The benefits of intermittent fasting the right way

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Someone who has a high carbohydrate diet might never go beyond the catabolic state because they will always have a reserve of glycogen. However, a person on a low-carbohydrate diet who exercises regularly can go through it very quickly (the “keto diet”, in which you cut out almost all carbohydrates to maintain low blood sugar and glycogen stores, works. in the same way) . “I would move away from intermittent fasting for fat loss, and if you want to embrace it, think about the health benefits,” says Clarkson.

How to fast

“To fast you have to down-regulate hunger pangs,” says Clarkson. Hunger is felt when ghrelin, a hormone released by our stomach, triggers the production of two other hormones, called NPY and AgRP, in the hypothalamus.

While these three hormones make you feel hungry, there are a host of others that suppress it. Sometimes referred to as ‘satiety hormones’, one of the main ones is leptin which is released by fat cells to suppress ghrelin production – essentially telling the body ‘there is fat in here that you can burn’.

Ghrelin is sometimes called the short-term hunger response because it is released when the stomach is empty and there is less pressure on the stomach wall. It can be exceeded to some extent by drinking water. Leptin, on the other hand, acts in the long term.

“Our hunger hormones are regulated by many factors, genetics being one of them,” explains Clarkson. “But thinking of the nerves that are attached to our stomachs and our digestive tract – if your stomach isn’t distended, your body will think it’s hungry.” She adds that staying hydrated can help relieve early hunger pangs until your body has adjusted. “The first few weeks will be difficult, but you get used to it. “

For most people, ketosis occurs 12 to 24 hours after eating, so if you have your evening meal between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., the fed state will end between 9:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. and ketosis and autophagy can occur around 6:00 am. : 00 to 8:30 the next morning. “But the majority of people sit down and open a package of other stuff after dinner,” says Clarkson. “Snacks or sugary drinks and beer prolong the nourished state by three hours. If you finish snacking at 9:30 pm to 10 pm, the fed state changes to 1 am to 3 pm, ”she says. This can mean that ketosis never happens until your next meal.

“If you can make the informed decision to eat the evening meal an hour earlier and not snack, you could go into that state of ketosis in the morning, compared to someone having the high-carb evening meal. and nibbles, waking up at 6:00 am and never going into that state, “she says. Clarkson suggests eating earlier on Sunday night, or having breakfast an hour later and from there , increasing by one or two days a week.

With a careful approach, intermittent fasting can help your body make its own repairs and recoveries. Autophagy seems to decrease with age, so it may be worth giving yourself a boost later in life. But be aware that this might not be the right strategy for losing weight and there is no substitute for a balanced diet.

William Park is a senior reporter at BBC Future and is @williamhpark on Twitter.

All content in this article is provided for general information only and should not be considered a substitute for the medical advice of healthcare professionals. You should talk to your doctor or health care professional if you are pregnant or have a health problem such as diabetes and are considering intermittent fasting, plan to fast long term, and you should not avoid drinking while fasting.

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