The overnight fast recommended by Harvard for weight loss

Intermittent fasting is one of the practices that has become a trend in recent months as part of the options that people apply to lose weight.

In addition, according to experts, intermittent fasting also has health benefits such as lowering bad cholesterol, preventing obesity, among other benefits.

Intermittent fasting, as its name implies, is the action of restricting when and how much you want to eat in order to have specific physical benefits.

Among the different types of intermittent fasting that exist, Harvard experts recommend the so-called overnight fast.

The fast recommended by Harvard is known as 16/8, one of the most popular and easiest to perform.

To do this, the person must limit the intake of foods and drinks that contain calories for 16 hours in a row and then eat normally in a period of eight hours.

Whoever wishes to apply it must choose the hours in which they will fast. However, in the most popular, food can be consumed between 12 noon and 8 at night, which implies that food should not be consumed at night and part of the morning.

Other times also apply, such as consuming food between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., between 12 noon and 8 p.m., or between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. of the night.

During intermittent fasting you can only ingest liquids such as water, coffee and tea without sweeteners.

Overnight fasting can be done once or twice a week, but experts advise that if someone is prone to eating disorders or health problems such as diabetes, they should first consult their doctor.

According to Harvard experts, the benefits of fasting are:

  • Visceral fat loss
  • Helps heart health
  • Could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Benefits for the brain
  • Helps prevent Alzheimer’s
  • It can increase life expectancy.
  • Weight loss

Intermittent fasting against depression, how to do it?

Depression is an emotional disorder that causes a feeling of constant sadness and a loss of interest in activities, according to the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit organization dedicated to clinical practice, education and research.

The entity also explains that, although depression can only occur once in a lifetime, people usually have several episodes of depression and during these episodes, the symptoms occur for much of the day, almost every day and can consist of:

  • Feelings of sadness, wanting to cry, emptiness or hopelessness.
  • Outbursts of anger, irritability, or frustration, even over minor matters.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all usual activities, such as sex, hobbies, or sports.
  • Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or sleeping too much.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks require more effort.
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss, or more food cravings and weight gain.
  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness.
  • Slow to reason, speak and make body movements.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixation on past failures, or self-criticism.
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things.
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts about death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide.
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.

In fact, many factors can cause depression: alcoholism or drug use; medical conditions, such as cancer or long-term (chronic) pain; stressful life situations or events, such as job loss, divorce, or death of a spouse or other family member; social isolation (a common cause of depression in older adults).

For this reason, researchers from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Uclm) revealed that intermittent fasting would reduce symptoms of depression, as SaberVivirTv, the Uclm researcher and first author of the study, quoted in an article published in The Conversation, Rubén Fernández-Rodríguez said that “people who practice intermittent fasting, especially the restriction of the intake window, show a high degree of acceptance and follow-up. Looking and feeling great inside and out makes it easier for us to maintain this eating pattern long-term.”

That being said, it’s important to note that the Mayo Clinic explained that intermittent fasting means that a person doesn’t eat for a period of days.

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