Intermittent fasting has many benefits for maintaining physical well-being./ Image: Pexels.

feeding

Forget about fasting with the aim of losing weight and look at it as an easy-to-implement lifestyle with great benefits for your well-being (if you do it well and with supervision).

By Sara Trueba Rodriguez

March 28, 2023 / 07:00

Surely you have people in your environment who cannot eat as soon as they get up (maybe you are that person). Others, who are used to having dinner early so as not to go to bed too full, and others who cannot start the day without breakfast. In the first and second cases, it is possible that they are doing some kind of intermittent fasting without knowing it.

Fasting has become fashionable in recent years, but it is still a natural way to regenerate and a system already practiced by cavemen to which some organisms tend even unconsciously. In any case, it has been shown that Intermittent fasting has great benefits in our well-being.

We tell you what it is for, what are its benefits and what precautions you should take before choosing it as a new healthy lifestyle.

What effect does fasting have on the body?

According to the Superior Technique in Dietetics Ana Lioba, “fasting serves to recover and regenerate the organs of the digestive system and other warranties. As there are many ways to fast, you have to choose the one that best suits you, but always knowing how to do it… It doesn’t make sense to start with long and demanding fasts, it’s better to start with small and short fasts”, he comments.

Everything is focused on the mechanisms that the organism has to deal with the lack of food for a while. Millions of years ago, when human beings ate according to what they hunted and were not guaranteed food three times a day (sometimes not even once), the body was already prepared to know how to manage these periods of deficiency, obtaining energy from that self management.

«The first contribution of energy is made with what we ingest after the meal. After three hours, when it has already been absorbed, the body uses the reserves: liver and muscle glycogen and fat. If the fast is prolonged, these reserves are depleted (within 24 hours of fasting) and proteins start to break downcreating ketone bodies from fat to support the brain and nervous system.”

Intermittent fasting benefits

Yes, including some form of fasting in your lifestyle has numerous proven and science-backed benefits. Of course, fasting is not a one-size-fits-all solution, nor is it a weight-loss strategy, although you may lose some. In fact, it is said that fasting reduces calorie intake because the time spent eating is restricted, but there is no possibility of generating anxiety about food, having the opposite effect?

“Yes, of course, that’s why any fasting must be supervised. However, the 12-hour fast is very safe. In any case, in the intake period, you must have the necessary contribution of calories and nutrients. These are your benefits:

  • Purifies and eliminates toxins of the liver and colon.
  • improves the mucosa of the stomach and intestine.
  • Rest the pancreas because reduces glucose spikes.
  • Improves the immune systemhaving more energy and reducing inflammation markers.
  • Improves lipid profile.
  • to reverse Suffering and nervousness.
  • regenerates cells.

There is talk of increased energy, more mental clarity and hormonal balance with fasting, but do all types of fasting achieve this? “Usually yes. Fasting improves cognitive ability, makes the mind more lucid, but this is usually more noticeable with the most intense fasts. Let’s stick with the digestive advantages this assumes basic fasting, 12h-12h”, says Lioba.

“I don’t want to defend fasting so that nobody gets confused and decides to do an extreme fast like crazy, without follow-up, because it can have unpleasant consequences”, warns the professional. In fact, there are a number of inconveniences and problems that must be taken into account before incorporating fasting into our lives. «The first thing is that it should always be done under indication and with advice. If they get a little more extreme (more than 12 hours) you have to adapt. It can cause a headache and a drop in energy at specific times,” he adds.

Is intermittent fasting for everyone?

Although the Dietetics professional assures that short fasts go well with normal activity, the same does not happen with long ones, “which must be controlled and involve rest”. There is also the possibility of doing a semi-fast, consisting of windows of more than four hours throughout the day. “The migratory motor complex is activated, which is the super-cleaning system of the digestive system after being digested”, explains the specialist.

then the fast It is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactationin people with chronic medication (depending on the type of pathology you have), type 1 diabeticspsychopathies, ACT (Eating Disorders), heart disease… «It is also not recommended in children.teenagers and the elderly or when the atmospheric temperature is cold, as this increases the need for energy to heat the body”, he clarifies.