- 0.1 Dr Janet Brill discloses how skipping breakfast as a part of intermittent fasting can benefit you in losing weight, feeling alert and decrease your cholesterol
- 1 We’re constantly said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is it true?
- 2 Is skipping breakfast good?
Dr Janet Brill discloses how skipping breakfast as a part of intermittent fasting can benefit you in losing weight, feeling alert and decrease your cholesterol
There are many ways to do intermittent fasting. Many religions have incorporated in their cultures too like Shravan in Hindu culture, Paryusan Parv of Jain religion (water-only fast), Ramadan in Muslims and Lent in Christians.
There’s certainly tons of study suggesting the advantages of skipping breakfast and following an intermittent fasting regime.
We’re constantly said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is it true?
There are all kinds of ways to try intermittent fasting, but one of the most popular (and easiest to follow) is the 8:16 method.
Eat all your calories in an eight-hour window, but keep the other 16 hours ‘fasted’. 16 hours might sound like a long time, but it’s relatively workable if you spend the majority of that period sleeping.
If you’re somebody who is bringing in the most of lockdown lifting like seeing friends for dinner and hanging out at your local pub, then skipping breakfast is your good gamble for keeping on the top of your health goals.
Is skipping breakfast good?
It’s nearly impossible to exaggerate the advantages of intermittent fasting and sticking to it unfailingly.
‘I just can’t tell you enough about the health benefits of intermittent fasting,’ says leading US nutritionist, Dr Janet Brill, writer of Intermittent Fasting for Dummies and advisory board member of Fastic, the intermittent fasting app.
‘They’re truly incredible. And it goes far beyond just weight loss. I am a huge, huge believer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be skipping breakfast, you decide on your ‘eating window’ to suit your routine.
‘That’s the beauty of intermittent fasting and why people love it so much because each person can choose when and what works for them. Skipping breakfast works best because that’s when we socialise least, The key thing is to stick to it day in day out.’
1 Lose lockdown weight
If you’ve been trying to lose that muffin top you arranged to acquire over countless lockdowns and OTT movies, we hear you.
Skipping breakfast, aka intermittent fasting, will benefit you fight your lockdown weight increase from numerous angles.
First, skipping breakfast will automatically lessen your everyday calorie intake. And research indicates that skipping breakfast doesn’t lead to an improved appetite afterwards during the day.
Next, intermittent fasting works a unique sort of spell on your metabolism.‘There’s this fascinating metabolic change that goes on,’ says Dr Brill.
Hormonally it’s extremely helpful for the human body to have this type of rest period.
First, you have a decline in insulin. Insulin is a kind of an ‘anabolic’ hormone, that amasses fats, but (with fasting) you get the opposing effect. Insulin goes down and then all these amazing hormones kick in that boost your metabolism and improve weight loss.
‘You see an improvement in human growth hormone (HGH) and also a boost in norepinephrine (noradrenaline) which both enhance the breakdown of fat for energy. So rather than an anabolic building, you have fat breaking down.
2 Feels more alert
Intermittent fasting also enables to improve focus and concentration.
When our bodies have to work hard to constantly digest the incoming food, it leads to what many people call a ‘food coma.’
In contrast, during the fasting process, the body starts to use the stored fatty acids and ketone molecules for energy, and this can help us to focus and feel alert.
‘Ketones are created by the liver as a means to energise your brain when you’ve run out of glycogen or blood sugar,’ explains Dr Jill. ‘When going into ketosis for short periods it is an incredible thing as opposed to going on a keto diet, which is unhealthy’.
Intermittent fasting helps to improve focus and concentration
Experts think our bodies were designed to work in this way as a survival tactic when food was in short supply.
‘It all goes back to evolution,’ says Dr Brill. ‘Back when we didn’t have exposure to food 24/7 like we do now, the brain had to learn to dig into our fat stores for energy. Cavemen would rely on this kind of energy to become mentally sharper during the fasted state so that they could find food and survive’.
3 Reduces the risk of dementia
When we fast, cells that no longer work properly are absorbed by the body and discarded (autophagy).
Specialists think this process of ‘autophagy’ may have the potential to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Also, the ketones released while you fast will further keep your brain healthy. Ketones are a kind of chemical that your liver generates when it breaks down fats.
‘One of the wonderful things ketones does is stimulate a protein in the brain called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), that’s been linked with the decline of neurodegenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. It is like fertiliser for your brain,’ explains Dr Brill.
One study found that short-term fasting reduced Alzheimer’s symptoms in nine out of ten people.
4 Lessen the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
Healthy fasting helps to maintain insulin and blood sugar levels stable.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to decrease insulin resistance.Dr Brill
‘In type two diabetes, the pancreas isn’t generating enough insulin to unlock the gates to let blood sugar into the cells. And so when that doesn’t work, your cells grow resistant to insulin, then your blood sugar level increases, and that’s not good.
So why does intermittent fasting help?
Experts consider that it decreases the fat in the liver and pancreas which implies these organs can start to function accurately.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to decrease insulin resistance
Even if you’re suffering from pre-diabetes intermittent fasting can assist to avert full-blown diabetes from developing.
A study from the University of Alabama put pre-diabetic patients on an intermittent fasting schedule, where they ate only between 7 am and 3 pm. After 5 weeks those who followed the restrictive eating model had improved their insulin function as opposed to those who ate an equal amount of calories over a full day.
‘If you were to go to the doctor and your fasting blood glucose was at 130, which is diabetic, then you tried a fasting programme for a couple of months, I guarantee that providing you’re eating healthily and exercising, your fasting blood glucose will drop,’ says Dr Brill.
‘And that’s because of this reduction in insulin resistance that happens as an outcome of fasting, exercise and eating healthily.
5 Reduce inflammation and disease
Research shows that intermittent fasting decreases inflammation in the body, and inflammation has been linked to numerous diseases.
A 2013 study showed that fasting may decrease inflammation by decreasing oxidative stress in cells when there is an imbalance between degrading free radicals and antioxidants.
‘Anything that reduces the state of chronic inflammation in the blood vessels is a wonderful thing because inflammation is the driver of most of the chronic diseases that kill human beings,’ says Dr Brill.
‘Fasting will reduce inflammation, as will weight loss and reducing your blood sugar’.
When you utilise body fat for energy, as we do in intermittent fasting, it can lead to weight loss.
Dropping just 10 per cent of your body weight will further reduce the LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol and triglycerides circulating in your blood.
‘LDL is the cause of many disorders,’ says Dr Brill. ‘But with fasting, you have a decrease in the liver producing LDL cholesterol, which apparently occurs due to numerous things: the fasting itself, the hormone changes and the metabolic switch’.
A high level of LDL can lead to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and an enhanced risk of heart disease and stroke so it’s well worth having this in check.
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