What is intermittent fasting? – Benefits and Recommendations

It seems that the topic of intermittent fasting in diets is increasingly on everyone’s lips. But what is it exactly? Is it a new dietary modality? Is there a danger of losing volume in our muscles? Then we give you the answer to all the questions that you may have regarding this topic, and thus know what are the benefits and drawbacks of this technique that comes stomping in the world of healthy living.

What do we call intermittent fasting?

IF (Intermittent fasting) or Al (intermittent fasting),  is a way of eating that does not prohibit food, it only says that there are a number of hours during which we do not eat in which you can only eat infusions, water and coffee without sugar. There are different types of intermittent fasting and they vary the fasting times and the periods in which they eat throughout the day.

This have all the food we want at our disposal is something recent because before we had to go out to look, eat anything and fast to find food again and, as you can imagine, we had no food every 3 hours and the body I was not going to allow myself to get rid of the musculature that would then be needed to go out and get the food again.

Studies made on this subject discovered the following: the basal metabolism does not decrease even after 2 days of fasting; moreover, between 36 and 48 hours of fasting, our body consumes more Kcal as a consequence of the elevation of epinephrine and norepinephrine (from 60 hours it decreases slightly) and there is no protein degradation. This increase in hormone secretion was to activate the muscles and encourage our ancestors to go out and look for food.

As for the loss of muscle mass, it will not be given until approximately 16 or 24 hours of fasting and this loss will still be low. Of course, for this you have to have eaten protein-rich foods (such as nuts or protein shake of hemp or soy, for example) during the hours before fasting.


Among all the benefits it brings, we will highlight the following:

  • The risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases is reduced .
  • Increases the production of GH (growth hormone) slightly.
  • Improves insulin sensitivity.
  • It promotes greater oxidation of fats (the highest peak occurs between 16 and 24 hours of fasting), which is great, for example, for long distance runners.
  • Give a break to your digestive system and blood can be distributed among other systems so you have better health.


The disadvantages of Al occur when the fast is too long and may:

  • Increase cortisol and lose muscle (from 16-24 hours).
  • Increase ghrelin (hunger hormone).
  • Decrease leptin (hormone that regulates appetite).
  • The basal metabolism is reduced (after 60 hours of fasting).

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