Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health trends these days. Those who want to lose weight have quickly jumped on the bandwagon. Intermittent fasting was apparently the most popular diet in the last two years.
The simple diet regime can readily help burn off fat. It also helps regulate blood sugar and boost mental clarity. There is no doubt that intermittent fasting benefits go beyond just weight loss. It has several proven advantages for a person’s overall wellbeing.
At times, most of our health problems stem from eating excess food. A poor and unhealthy diet can trigger inflammation in the body. Intermittent fasting only lets you eat during specific hours. But while you’re fasting, your body goes through crucial metabolic benefits.
If you don’t treat this in time, your body can develop chronic inflammation. This further contributes to acute diseases like diabetes and even cancer. Intermittent fasting fixes the very root of our health problems. It regulates our eating time and the food we eat. Fasting, therefore, gives our bodies the time they need to heal.
With that said, here we enlighten you with some key science-backed intermittent fasting benefits. Reading them will definitely convince you to try intermittent fasting!
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
For those who are unaware, intermittent fasting consists of eating patterns that cycle between fasting and eating. You have a set fasting window during which you can’t eat anything. And, then, you have specific hours where you can consume all your meals.
Normally, the regime requires you to not eat anything for at least 12-16 hours. However, intermittent fasting can be done in many ways. Here’s a complete guide that can help you. And, while you’re it, let’s explore why intermittent fasting is so beneficial.
1. It Heals the Body’s Most Crucial Functions
Intermittent fasting is a radical diet that allows your body to take the reins. When you don’t eat for more than half the day, the body quickly registers the signals. It then prepares to heal itself at the cellular level.
Even when you can’t tell, your cells, hormones, and genes are all transforming. Many key changes start taking place in your body. To begin with, your insulin levels will drop dramatically as there is no food to digest.
This is the top reason why intermittent fasting actually helps weight loss. High blood sugar is linked to rapid weight gain. Fasting reduces the chances of consuming high-carb foods and added sugars. When the body is not busy producing insulin to digest the food, something incredible happens.
It begins to use stored body fat as a source of energy. For this reason, your blood sugar drops and your body slowly begins to restabilize itself.
The next important transformation takes place at the hormonal level. Studies have reported that fasting boosts the human growth hormone. In fact, consistent intermittent fasting can increase this hormone up to 5-fold. The spike in the growth hormone can help your body easily burn fat and gain muscle.
The body is also recovering at the cellular stages. There can be many toxins and free radicals in your body due to a poor lifestyle, diet, or weak immunity. Fasting allows the cells to get rid of these toxins that could otherwise lead to serious diseases.
Intermittent fasting encourages the cellular repair process. This way, your body detoxifies itself of waste materials and toxins.
Another crucial transformation happens within your gene expression. Intermittent fasting strengthens your genes and other several molecules inside your body. This automatically leads to stronger immunity and protection from several diseases.
2. It Can Help You Lose Weight Fast and Keep it Off
And, now we come to the most important benefit. Most people keep short-term fasts because it helps them lose body fat and keep it off. If you’re struggling to maintain your weight, you should certainly try this diet.
Intermittent fasting even twice a week can train your body into maintaining its optimum weight. Fasting eventually means that you’ll be eating fewer meals. You will naturally consume fewer calories and still end up feeling fuller.
Over time, this diet helps you beat sweet cravings and encourage weight loss. Intermittent fasting encourages the growth hormones and lowers down insulin levels – all of which aid in rapid weight loss. Instead of starving yourself and experiencing fatigue, try fasting. It is a healthy and safe way to eat in a moderate and healthy way.
Intermittent fasting primarily increases the metabolic rate. This means you can shed those pounds quicker. It helps you burn fat fast as well as reduce the calories consumed. Many people who fasted this way ended up losing several inches around their waists.
If nothing seems to work for you, try this diet instead. Intermittent fasting is certainly a well-researched and powerful tool for weight loss.
3. It Reduces the Risk of Type-2 Diabetes
You’ve probably connected the dots. With lower insulin levels, intermittent fasting can also help lower the chances of diabetes. This is because fasting improves insulin resistance and maintains lower blood sugar levels.
According to this key study, fasting can cut down blood sugar by up to 3-6%. These are critical findings for people who are at risk. If you have a diabetic family history, you need to be extra careful about your lifestyle.
Incorporating intermittent fasting can protect your body from diabetes. Along with diabetes, fasting also protects your body from other conditions like kidney damage. It truly is a wonderful way to stay fit and enjoy a long and healthy life.
4. It Boosts Mental Clarity and Increases Concentration
Do you suffer from a lack of mental clarity or frequent brain fog? A diet that’s deficient in nutrients and lack of exercise are possible culprits. However, you can reverse this. A tried-and-tested way is intermittent fasting. It has the power to change your brain for the better.
During intermittent fasting, your body activates the process of autophagy. This is a cleaning process at the cellular level. It helps strengthen the cognitive functions of the brain. When you’re in a state of fasting, you tend to become hungry.
This hunger induces mental clarity in the brain as opposed to feeling full. Think about the last time you experienced a food coma or overate. If anything, you might have felt extremely lazy and sleepy. In a way, hunger triggers mental sharpness and keeps you alert.
Contrary to popular belief, fasting doesn’t reduce your cognitive strength. Here’s a study that compared the cognitive tasks of participants after a day-long fast. Surprisingly, there were no drops in attentional focus and memory.
Eating less can possibly make you more mentally alert and sharp. So, the next time you’re feeling lethargic and can’t seem to concentrate, try intermittent fasting.
5. It Can Help You Live a Long and Healthy Life
As mortal beings, humans are constantly looking for ways to extend their lifespan. Well, intermittent fasting offers us a window into a healthy and long life. Many studies prove that intermittent fasting can increase life span and slow down the aging process.
However, more research on humans is needed. Nonetheless, intermittent fasting is a wonderful way to stay healthy and fit.
6. It Can Improve Your Blood Cholesterol Profile and Overall Heart Health
We all know high cholesterol levels are linked with high blood pressure. If you have a family history, you need to be extra careful. Controlling your bad cholesterol is crucial. The best way to do this is to avoid greasy and oily foods. Instead, consume healthy fats like olive oil when you’re not fasting.
Making dietary changes is a wonderful way to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. And, a good way to do this is through intermittent fasting. It can help reduce the low-density lipoprotein – responsible for bad cholesterol.
Overall, regular intermittent fasting can help you maintain a healthy lipid profile. And, it will definitely protect you from high blood pressure and heart diseases later on in life.
7. It Can Also Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Up till now, there’s no known cure for Alzheimer’s. However, it’s still a commonly occurring neurodegenerative disease. This is why it’s important to prevent it from developing in the first place. Certainly, intermittent fasting can strengthen the immune system and delay its onset.
While prevention is important, fasting can also help those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s. Several reports have established the strong healing effects of fasting for Alzheimer’s patients. Regularly keeping short-term fasts seemed to have drastically improved Alzheimer’s symptoms in this study.
However, research in this area is still limited. Nonetheless, intermittent fasting benefits are acknowledged for a wide range of diseases.
A Final Word
Now that you’ve gone through all the intermittent fasting benefits, it’s time to make it a part of your life. Intermittent fasting is a wonderful way to learn self-control. If you’re ready to get on the diet, here are the best foods to include in your regime. Enjoy a healthy and energetic life by eating moderately and consciously!