Who fasts for more than 14 hours or a day, decreases and prevents diseases, as a recently published study shows? – from rapid weight loss to maintain weight, for healthy liver and diabetes.
Interval fasting, i.e. intermittent fasting, works, that is undisputed. Abandoning food over many hours or single days triggers various processes in the organism and the cell. That’s the metabolism. Normally it runs like this: “When we eat constantly, eating high-calorie, sugary drinks in between, your metabolism is switched to carbohydrate burning. The carbohydrate metabolism is preferred because it is the least energy-intensive, “explains Anette Schürmann, head of department at the German Institute for Human Nutrition ( DIfE ) and spokeswoman for the German Center for Diabetes Research ( DZD ).
During interval fasting, the body switches its metabolism to burning fat
The body does not switch to fat metabolism until the energy supply from the food supply has been used up and the glucose stores in the liver and muscles have been used up. This only happens after many hours of fasting, most of them after about 14 to 16 hours. “This can be a little different for everyone because the metabolism is individually different,” says the professor.
Runners or other endurance athletes know this phenomenon, which then occurs after about half an hour. You feel that as a small loss of performance, feel hypothermic. Thereafter, the body switches to fat burning. Energy from the fat stores is provided and the weight loss begins – the explanation of why weight can be reduced with interval fasting.
Cells regenerate during fasting
In addition, the long fast triggers a particularly valuable process, autophagy. “This is, so to speak, a self-recycling and a cleaning of the cells,” reports Annette Schürmann. Intermediates that arise during the fat synthesis are degraded, repair mechanisms of the cell are stimulated, defective and used cell components are rebuilt to new, functional ones.
Insulin sensitivity increases significantly
Interstate fasting, however, has other effects: “Liver, muscle and adipose tissue become more sensitive to insulin, which prevents long-term diabetes,” says the researcher, who has already conducted several studies on this topic.
Fatty liver and pancreas have been proven to recover
In addition, intermittent fasting leads to the breakdown of fat stores in the liver. A fatty liver affects about every third to fourth adult over 40 years. The cause of fatty liver is too much food, alcohol and lack of exercise.
These risk factors also cause the pancreas to be burdened by more and more people. It forms their fat cells, where the Langerhans Islands are located, which produce insulin. If many fat cells have formed, this affects the insulin production of the islets of Langerhans, possibly increasing the risk of diabetes.
A new study by Annette Schürmann and colleagues has now investigated how interval fasting influences this mechanism: If obesity and diabetes risk already exists, the fasting interval of this pancreatic fat is significantly reduced, the risk of diabetes has been reduced, but the results for mice are still lower for humans must be confirmed. The study is published in the current issue of the journal Metabolism. Interstitial fasting not only had a positive effect on fatty liver but also on the fat of the pancreas and thus prevented diabetes, even if the diabetes risk was already significantly increased.
Different forms of interval fattening – from severe to moderate
There are different variations on how interval fasting can be performed. It depends not only on what is felt to be the most comfortable and suitable for everyday use but above all on the goals that the individual wants to achieve with them. In the current study, the scientists were working with a specific form of Interval fastens, the strict Interval fast.
ADF – fasting every other day: against fatty liver and for those who want to lose weight
Alternate-day-fasting, abbreviated ADF “is the very first and most original form of interval fattening,” explains Annette Schürmann. This means fasting every other day, so do not eat more than 600 kilocalories, but drink a lot, especially water, but also tea and coffee. This diet is useful if the doctor has already diagnosed a fatty liver and / or a diabetes risk exists.
“ADF is the most effective way to fast,” says the expert. She recommends it to obese people who want to lose weight significantly, for example, 20 kilograms.
In about two to three months, most have achieved their goal with this method. “This strict diet cannot be carried out much longer either, after which it is time to slowly lose weight, to maintain the desired weight later, and that is why the other forms of interval tensing have been developed,” she continues.
5: 2 interval fast – slowly remove
Both succeed when fasted two days a week, so the calorie amount is not more than 600. You can eat normally for five days, but you should not make up for the calories saved in the days of fasting. “The total balance of calories would remain the same and thus the weight loss effect is given in my opinion,” says Annette Schürmann. However, the pancreas and liver benefit from the fasting days as well as metabolism and cell regeneration.
16: 8 – lose weight and protect the liver
A modified form of interval fattening is time-limited food breaks of at least 14 hours, some extending to 19. The most common use of this Time Restricted Eating (TRE) is 16-hour fasting. “This is recommended for anyone who has a fatty liver or a diabetes risk, in addition, you can in the long run to reduce some excess weight,” says the scientist.
But which meals should be skipped – early risers for dinner and late risers for breakfast – according to the individual biorhythm? “The assumption is close, but many studies have shown that dinner cancelling is much more effective than breakfast cancelling”. However, abstaining from dinner is undeniably harder, also because it has a strong social aspect – many couples and families meet only at this time and then eat together. So, if you cannot and do not want to miss dinner, you should cut the breakfast and have lunch late – which is definitely better than eating almost all the time, so main meals and frequent snacking, as many do.
Fast one day a week and hold the weight
The gentlest form, however, is the single day of fasting in a week. When it comes to not increasing, that’s ideal. On the only fasting day of the week again up to 600 kilocalories are allowed. “However, some people are fasting completely, for example when they know that they may find it difficult to stop eating something,” reports the expert based on reports. Others eat some vegetables, yoghurt or whole wheat bread on a fasting day, which can be varied.
This form of diet is easy to perform and has an additional positive effect on health: Fasting Day allows the body the important break so that its cells can perform autophagy and also recover from the liver and pancreas.
Conclusion: Any form of intermittent fasting has an overall positive effect on health and weight balance. Depending on the length of the meal breaks and the number of days of fasting, interval fasting can reliably maintain or even massively reduce weight in the long term. Interference fasting has particularly positive effects on the liver, the pancreas and ultimately on every cell because it triggers autophagy, i.e. the self-cleansing and regeneration of the cell. In this way interval, fasting prevents diseases and it is not exaggerated to attribute anti-aging effects to it.