13th June 2018

THE BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

COACH K’S TRAINING TIP

So, here we go my fellow brothers and sisters of the barbell. Let’s explore the much talked about intermittent fasting method that has been introduced in our Fitter, Faster and Stronger Nutrition Challenge. I know a lot of you have been left dazed and confusion as to what exactly is this intermittent wizardry?

As the name probably gives away, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. Numerous studies show that it can have powerful benefits for your body and brain. Now don’t take my word for it right I’m just an African Coach, let’s immerse ourselves in the research.

BENEFIT NO.1 – CHANGES TO CELLS, GENES AND HORMONES

When you don’t eat for a while, several things happen in your body. For example, your body initiates important cellular repair processes and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible.

Here are some of the changes that occur in your body during fasting

  • Insulin levels: Blood levels of insulin drop significantly, which facilitates fat burning.
  • Human growth hormone: The blood levels of growth hormone may increase as much as 5-fold. Higher levels of this hormone facilitate fat burning and muscle gain, and have numerous other benefits.
  • Cellular repair: The body induces important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells.
  • Geneexpression: There are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease

Many of the benefits of intermittent fasting are related to these changes in hormones, gene expression and function of cells

BENEFIT NO.2 – INTERMITTENT FASTING CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

Many of those who try intermittent fasting are doing it to lose weight. Intermittent fasting will make you eat fewer meals. In saying you can’t absolutely blow out and compensate by eating everything that isn’t tied down when it comes to meal time.

Additionally, intermittent fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss. Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy.

For this reason, short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate by 6-14%, helping you burn even more calories. In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate (increases calories out) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in).

According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of 3-8% over 3-24 weeks. This is a huge amount. The people also lost 4-7% of their waist circumference, which indicates that they lost lots of belly fat, the harmful fat in the abdominal cavity that causes disease

BENEFIT NO.3 – INTERMITTENT FASTING CAN REDUCE OXIDATIVE STRESS AND INFLAMMATION IN THE BODY

Coach K what the hell is oxidative stress? It is one of the main stress factors leading towards aging and many chronic diseases. It involves unstable molecules called free radicals, which react with other important molecules (like protein and DNA) and damage them.

Several studies show that intermittent fasting may enhance the body’s resistance to oxidative stress. Additionally, studies show that intermittent fasting can help fight inflammation, another key driver of all sorts of common diseases

BENEFIT NO.4 – INTERMITTENT FASTING IS GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN

What is good for the body is often good for the brain as well. Intermittent fasting improves various metabolic features known to be important for brain health. This includes reduced oxidative stress, reduced inflammation and a reduction in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.

Several studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting may increase the growth of new nerve cells, which should have benefits for brain function. It also increases levels of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a deficiency of which has been implicated in depression and various other brain problems. Animal studies have also shown that intermittent fasting protects against brain damage due to strokes.

THE CHAMBER JOURNAL