This is what happens in your body when you do intermittent fasting
The process of autophagy, which is promoted during times of fasting, serves to “recycle our cellular waste.”
Lately intermittent fasting drink headlines and talks. Sure you have read a lot about it. Elsa Pataki told in “El Hormiguero” that she and her husband Chris Hemsworth practiced it. Jennifer Aniston stated that this “had changed her life.” There are many famous (and not famous) who do not tire of telling the four winds the virtues of intermittent fasting, but why do they do it? And more importantly, what happens to our body when we practice it?
Here autophagy comes into play. This is a metabolic process that our body goes through when it is without receiving nutrients for a while. Nutritionist Marta Mató explains that this process serves to “Recycle cell waste”. The professional tells how it works: “There are lysosomes, which are organelles dedicated to recycling cellular debris and then converting them into functional molecules.”
In 1974 the scientist Christian de Duve discovered this process and named it, for which he received the Nobel Prize in medicine. It was in 2016 when the Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi did the same for the discoveries and advances in autophagy. This occurs in our body when we spend a lot of time putting nutrients into our body. When the cells do not receive food, we enter, says Marta Mató, in a “recycling mode” and our cells “self-digest” in order to obtain the necessary nutrients. In this way, our body somehow “regenerates”. And this is where fasting comes into play, as it is in this state that this process is formed.
How do experts recommend intermittent fasting?
There are several ways to practice intermittent fasting. The most common option is ayuno daily of 16 hours. This involves 16 hours fasting and dosing the meals of the day in the remaining 8 hours.
Also, you can opt for the technique called 12/12, which consists of fast 12 hours, something not very difficult if we advance dinner a little and delay breakfast a little.
A more extreme pattern would be intermittent fasting 20/4, in which they eat a daily meal (or two spread over a maximum period of four hours) and the rest of the time they would fast.
Other examples could be the 24-hour fast, in which a whole day is allowed to pass until eating again, the 5: 2 fast, which would consist of eating five days regularly and two of them reducing energy intake to about 300 calories or fasting in alternate days, which would consist of eating food one day and not the other.
Before opting for any of these examples, it is important to consult with a nutritionist dietitian and follow their instructions.
Marta Mató points out that this process usually begins after 13 hours of fasting. Therefore, it is a biological process that is part of certain diets, like the aforementioned intermittent fasting. This, if done correctly, can be beneficial to our health, but the professional emphasizes that it is important to understand that intermittent fasting “is not about eating less, but rather about grouping our diet in a specific window of time, lengthening the hours of fasting ».
He warns that, like everything, practicing fasting in extreme conditions is dangerous, since “we need both periods of nutrition and abstinence.” “This balance has always been with us, but right now there are no periods of abstinence,” explains the professional, adding that we live in an environment in which “growth periods are more encouraged” and we spend few hours without eating food.
Finally, it emphasizes the idea that for part of the population, such as growing children or pregnant women, the intermittent fasting diet must be looked at very carefully.