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5 Ways Intermittent Fasting Can Improve Your Health

5 Ways Intermittent Fasting Can Improve Your Health

Finding an eating plan that fits your life and helps you maintain a healthy weight takes time. Intermittent fasting is gaining popularity as a way of eating that helps with weight management. 

With intermittent fasting, you eat and fast for set periods of time.

There are many types of intermittent fasting styles. Some people only eat during an eight-hour period and fast the other 16 hours, while others may eat a balanced diet for five days and then a semi-fast for two days. 

While fasting isn’t new, this style of eating may offer health benefits beyond weight loss.

At A&U Family Medicine in Sugar Land, Texas, our skilled physician, Dr. Hammad Zaidi, takes a personalized approach to weight loss, providing plans that fit your lifestyle and individualized goals.

In this month’s blog post, we want to share some ways that intermittent fasting can improve your health.

1. May enhance cognitive function

Fasting triggers many physiological changes in the body. It stimulates cellular repair, changes expression of certain genes, and increases production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

BDNF is a protein that nurtures and encourages growth of new neural connections in the brain. Though in the early stages of research, it’s theorized that increasing BDNF levels through fasting can improve brain function, learning, and memory. 

Some studies also show that intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, but more research is needed.

2. Decreases susceptibility to health issues 

Intermittent fasting may also lower your risk of serious chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Fasting decreases blood insulin levels and increases production of human growth hormone (HGH).

Changes in insulin and HGH levels improves the body’s metabolism, increasing the breakdown of fat for energy and the building of muscle. 

Fasting also reduces inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, like certain types of cancer and heart disease. 

3. Improves cardiac health

Intermittent fasting may also benefit heart health by improving risk factors that lead to heart disease, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

Your heart rate also decreases when you fast, so it works more efficiently. Blood triglyceride levels also decline when you fast.

4. Helps with weight management

Many people turn to intermittent fasting to help with weight loss. The eating strategy may help you manage your weight by limiting the time you have to eat, helping control calorie intake. 

However, fasting can have the opposite effect, triggering an insatiable hunger that causes you to overeat. 

5. Extends life expectancy

Intermittent fasting may help you live longer. Fasting triggers a metabolic reaction aimed at conserving energy and protecting the body to ensure survival. These metabolic changes may slow down the age-related degenerative changes and enhance cellular regeneration.

This eating style may also prolong life by reducing risk of chronic diseases that cause serious complications, like a heart attack or stroke.

Intermittent fasting is an eating style many people are adopting to improve weight and health. But it’s not an eating plan you should do without first consulting with your doctor. We can talk to you about nutrition and weight loss and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

We can also teach you how to properly follow the intermittent fasting plan to gain the most benefits.

Call our office today at 281-895-7703 or book an appointment online. Telehealth appointments are also available.

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