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What happens to the body after short-term fasting? Scientists' opinion
Intermittent fasting, 5: 2 diet and 16/8 method - these and many other ways of short-term abstinence from food are aimed at improving the body. Many stars practice such nutritional systems to maintain beauty and health. Among them are Jennifer Aniston, Kourtney Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon and others. And this is not just a new trend - the benefits of short-term fasting are scientifically proven. We will tell you how you can improve your body condition in a day.
A healthy body can fast for up to 21 days, but at home it is recommended to do this for no more than 72 hours. Further dietary restrictions should only take place under medical supervision.
Self-fasting includes two phases. The first one lasts 24 hours, it is natural and safe for the body, according to the specialist in functional medicine Elena Kondrasheva . On her Instagram, she says that this practice can be repeated once a week. The second phase lasts from 24 to 72 hours. The doctor warns: such a refusal to eat must be approached carefully, as side effects are possible. For example, hypoglycemia. It should be repeated every 2-3 weeks.
Whichever of these fasting times you choose, there will be many changes in the body.
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Decrease in insulin levels
One of the results of a one-day fast is a decrease in insulin levels. When you are hungry, your blood sugar naturally drops. The body uses glucose in the blood and liver because it has no other source of energy. Consequently, the pancreas produces less insulin to absorb glucose.
After fasting, your insulin sensitivity will increase, which means that cells will begin to receive a sufficient amount of nutrients from food, blood pressure will stabilize and constant hunger will go away.
Canadian scientists from the University of Saskatchewan have confirmed that this method stabilizes blood sugar levels, preventing the development of diabetes.
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Fasting triggers the regeneration of old cells in the body, including those that are part of the immune system. Californian scientist Chia Wei-Cheng found that three days of fasting can lead to the regeneration of the entire immune system and the production of completely new white blood cells with a stronger ability to fight disease.
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Losing excess weight
Short-term fasting is a quick way to get rid of extra pounds. When you eat, the body uses food as a source of energy. The part of the food eaten that is not used for life is converted to fat and remains in the body for further use. This is how you gain weight.
During fasting, these fats are broken down, that is, lipolysis. This process does not affect muscle tissue, which is why many athletes use it to achieve a low percentage of body fat.
American researchers Paul Labounty and Grant M. Tinsley found that 24-hour fasting can reduce body weight by 9% and significantly reduce body fat within 12-24 weeks. that fasting is one of the most effective and long-term solutions for weight loss and maintenance.
Boost your metabolism
Intermittent fasting gives your digestive system time to rest, increases norepinephrine levels, and how consequently, you accelerate the metabolism. With subsequent meals, you will get more energy from it, and calories will be burned more efficiently. A study by researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine IV of the University of Vienna showed that fasting can speed up metabolism by 14%.
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This process is inextricably linked with the previous two points. To ensure a continuous metabolism, the brain converts the glycogen stored in the liver into energy. But after about 12 hours, reserves are depleted and the body begins to burn fat accumulated in different parts of the body. And the toxins stored in fats are released and then removed from the body.
Slowing down aging
As cells grow older, their performance also decreases, and old cellular material accumulates inside. All this leads to aging. The deprivation of nutrients that occurs during fasting activates the process of autophagy, that is, the destruction of old material. And in place of old and inactive cells, new and healthy ones appear. This process was explained by the Japanese biologist Yoshinori Osumi, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 2016.
Scientists from the University of Georgia in the USA have discovered a molecule that the body produces during fasting or prolonged physical exertion. It prevents the aging of the walls of blood vessels and helps their cells to actively divide. ANDSecond studies point out that the main aspect of aging is precisely the deterioration of the circulatory system. With age, the vessels supplying blood to various organs become extremely vulnerable.
In addition, fasting stimulates the production of growth hormone, which strengthens bones, improves protein synthesis, and increases muscle mass. This way you rejuvenate both inside and out.
Nevertheless, no matter how tempting the results of fasting may look, it is best to conduct such experiments with your body under the supervision of a specialist.