
    • Potatoes.
    • Pasta.
    • Flours
    • Bread.
    • Cereals.
    • Pastries
    • Margarine
    • Etc.


Final considerations on intermittent fasting


Possibly at the beginning, while we are assimilating the habit of eating healthy, without abusing sugar, we have cravings and anxiety to snack in the period of fasting. In many cases it is a pre-acquired reflex tendency, it is like a boost product of the sugar addiction we have, and it may be due to merely being thirsty or some moment of stress that we are having. But it is not real, true hunger, it is usually due to what we often do unconsciously: “as if I get bored” or “I am bored, I will eat something.”

While we are in the period of fasting and we notice that we want to eat something and restraining ourselves from eating it will generate anxiety, it is not good to repress it. Intermittent fasting must be done without force, without any effort, without it being an obligation. In that case, eat something, some almonds or some nuts and mitigate anxiety, because your body is getting used to something new to it.

If we are new to this of intermittent fasting and healthy eating, and we want to do it gradually, which is recommended, it would be essential to start by performing the 12×12 fast, once we notice that our body is adapted. We do not feel that anxiety for eating something in the fasting period, we could go to the 16 x 8 fast.

Once you have mastered the 16×8 fast and notice that your body is already fully adapted, you can start trying other types such as the warrior’s quick. But that will ask your body, listen to him because he will guide you.

The important thing is to check how your body acts before everything you submit; only in that way will you begin to learn to use it correctly and with health.

Keep in mind that since we have been one year old, or even less, they have been feeding us based on cereals, flours, bread, sugar, sweets and our body is beginning to learn to feed correctly.

Your body is leaving the cave where sugar used to be its shadow and begins to wake up from that game of deception projected in the form of sugars, and your body will cross the threshold of your cell and experience new sensations. 

Just learn to lead him towards greater well-being and a healthy meal, beneficial for you.

Check the different scientific studies on which this website is based.


If in doubt, leave them in the comments. Any suggestions will be welcome.

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