What are Some Intermittent Fasting Benefits?
What comes to mind when you hear the word “fasting”? Some think of gurus like Gandhi while others are reminded of Biblical stories but the truth is that almost all of us fast when we sleep. By definition, the body is in a state of fasting after 8 hours without eating.
Intermittent fasting benefits
If you have ever considered taking fasting one step further, or if you’re wondering why anyone would fast in the first place, then consider these 10 amazing intermittent fasting benefits.
1. Weight Loss
The most obvious benefit from not eating is the weight lost from a severely reduced caloric intake. After your body runs out of digesting food to turn into fuel, it has to tap into its fat stores to keep things running smooth. The result is slow, steady weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle change as opposed to a quick fix like many fad diets. That means you’ll see honest and healthy results instead of just losing a little water weight by cutting bread out of your meals. The research behind this benefit is massive, with several studies supporting fasting as a reliable tool for weight loss and maintenance.
2. Increased Glucose Tolerance
When you fast your insulin sensitivity is greatly increased, which allows your body to process glucose more efficiently. As your body burns through its energy storage, it also tissues that have accumulated glucose over time and decrease your insulin resistance.
This is a great preventative method against diabetes, as well as an excellent way to help diabetics become less reliant on medications.
3. Metabolic Boost
Adding to the weight loss seen from burning through fat cells is an increased metabolic rate. Long-term fasting has been shown to cause a drop in metabolism, but practicing intermittent fasting promotes an increase.
Many use calorie restrictions in an attempt to help increase their metabolism, but this can actually produce a drastically negative result instead. With the loss of weight comes a loss in muscle, the part of our body responsible for burning calories, which decreases the body’s ability to properly metabolize food. Fasting keeps your metabolic rate up without causing you to lose any muscle.
To further support the body’s energy optimization, it’s possible to find supplements out there to increase the ability of the cells to convert the food you eat into energy.
4. Living Longer
Regularly practicing intermittent fasting has been shown to help individuals live healthier, longer lives. There are several theories behind why this phenomenon takes place, including a prominent one that suggests fasting causes the body to perceive a constant threat.
This added stress increases cellular defenses, guard against molecular damage, and stimulates tissue repair to keep your organs functioning at an optimal level. While these are just theories, the fact that those who practice fasting live longer remains true even if we don’t quite know why.
5. Managing Hunger
It should come as no surprise that food is going to taste heavenly after a period of fasting, but creating a period to eat and a period to fast can actually help you maintain your hunger. For starters, you will know the difference between actually being hungry and just acquiring the cravings we usually give into, hence why your food will taste so amazing.
It also establishes a routine that your body will adjust to. This will allow it to not only deliver the benefits on this list in a more effective way but also affects other aspects of your life. Fully taking advantage of your body’s energy consumption will help you sleep better, have more energy during the day, and learn to eat only when you need to.
6. Brain Power
A recent study proved that intermittent fasting is beneficial for your brain. It stimulates neuron growth, aids in the recovery process from injury, and even improves your memory. Aside from the cognitive benefits, fasting also works to prevent neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
7. Immune Boost
White blood cells are the body’s main line of defense against various illnesses and bacteria that we come in contact with throughout each year. Fasting on a regular cycle forces your body to put its tired, wounded soldiers to rest and produce brand new fighting machines to strengthen your immune system.
This purging effect extends to toxins as well, shown in a 72 hour fast that protected cancer patients from the side effects of their chemotherapy. There are more studies that need to be done for us to understand the full scope of this effect, but knowing that it fights infection is a great start!
8. You’ll Look Better
Skin complexion is often related to diet and how many care products you use, but intermittent fasting can actually help you acquire that radiant glow you’ve been looking for. By cleaning out bacteria and toxins, as well as inflammation, your skin will look and feel healthier. This also extends to the health of your hair and nails, which will grow faster and stronger during a fast.
9. Reduce Oxidative Stress
Several diseases and cancers have been linked to oxidative stress due to its ability to create unstable molecules known as free radicals. These harmful chemicals damage DNA and protein to create an imbalance in the production of oxygen.
Regular periods of fasting have been shown to greatly increase the body’s ability to create antioxidants, which fight free radical development. Less free radicals lead to less oxidative stress, which leads to improved health and well-being.
10. Heart Healthy
Lowering your body fat percentage through intermittent fasting comes with a wide variety of benefits, one of which is improved cardiovascular function. The practice reduces the level of cholesterol in your body, effectively lowering body fat and putting less strain on the kidneys as well as lowering blood pressure.
Combine all of that with increased production in growth hormones and you have the perfect equation for a healthy, strong heart. Take this benefit one step further by cutting back on drinking and the consumption of meat.
The multiple intermittent fasting benefits are proven through research and the thousands who practice this lifestyle. So, what are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving it a try.