Fasting and Furious
Throughout history, people have practiced fasting for spiritual, religious, and therapeutic reasons. Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term for various diets where you alternate between periods of fasting and eating. Intermittent fasting promotes weight loss, improves sleep quality, regulates metabolism, positively impacts the gut, and induces autophagy.
But, what is autophagy? Autophagy is a natural process where your body clears out toxins and replaces damaged cellular parts with new ones. Research suggests that it could limit the development of conditions like cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
Autophagy occurs when insulin and glucose levels are low, and glucagon levels are high. When your body has low sugar levels, it shifts its metabolic pathways. It begins to burn your body fat for energy instead of the glucose derived from carbohydrates and initiates autophagy. Fasting is the most effective way to trigger autophagy.
Intermittent fasting can benefit your health immensely, but the black and white picture about it makes it seem like ‘just a weight loss tool’. Stick around as we bust some common myths about intermittent fasting!
Myth 1: Intermittent fasting makes people lose weight.
Fact: Weight loss during intermittent fasting happens due to restricted calorie intake for long periods during the day.
Myth 2: It is okay to consume fruits or juice while fasting.
Fact: Fruits and juices increase the sugar levels in your body and disrupt autophagy. Consuming anything besides water, green tea, or non-insulin spiking, low-calorie food (less than 100 kcal) during fasting periods defeats its purpose as the state of autophagy isn’t achieved.
Myth 3: Intermittent fasting puts your body in starvation mode.
Fact: Starvation mode is your physiological response to extremely low sugar levels and involves reducing calorie expenditure, making you very hungry and lethargic. Intermittent fasting improves metabolism and overall health without putting your body into starvation mode.
Intermittent fasting not only burns fat but lowers the risk of cancer, increases your lifespan and improves your control over hunger by helping you find a diet that fits your lifestyle. The hardest part is to overcome the barriers in your mind that stop you from experimenting and becoming more aware of your body.