Fasting is eliminating or reducing your caloric intake for a set period of time. It has frequently been quoted as a great method for weight loss and keeping the pounds off. Whether you fast in a once-a-week pause or month-long daytime fast, no one method has really stood above the rest. However, researchers are beginning to focus on this one approach, intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting has been found to be better for burning fat and improving metabolism, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Research. Scientist put mice on an intermittent fasting program for 16 weeks. The mice ate normal for two days then went one full day without eating. In the meantime, a fixed group of mice ate an equal amount of calories overall, but spread evenly over three days.
After four months, the mice that fasted had lower bodyweights compared to the fixed-group mice. They also had less white fat and more brown fat, which is used for body heat and energy, and their glucose and insulin levels were more constant.
It may be possible that intermittent fasting stimulates an anti-inflammatory cell, that triggers an increase of a blood vessel growth factor, which causes the body to burn more fat cells, according to researchers.
“Intermittent fasting without a reduction in calorie intake can be a preventative and therapeutic approach against obesity and metabolic disorders,” said study co-author Kyoung-Han Kim, an assistant professor in the department of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of Ottawa. “Strikingly, these fasting-stimulated changes in the growth of vascular cells and subsequent immune alterations occur even after a single cycle of 24-hour fasting, and are completely reversed when mice start eating again.”
Although this study was not tested with humans, I believe this type of fasting is effective for people as well. Of course, going an entire day without food is difficult, but it may be well worth the temptation if it is promising for weight loss.
Source: Kyoung-Han, K. et al. “Intermittent fasting promotes adipose thermogenesis and metabolic homeostasis via VEGF-mediated alternative activation of macrophage” Cell Research 17 October 2017
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