There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to fasting. Some opt for long term fasting, others do it for a short while. However, short term fasting has become a popular method many people are trying for several reasons. Learning about the different types of fasting will help you understand whether it can help you achieve your goal. Here is what you need to know about short and long term fasting.
* Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting essentially consists of alternating periods without consuming any food. Many people fast for almost 12 hours. Some studies suggest this type of fasting can help reduce one's risk of developing serious health issues like cancer, heart disease and metabolic syndrome. This is due to the temporary caloric restriction. Researchers have also found it can help reduce body fat and improve neuroplasticity. This kind of fasting has been found to help people lose weight at a rapid pace.
"IF makes intuitive sense. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates, particularly sugars and refined grains (think white flours and rice), are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells don’t use it all, we store it in our fat cells as, well, fat. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there," Monique Tello, a practising physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, stated in a news portal.Adding, "Between meals, as long as we don’t snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat."
* Long-term fasting
Fasting for more than 24 hours a few times a week has been found to aid weight loss much faster than short term fasting. However, some experts giving your body proper nutrition is more important than speeding up the weight loss process. While it may become easy for you to lose weight, keeping it off may be a huge challenge. Adopting an aggressive fasting system may not be so wise if you are looking to make a healthy lifestyle change.
So what's the verdict?Intermittent fasting will help you achieve immense benefits over time. "But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention," Monique Tello stated in a news portal.
Short term fasting also helps you to provide your body with the right energy it needs to keep going and won't take much of a toll when performing physical activity.