Intermittent fasting deprives the body of all energy sources, which mainly come from food, and forces the body to use the energy deposits in the form of fats to sustain the functions. LifeApps provides science-backed articles on The 5 Stages of Intermittent Fasting. It is a widespread practice and is gaining a lot of popularity amongst obese people and some athletes and bodybuilders. It pushes the body to its limits and undergoes different stages based on the time spent and the size of the fat deposit. The 5 stages of intermittent fasting are feeding, post-absorptive phase, and gluconeogenesis, ketosis, and protein conservation.
The first stage of prolonged and intermittent fasting is the feeding period. This starts from 0-4 hours when you have your food intake. The body is fed with carbohydrates, proteins, and fats at this stage. All these are the standard components of your daily diet.
The second stage usually starts from feeding up to 16 hours, where the body starts digesting the food that you have eaten. Eventually, in this process, the insulin level in the body begins to drop, and the cells acquire the needed energy from the reserves instead of the food. Next, the body starts consuming the glucose stored in the liver and other cells to sustain its needs. Again, the duration depends on the size of the body and the stored reserves.
This is where the body starts recycling the broken and damaged proteins. This usually occurs between 16-30 hours after intermittent fasting. Since there is no new glucose inflow, the liver starts converting proteins into blood sugar to provide the body with much-needed energy.
Ketosis is the fourth stage of fasting. By now, the individual gradually starts to enter the sphere of prolonged fasting. As soon as the body enters this stage, the human brain is mainly fed through the fat energy being produced in the body. While normally, the brain consumes glucose as a source of energy but not enough of the glucose is left in the body after two days of fasting. Also, the liver begins to produce ketones from the body’s fats. Around three-fourth of the energy is provided by these ketones. According to research, it has been observed that ketones help the brain perform better and improve memory and concentration. Also, from the third day of intermittent fasting, rejuvenation of the immune system begins.
The fifth and final stage of fasting is the protein conversation phase. In this last stage, Ghrelin, the hormone responsible for igniting hunger,is reduced. The growth hormones increase tremendously to save the bones and muscles from damage. This concept is very common amongst bodybuilders to grow the size and strength of their muscles. The body starts converting the fats to glucose and proteins at a swift pace, thus increasing the muscles size and at the same time significantly reducing the body weight.
So, these were the five stages of intermittent fasting. At every stage, the body receives benefits such as rejuvenation of the immune system, loss of appetite, lessening of extra fats,etc.