Intermittent Fasting Can Improve Your Health
Several different recent studies have reached similar conclusions about eating patterns. Stated broadly, you will be better off from a health perspective if you limit the amount of the day in which you eat. Based on the recent studies you can do this two different ways. The first way is the practice of intermittent fasting where you engage in a long-term fast periodically. The second way to achieve these results is to concentrate your eating into certain time segments of the day and not eat otherwise.
Results of a Recent Study from Utah Show the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
The results of a study from the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City were recently released. The researcher had a particular interest in studying periodic fasting since it is a practice of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which is based in Utah. Mormons will typically fast on the first Sunday of every month, usually skipping on the average two meals.
According to this study, those who fast intermittently had a greater survival rate than those who did not engage in the practice. The researchers asked study participants a series of questions that included those about fasting. They then followed up with participants almost five years later and those who fasted intermittently had a higher survival rate.
Not only did those who fast intermittently have a greater longevity, but they also had a lower rate of other diseases such as coronary disease and diabetes. There was also a lower likelihood that those who fasted would be diagnosed with heart failure.
Of course, intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Certain groups of people are not medically able to fast for roughly 24 hours at a time. This includes those who are pregnant or otherwise not healthy. Another caveat is that it takes time for the benefits of intermittent fasting to be realized. Those who were queried as part of the survey had been engaging in the practice for over 40 years on average. Thus, it would be unreasonable to expect that you would begin to see a difference in your wellness after one fast. You may see some difference, but most of the benefit builds up over time.
This Is Consistent with Other Previous Research About Intermittent Fasting
There was another study from the University of Alabama that was previously published that found similar results. Depending on your lifestyle, following the beneficial course of action in this study may be more advantageous to you.
The University of Alabama study also found that intermittent fasting is helpful. However, the Harvard study involved a different kind of intermittent fasting than was described in the Utah study. For this research analysis, the practice of "early time-restricted feeding" was studied.
Early time-restricted feeding involves shoehorning your eating into certain time periods each day as opposed to skipping consecutive meals. For example, you could do all of your eating between 7 AM and 3 PM and then not eat for the rest of the day after that. Essentially, you are fasting for 16 hours. Your eating does not necessarily have to occur during those hours, but could happen over any eight hour period during the day. This will mean that you do not snack during the day but will only eat meals.
The benefits of this approach are pronounced. This can help you with weight loss, in part because it eliminates some of the snacking that you do throughout the day. This form of intermittent fasting will also lower your risk of diabetes. Even if you do not lose weight with this type of fasting, your cardiometabolic health will be improved and your blood pressure can be lowered.
Even with the research, you must still make sure to choose an approach that works best for you. There may be benefits from intermittent fasting, but you should choose a method that fits your own metabolism and biological clock. Your own body should tell you if you can handle your desired routine.