Intermittent fasting has become a hot topic in recent years and involves a style of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and eating. Some studies have shown intermittent fasting to come with a whole host of health benefits such as improved cognitive function, blood sugar control, reduced inflammation, increased weight loss and lowered risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
There are a variety of types of fasting and one of the easier variations includes the 5:2 approach, which involves eating normally for five days of the week and reducing your caloric intake to around 500-600 calories on the other two days. With this approach to fasting, you can choose the two days of the week you want to fast, making it suitable for those who are health-conscious but have busy schedules and limited time.
Here are some of the potential health benefits of 5:2 fasting
Boosts Brain Health
Intermittent fasting, including 5:2 fasting, has been associated with improved brain health and reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which typically occurs as we age and can lead to more serious cognitive conditions such as dementia. In simpler terms, incorporating 5:2 fasting in moderation could help to improve our memory and cognitive abilities as we get older.
Supports Mental Health
The link between intermittent fasting and mental health has been studied extensively. Research has shown that intermittent fasting could have positive effects on stress, anxiety and depression. However, it’s important to note that although fasting can help to support the mind and body, it’s not a substitute for professional mental health treatment. If you’re experiencing prolonged feelings of low mood, it’s strongly advised to seek guidance from a healthcare professional.
Better Blood Sugar Control
The 5:2 fasting method is effective for controlling blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity, which refers to your body’s ability to respond to insulin and regulate blood sugar levels. This method is particularly helpful for those with diet-controlled type 2 diabetes. Balancing blood sugar levels can lead to increased energy levels, better mood and mental clarity as well as effective weight management.
Promotes Effective Weight Loss
By reducing caloric intake on two days of the week, the 5:2 fasting method creates a caloric deficit, which in turn supports gradual weight loss. It’s crucial to understand that the rate of weight loss will vary from person to person depending on factors like metabolic rate, physical activity, genetics and other lifestyle choices. Also, what you consume on non-fasting days significantly impacts your ability to lose weight.
Reduces Chronic Inflammation
Intermittent fasting has been linked with lower levels of inflammation in the body. It achieves this by reducing cells that contribute to inflammation known as “monocytes”. Chronic inflammation is associated with accelerated ageing and a range of chronic diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases and irritable bowel syndrome. With this in mind, intermittent fasting could be a valuable tool for reducing inflammation and mitigating the risk of long-term health conditions.
Intermittent fasting, including 5:2 fasting, may not be appropriate for everyone and should be avoided by children, teenagers under the age of 18, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with type 1 diabetes and those taking blood pressure or heart disease medication. Always seek advice from your doctor if you’re looking to try any new diet.
Where to start
Our 5:2 intermittent fasting programmes incorporate the 5:2 fasting method, which involves swapping out your regular meals with our range of organic, cold-pressed juices for two days each week. With a range of levels and the option to include protein-based juices if you have a more active lifestyle, there’s an intermittent fasting programme to suit everyone’s needs.
Intermittent fasting, including 5:2 fasting, could offer a range of powerful health benefits. It has been linked with brain health, enhanced mood, improved blood sugar, effective weight management and reduced chronic inflammation. Try incorporating intermittent fasting into your weekly routine from time to time as an effective way to reset and rejuvenate the mind and body.