Doctor Assisted Intermittent Fasting
An example of a common schedule is a 16:8 split, where 16 hours in a day is spent fasting, and you can eat during the remaining 8-hour time span. You can choose when in the day you want to have your eating period. Some prefer to have it earlier in the day while others like to skip breakfast and start eating later in the day. Another variation of intermittent fasting is to fast for multiple days in a row. In all of these methods, there is a cycle of a longer fasting period followed by a shorter eating period.
Following a programme of intermittent fasting naturally leads to a lower calorie intake, but more is at work than simply reducing calories. During a fast, your body adjusts hormone levels, making stored body fat more accessible to burn. Typically, 12 hours after you stop eating, there is a metabolic switch from fat/cholesterol synthesis and fat storage to ketone production. This change begins to burn fat while preserving muscle mass and function. Intermittent fasting regimens that activate this metabolic switch can improve body composition.
Reduce insulin resistance
Diabetes is a major health concern throughout Singapore today, with MOH declaring a “War on Diabetes” in 2016. Intermittent fasting helps regulate insulin levels, making it an excellent way to protect against Type 2 Diabetes. A study in 2018 at the University of Alabama showed that within a group of prediabetic obese men, the participants with a feeding window limited to 6 hours a day showed dramatically lower insulin levels after 5 weeks than those eating the exact same meals over a 12-hour span.
Improve heart health
The participants in that same study also showed a significant reduction in blood pressure over the 5 week period. Intermittent fasting may also provide cardiac protection even after cardiovascular events. In observational studies, Muslims with a history of ischemic event showed a reduced incidence of decompensated heart failure during the fasting month of Ramadan when compared with other times of the year. Ketosis is common during intermittent fasting, and one recent study showed that over a year of continuous care in patients with Type 2 Diabetes, which included nutritional ketosis, most biomarkers of Cardiovascular Disease were reduced.
Improve brain health
Multiple studies have also shown that caloric restriction can have a positive impact on memory and cognition. Metabolic switching that happens during intermittent fasting impacts multiple signalling pathways in the brain that promote neuroplasticity and resistance of the brain to injury and disease.
Intermittent fasting is associated with improved outcomes of metabolic, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases including Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. It helps to reduce the level of monocytes (which play a critical role in inflammation) in the blood and tissues.
Other benefits of intermittent fasting include:
• decreased total and LDL cholesterol
• improved sleep
• cellular repair
• protection against neurodegenerative diseases
• increased lifespan