Intermittent fasting is becoming a trend, it is being talked about more and more, and people are being encouraged to follow this new lifestyle. This post will talk about what intermittent fasting is and its health benefits. In addition, we will recommend the ENRGIA supplements, particularly ESBELTA, products that can go hand in hand with our diet.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a feeding model that respects prolonged periods without the consumption of food . The most popular categories are three:
- Fasting on alternate days . It consists of alternating between ad libitum feeding days and fasting days, which typically consist of a single meal containing approximately 25% of daily caloric needs.
- Full day fasting – All day fasting is perhaps the simplest form of intermittent fasting and typically consists of 1 to 2 days of full fasting per week plus ad libitum feeding on the other days. However, some programs allow food intake of up to approximately 25% of total daily energy expenditure on fasting days.
- Time-restricted eating . This model involves following the same eating routine every day, with a certain number of hours designated as the fasting window and the remaining hours as the eating window.
Like any research topic, and even more so when we are discovering new findings, it has its supporters and detractors.
The idea of eating less to live longer
Intermittent fasting is not a fashionable theory or treatment (although it seems that way lately), but rather a necessity that was due to the scarcity of food in the days of primitive man. Thus, there were days when hunting and gathering were abundant, and there were other periods of forced fasting due to the lack of knowledge of food preservation techniques.
This adaptation in the first chapters of the history of humanity made our body develop certain genes that encoded certain proteins in order to make the most of it in periods of abundance. But other genes were also developed that would enhance organic functions in periods of famine. This was to generate an energy balance that allows the survival of the species over time. In current times and with the abundance of food -in certain regions of the planet- those genes that encoded the proteins related to fasting, fell into disuse.
Our body has cellular memory
Our body has cellular memory , a feature that has also developed over the millennia and that provides rapid adaptation to the environment. This is crucial for survival.
Looking for new alternatives as a way of life and for weight control in overweight people, intermittent fasting emerged again, but no longer as a physiological need, but as a social need in the face of the disproportionate increase in obesity, as well as chronic diseases due to to the overabundance of food .
Calorie restriction for weight loss
One of the main factors associated with caloric restriction and considered responsible for its benefits is weight loss . These benefits would be related to better control of glycemia or cholesterol levels . In other reviews, it was proposed that, by ingesting fewer calories and more separated by periods of time, the consumption of oxygen for obtaining cellular energy would be reduced, which in turn would reduce the oxidative damage produced by reactive oxygen species .
Intermittent fasting would make it possible to activate some beneficial mechanisms of caloric restriction, such as the already famous SIRT-1 and 2 proteins .
Genetic and pharmacological interventions have successfully extended lifespan and health in animals, but their genetic interventions are not appropriate options for human applications and pharmacological intervention needs stronger clinical evidence. Consequently, dietary manipulations are the only practical and likely strategies to promote health and longevity in humans. Calorie restriction to a level that does not compromise overall health has been considered one of the most promising dietary interventions for extending lifespan in humans. Although it seems simple, the continuous reduction of calorie intake is not easy to practice in real life.
Intermittent fasting carries benefits beyond weight loss.
Fasting-related interventions, such as intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating, have emerged as alternatives to calorie restriction. Fasting appears to extend lifespan both by partially overlapping common mechanisms , such as the rapamycin pathway and the circadian clock, and by distinct independent mechanisms that remain to be discovered.
In one of the most recent scientific reviews, it was found that during fasting periods, our body “resets” itself and begins an internal cleansing process . During these periods, DNA chains are repaired, autophagy of senescent cells is carried out, the immune system is activated and actions tending to combat oxidative stress are generated.
A review of a major scientific portal details the possible clinical applications of intermittent fasting. In addition to the already studied increase in life expectancy, this type of diet reduced visceral fat, the incidence of cancer, rejuvenated the immune system and delayed the loss of bone mineral density related to osteoporosis . As is known, most of these conditions are associated with the aging process. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.05.012
In another review, studies of intermittent fasting programs were examined to determine whether they are effective in improving body composition and clinical markers of health associated with disease. Alternate-day fasting trials of 3 to 12 weeks duration appear to be effective in reducing body weight (≈3–7%), body fat (≈3–5.5 kg), total cholesterol (≈10 %–21%), and triglycerides (≈14%–42%) in normal weight, overweight, and obese humans. Full-day fasting trials lasting 12 to 24 weeks also reduced body weight (≈3%–9%) and favorably improved blood lipids (≈5%-20% reduction in total cholesterol and ≈17%-50% reduction in triglycerides). Research on time-restricted feeding is limited and no clear conclusions can be drawn at present. Future studies should examine the long-term effects of intermittent fasting and the possible synergistic effects of combining intermittent fasting with exercise. https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuv041
Among other benefits, it helps to improve the lipid profile and the reduction of cholesterol, triglycerides
Another study shows that modified alternate-day fasting regimens result in weight loss, ranging from 3.2% compared to a control group over a 12-week period to 8.0% in one trial over a period of 8 weeks. There was limited and mixed evidence for reductions in insulin concentrations, improvements in lipids, or reductions in inflammatory factors. DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.02.018
Caloric restriction has shown very promising effects in various aspects related to aging. Although the results of studies in laboratory animals cannot be directly extrapolated to humans, it has been possible to study the mechanisms that are behind this prolongation of life and that also work in our species .
Studies in laboratory animals support the hypothesis that intermittent fasting and restriction of food availability for the normal feeding cycle improves metabolic profiles and reduces the risk of obesity, obesity-related conditions such as liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty acids and chronic conditions such as diabetes and cancer.
In healthy, normal-weight, overweight, or obese adults, there is little evidence that intermittent fasting regimens are physically or mentally harmful.
The ENRGIA team continues to work tirelessly to bring you healthy options that help you with your goals of healthy weight, health maintenance and delayed aging. The ENRGIA Supplement range, specifically ESBELTA, PURIFICA and DRENA, are the answer to this new demand that is talked about so much.