Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve most likely heard of intermittent fasting. It’s a popular time-restricted eating pattern used to decrease insulin levels, and boost human growth hormone. The results of this double hormonal whammy include weight loss, a lowered risk for cardiovascular disease, increased cognitive function, and longevity. In this post I’ll be focusing specifically on the connection between human growth hormone and intermittent fasting.
Benefits Of Human Growth Hormone
Human growth hormone (HGH) is a peptide hormone secreted from the pituitary gland during sleep. It is associated with energy, strength, decreased body fat, and youth. Here is a list of the many benefits of HGH. You can clearly see why it is considered the hormone of youth:
- Is responsible for growth in childhood
- Regulates body composition
- Improves immunity and lowers inflammation
- Promotes a healthy metabolism
- Higher energy levels
- Improves bone density and muscle mass
- Increases skin elasticity
- Improve mental clarity
- Promotes a healthy outlook on life
- Stimulates cell reproduction
- Better sleep
Unfortunately, this critical hormone declines with age. By the time a person reaches forty years old, levels of HGH have decreased significantly. Finding methods to naturally stimulate HGH in order to improve appearance, augment health, and extend life span is on many people’s radar – especially those experiencing the effects of aging. This is precisely why intermittent fasting (IF) is such a buzz word these days.
What’s The Connection Between Human Growth Hormone And Intermittent Fasting?
One reason IF is so fabulous for weight loss is that HGH levels increase in a fasted state, and IF is a form of fasting. HGH – one of the main fat-fat burning hormones – promotes the synthesis of lean muscle mass, and a reduction in fat by lowering insulin levels. Visualize HGH and insulin as being on a sea saw. When insulin is high, HGH is low. This is why consuming a diet that focuses on keeping insulin levels in a healthy range is anti-aging and supports healthy weight loss.
Think of it this way – low insulin levels contribute greatly to a reduction in weight. Stimulation of HGH also leads to weight loss, and all the benefits stated above. By combining the two, through the use of IF, you’ve got a proven method to, not only lose unwanted pounds, but to keep them off for good. No more yo-yo dieting that is damaging to metabolism.
Additional Factors Associated with HGH
HGH injections are expensive and may have side effects. A better approach would be to stimulate this hormone through healthy lifestyle factors. This is where IF comes in, along with other strategies to improve HGH production.High-intensity exercise is another efficient way to increase levels of HGH.
Used alongside IF, your results will skyrocket. Interestingly, supplementation with vitamin C may also help increase HGH. Although, HGH is produced by the pituitary gland, the liver is where the incredible effects happen. HGH stimulates the liver to produce insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), increasing energy and muscle mass so crucial for weight loss.
Keeping your liver functioning optimally is important if you want healthy levels of HGH. Eating a healthy diet and detoxing your liver frequently are both effective ways to ensure your HGH levels are where they should be. Getting adequate sleep is another way to stimulate HGH. Some studies show that up to 75 percent of this hormone is released during sleep. Aim for a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Combining IF with high-intensity exercise may just be your ticket to weight-loss success. Add to this formula, vitamin C supplementation, liver detox, and adequate sleep, and you’ve got yourself a winning recipe to beat the battle of the bulge and torch your fat for good!
IF And Autophagy
This is where IF is magical, and its effects associated with enhanced aging so apparent. As insulin levels decline with IF, a cellular self-cleansing process increases significantly. This process is called autophagy, and is responsible for breaking down and recycling damaged cells. Think of it as a way your body cleanses itself. It’s kind of like a recycling program that reduces inflammation, improves immunity and slows down aging.
We can control this process by what we eat, and when we eat. When carbohydrate intake is lowered, the body is forced to use fat as a fuel source instead of glucose. This is the goal of a Ketogenic diet, or low-carb diet. Getting your body into ketosis increases autophagy as does fasting. IF is a great way to achieve the profound benefits of fasting without actually fasting in the traditional sense.
Autophagy is the main benefit of IF. This process is preventative in nature as the cells release anything that is pathogenic. This could be bacteria, viruses, mold, or any broken cell parts. Think of the implications of this in terms of cancer and other disease prevention.
[Read More: Keto for Dummies [The Ketogenic Diet Explained]
Ways To Implement Intermittent Fasting
IF is a tool that can applied in many different ways. Choose the way that best supports your particular lifestyle, and one that you will stick to. Don’t try to do it perfectly. It works without driving yourself nuts or being too strict. Do your best and you’ll see results.
With this method, you fast for 16 hours with a feeding window of 8 hours. For example, eat your first meal at noon. Your next meal would be at 4:00 in the afternoon, and your last meal at 8:00 in the evening. That’s if you choose to eat three meals a day, which is great for beginners. Or you could eat just two meals in this time span.
See how you can vary this to suit your daily needs? This is just one way to implement IF. Keep in mind women do better with shorter fasting periods due to our hormonal profile. Everyone is different so experiment with the various ways of doing this.
Another popular way to do IF is the Alternate-Day Fasting Method:
This is just what it sounds like. You alternate days of eating and fasting. One day you eat, the next you don’t. I, personally, think this is too hard, and is not a good choice for those just beginning IF.
The easiest way to incorporate IF into your daily schedule is the 12/12 method. Most people already do this naturally. Let’s say you eat dinner at 7:00 in the evening. You would then not eat breakfast until 7:00 the next morning. Pretty easy, right? This is great for those new to IF.
If you want to extend your fast, start pushing your first meal back an extra hour every morning until you’re at the point that you eat your first meal four hours after waking up. The benefits of IF happen during the night and in the morning so extending your fast in this way will increase the benefits. Listen to cues from your body to determine which method is right for you.
I hope you are encouraged by what has been covered in this post. IF is an effective tool to help you drop stubborn pounds, improve health, and add years to your life.
Instead of the oft-repeated refrain “what should I eat?” – let’s add to that question by determining “when should I eat?” as well.
IF may just be the best-work around for those who have tried and failed numerous times to achieve their ideal body weight. Meal timing produces remarkable health benefits that cannot be disputed.
Have your incorporated intermittent fasting into your eating schedule? What method do you use? Let me know in the comments:)
Disclaimer: This article is strictly for informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice.