Intermittent Fasting Benefits for Bodybuilding
Intermittent fasting (IF) is by far the most popular dieting/cleansing trend in the health and fitness industry. If you think about how we started as humans surviving as hunter gatherers, we've been fasting for an evolution. It started simply because there was a shortage of food but today the 3 most popular religions in the world; Islam, Christianity and Buddhism all have fasting (IF) in scriptures and practice.
People all over the world now use IF to lose weight and simplify their lives, improving their health at the same time. Common IF methods usually involve daily 16 hour fasting, or fasting completely twice a week for 24 hours. There are countless studies that now clearly show that IF can powerfully and positively affect your brain and your body, and may help you live a lot longer.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is not a diet; it's an eating pattern with cycles between fasting and eating periods. It's important to note that IF does not stipulate any specific type of foods that you should eat, only when you should eat. Intermittent Fasting is actually more of a natural state for our bodies than eating 3-4 times a day without stopping month after month.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Whenever you fast, even for only 16 hours, there are a few important physiological processors that start happening. Fasting changes you at a cellular and a molecular level. Within the first 16 hours of fasting your body starts to change its hormone levels to start using your body-fat as energy.
This rockets your human growth hormone (HGH) output dramatically and changes the expression of your genes. Your cells also initiate important repair processes, and change the expression of genes. The changes that happen on a molecular level include:
Insulin: Improves insulin sensitivity leading to a dramatic drop in blood insulin levels, making stored body-fat for accessible for energy.
Cellular repair: When a cell gets fasted, it immediately initiates cellular repair processes, including autophagy, where your cells start digesting and removing dysfunctional and proteins building up inside cells.
Gene expression: Changes in the specific function of some genes that are directly related to the protection from disease and longevity.
Types of Tntermittent Fasting
Obviously there are a wide range of different intermittent fasting methods or patterns that are used. We have briefly listed a few popular IF methods/patterns below:
The 16/8 Method: Called the Leangains protocol which is a 16 hour daily fast as you skip breakfast and only eat for a period of 8 hours, like 1 pm to 9 pm. Then "fast" for 16 hours.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This means fasting twice or even once a week for 24 hours, for example not eating from breakfast one day until breakfast the next day.
The 5:2 Diet: Two non-consecutive days during your week, you only eat 500-600 calories, eating normally on the other 5 days.
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