Intermittent fasting: how does it work?

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There are many diets you can practice losing weight.

Not all are healthy and should always be followed under the supervision of a physician or qualified personal trainer.

However, some are safer than others from a physical well-being perspective. And if you are determined enough to then establish a correct diet, you will not be able to gain back the lost pounds either.

If you want to lose fat in a balanced way, the intermittent fasting can do for you. Here’s how to lose weight in a week while keeping it off health satisfying.

Intermittent fasting every other day

One day we eat and the other not. Or he sits at the table for lunch and dinner but skips breakfast and stays in abstinence until the next day.

These are just two of the diets you can set up for intermittent fasting diet.

In fact, there are different types of flexible plan which are based on the alternation between certain fasting periods you hate calorie restriction and others of ordinary food intake with normal diet.

Below we present to you intermittent fasting:

What is Intermittent Fasting?


The intermittent diet is a method of slimming balanced in all nutrients (it is not eat only protein).

Aim to intersperse periods of fasting with periods of eating.

The objective is to ensure that the body uses fat stores and with this there is a loss of fat mass in favor of muscular mass slim.

Usually between 10 and 24 hours of fasting is indicated, which can be done daily or only on certain days of the week.

Periods when feeding is allowed are called feeding windows. Apart from them, you should drink liquids without calories, such as water (with or without gas), tea and coffee without sugar, to avoid dehydration.

Methods of Intermittent Fasting

There are several intermittent fasting protocols that require more or less hours of fasting.

Before knowing them, however, it is important to emphasize that the choice of the best way to follow intermittent fasting must be discussed with a specialist (an endocrinologist, a nutritionist or a nutrition expert) who will ask you to carry out specific tests.

Only then can you be sure to practice the diet in full harmony with your health.

This is the most common method of intermittent fasting. It consists of eating within a window of 8 hours a day, and not eating while fasting within 16 hours.

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Let’s take an example :

  • if you sleep from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., it’s already 8 a.m. fasting hours
  • just add 4 hours before going to sleep and 4 hours after waking up on an empty stomach

Basically, wake up at 7am, have lunch after 11am and have dinner before 7pm.

If you follow this system, you should choose a day or two of the week to completely fast for 24 hours. This means that you will eat a meal and only eat again at the same time the next day.

This method is often more difficult to adapt and it is important to eat meals rich in fiber before the fast to avoid feeling of hunger.

It consists of consuming only 500 to 600 calories per day for two non-consecutive days per week.

On other days we eat regularly, choosing healthy and well-structured foods).

By reducing caloric intake, all of these methods should result in weightlossas long as you don’t compensate by eating a lot more during feeding times

How to Act on Cells and Hormones

Body fat is the body’s way of storing energy, i.e. calories.

When you eat nothing, the body modifies certain functions to make the assimilated energy more accessible.

It has to do with changes in the activity of the nervous system, with metabolic effectsalong with a major shift in several crucial hormones that the body releases.

Here are some of the things that alter your metabolism when you fast:

Insulin increases when we eat. When we fast, it decreases considerably. Low insulin levels facilitate fat burning.

  • Growth Hormone (HGH)

Among the various functions of growth hormone are aiding fat loss and promoting muscle formation. Its levels can skyrocket during a fast, increasing up to 5 times.

  • Norepinephrine (noradrenaline)

The nervous system sends norepinephrine to fat cells, causing them to break down body fat into fatty acids free that can be burned for energy.

An effective way to lose weight


A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago analyzed 23 obese people who followed this diet for 12 weeks and the results showed that they not only lost weight, but also lowered their blood pressure.

Another study found that intermittent fasting benefits brain function and may even help with recessive diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

The intermittent diet therefore seems simple to follow, but it is important to understand what consequences it can have on health.
In this dietary strategy, calories are very controlled for weight loss to be effective.

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However, the potential benefits associated with intermittent fasting seem to come more from the energy restriction than from the fast itself.

In other words, if you fast but when you eat the energy intake is very high, you will not get any benefit.

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is considered the best method to lose weight quickly and healthily in a few days.

The main benefit of this practice is that it helps you take in fewer calories and burn more fat.

However, I benefits of intermittent fasting don’t stop there. Let’s see together what are its other advantages,

  • Reduces cravings for hunger

Since this diet decreases the number of meals over time, it will make you lose all those cravings. The method works because it increases the metabolic rate.

It also reduces the amount of food you eat by removing some belly fat!

  • It lowers the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes

Intermittent fasting has been shown to have great benefits for insulin resistance and leads to an impressive reduction in blood levels. carbohydrates In the blood.

Anything that lowers insulin resistance can help lower blood sugar and protect against type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is usually the result of a poor diet and can show signs at any time.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Intermittent fasting helps improve some of the risk factors, including blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, and blood triglycerides.

  • Keeps oxidative stress at bay

The intermittent diet has a beneficial effect on reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

Oxidative stress is one of the culprits of many chronic diseases. These are unstable molecules called free radicals, which react on other important molecules, damaging them.

  • Contrasts the appearance of tumor forms

Although more human studies are needed, there is scientific evidence that intermittent fasting can help prevent cancer, a terrible disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth.

There is also some evidence that fasting reduced many chemotherapy side effects in people with various cancers.

  • It makes your lifestyle healthier with ease

One of the main advantages of intermittent fasting is its simplicity.

With the 16/8 method, where you eat daily only during the “eating window”, it is easier to manage your life. Instead of eating more than three meals a day, you only eat two, which makes it much easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The best “diet” for you is one you can stick to for the long term, one that maintains a calorie deficit in the consumption of healthy food.

Although intermittent fasting makes it easier to stick to a healthy diet, it has clear long-term benefits for health and weight maintenance.

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Who should be careful or avoid it?


Intermittent fasting is contraindicated for certain groups of people.

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women

Pregnant or breastfeeding women need more nutrients. During pregnancy, the needs of the baby are constant. Intermittent fasting during pregnancy can cause fatigue excessive, fainting, low blood sugar and even low birth weight.

New nursing mothers also need to take in many nutrients, so that they can also be included in the milk and ensure that the baby can grow up healthy.

Children and adolescents are still developing, so they need a constant and fair supply of nutrients to grow and develop properly.

Especially teenagers who follow a fasting protocol are at risk of developing severe ones. eating disorders like anorexia

These disorders can have psychological repercussions, of non-acceptance of oneself.

At this stage of life one is led to believe that the standard of beauty results in absolute thinness and that extreme methods – such as fasting – can be followed to achieve this goal.

  • Patients with chronic diseases

Medications for chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension cause changes in metabolism, which can lead to hypoglycemia.

It is therefore important that those who follow this type of treatment speak to their doctor, to understand if they can follow the intermittent diet and if it is necessary to modify their medication intake.

Is fasting suitable for women?

Women generally experience shorter fasting periods than men, so they should not abuse this diet.

This is because they have more muscle mass, so they have greater stores of glycogen, another source of energy in the body that is stored directly in the muscles and used a lot during fasting.

This means that more than fat mass, they could worsen their level glucoseusing this source in themuscle anabolism. Ideally, women should fast for up to 12 hours, while men can fast for 16 hours or more.


Fasting was very common in Paleolithic times, when humans lived by hunting and did not have access to food at all times.

In fact, fasting once in a while is more natural than eating 3 or 4 meals a day. This is why intermittent dieting is one of the easiest and most practical ways to lose weight.

However, if done incorrectly or without the advice of a medical professional, it can cause serious problems. There are also certain categories of people, such as pregnant women, children and adolescents who should refrain from practicing it, to avoid having serious repercussions on their health.


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