What is intermittent fasting exactly?
There are many different explanations for intermittent fasting, but the best way to understand it is to see it as a pattern of eating, not a diet. This method is about getting your food to work for you rather than being a slave to it.
Simply speaking, you spend a cycle of time fasting, followed by a time you are permitted to eat. Again, it is not a diet since it does not tell you what you should eat. It only tells you when you should eat. For instance, if you tend to have dinner early, ignore the late-night snacking and not eat anything until breakfast the next day, you will experience intermittent fasting. It might seem a little crazy to not eat for longer than 8 hours, but in reality, the body needs time to relax, rest, and process nutrients to support our normal repair functions and maintain our health.
Can intermittent fasting increase height?
The short answer is yes. Intermittent fasting may help the body remove toxins and other harmful substances from the body’s cells and tissues. It is known as a general cleaning exercise where the body needs a day off to cleanse.
Is there anything else?
Let’s explain more!
Intermittent fasting or simply skipping meals can help lower brain insulin levels. As you know, insulin is a peptide hormone, which is significant in controlling carbohydrates and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin makes cells in the fat tissue, skeletal muscles, and liver take up glucose from the blood. So, if the body has reduced insulin level, it will have lesser fat and support the process of growth effectively, which is essential for growing taller.
This pattern of eating also stimulates growth hormone production. And thanks to a major increase in HGH levels, a person’s height will be improved remarkably. A study proved that HGH levels may increase by over 300% within 3 days into a fast, and 1,250 after 1 week of fasting .
Is intermittent fasting suitable for everyone? Is it safe for teens?
Truth be told, there is not enough proof in humans to recommend intermittent fasting at this time. Although it is not clear whether this method stunts growth, poor nutrition can. Kids and teens need a lot of nutrients during their growing years to maintain a healthy body. If an eating plan remarkably reduces nutrient and calorie intake, it might badly affect growth and development. In fact, it is never recommended for children under the age of 12.
But in some cases, if you focus on nutritious foods in the eating window, intermittent fasting might be beneficial for teens carrying extra weight.
What are the popular types of intermittent fasting?
Daily intermittent fasting
If you have a routine that changes very little from day to day, this type will be the best option for you. Below are the four most popular methods of daily fasting you should not miss.
The 16:8 means you extend your nightly fast, taking about 12-16 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day. For instance, you may eat dinner around 6 p.m. and then stop eating anything else until 6 to 10 a.m. the next morning. Starting this method will give you a chance to know how your body responds to fasting. Try this for a couple of weeks before moving on to another intense method.
The 20:4 involves fasting for 20 hours, then eating within 4 hours.
OMAD means One Meal A Day. It is a more intense version of intermittent fasting because you only have an hour to eat a single and large meal. It is suggested to eat one meal during the most active part of your day to help your body burn calories effectively. If you eat at the end of the day, it might prevent or delay your sleep.
The 24-hour fast requires you fast one day and then have a normal day of eating. But when doing a longer fast like this, you need to stay hydrated to prevent stomach cramps and headaches. Consuming non-caloric drinks like water and unsweetened tea is recommended.
Weekly intermittent fasting
This type allows you to treat 7 days as a complete cycle. And 5:2 is the most popular form. It requires you to take 2 non-consecutive days of fasting and the other 5 days of the week eating as normal. This method is suitable for those who have consistent days off every week since they can plan their fasting days around it.
What are other health benefits of intermittent fasting?
A systematic review examined data from various studies and pointed out that intermittent fasting is beneficial for lowering body weight .
Our body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which cells take for energy or transform into fat and store for later use. And insulin is a hormone that supports cells to absorb glucose. When you are not eating during a period of fasting, your insulin level drops. And this makes cells release the glucose stores as energy. So, repeating this process regularly might result in weight loss.
A report mentioned that this method might result in a reduction in blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, and triglycerides in animals and humans . So, if you want to improve aspects of your cardiovascular health, you should try it.
What is good for the body is also good for the brain. Yes, intermittent fasting can help improve different metabolic features, known to be necessary for brain health.
A study in mice has shown that brief intermittent fasting might speed up the growth of new nerve cells, which should bring benefits to brain function . A recent review published in 2021 proved that this pattern of eating does not result in short-term cognition among healthy people .
That said, anything that lowers insulin resistance might reduce blood sugar levels and prevent type 2 diabetes. Since intermittent fasting is known for supporting weight loss by reducing insulin levels, it potentially affects other factors linked to an increased risk of diabetes .
Cancer is defined by the uncontrolled growth of cells. So, a fasting diet might help lower cancer risk by delaying the ability of cancer cells to adapt and spread and by boosting the effects of cancer treatment .
Intermittent fasting has benefits for height growth as it lowers insulin resistance, stimulates HGH levels, and supports weight loss. But make sure to check this with your doctor first because this method is not suitable for children under 12. Also, you need to combine it with regular exercise and proper sleep since it is key for any child’s development.
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