The Top 10 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Fasting is one of the oldest, tried-and-true ancient healing traditions. Fasting is the voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual or health reasons. Fasting may be done for any period of time, from a few hours to an extended peroid of time. Fasting gives your body a chance to reset, repair and reset.
In our Metabolic Reset Program, we typically fast overnight until lunch the next day. This is known as 16/8 Intermittent Fasting and is one of the easier ways to incorporate fasting because you the 16 hour fasting window includes the time you are sleeping. In a sense, fasting is part of every day life. The term “breakfast” is the meal that “breaks” the “fast” – see, you are already doing some form of intermittent fasting!
Here is a quick outline of the key benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Fasting is one of the most potent ways to remove toxins from your body.
- When you are fasting your body burns fat for fuel (a process called lipolysis).
- Lipolysis helps to mobilize the fat-soluble toxins stored in your fat which is where most toxins are stored.
- It is important to excrete these toxins through your sweat, urine and stool.
- Drinking 1/2 your body weight in water as well as Reishi mushroom coffee/tea helps to flush out these toxins so they do not recirculate in your body.
2. Autophagy – “self-eating”
- This is the process of your body digesting its own damaged cells. It’s a vital cleanout process like taking out the trash.
- It helps to detoxify your cells and recycles parts of your cells that are no longer needed so your cells behave more youthfully.
- It also destroys foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses and pathogen.
- Because of this process fasting is useful at preventing and treating cancer.
- Autophagy is helps prevent for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
3. Weight Loss
- When you fast, you reduce insulin levels and your body no longer receives the signal to store extra calories as fat.
- Fasting accesses your fat stores and reduces visceral fat (fat aroundthe abdomen) which has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
- Fasting can also raise your metabolic rate.
- Fasting helps to train your body to burn fat.
- Fasting preserves muscle mass and helps you become leaner and stronger.
4. Reduce Insulin Resistance
- Fasting lowers insulin and blood glucose levels. It gives your pancreas a chance to produce less insulin since it isn’t needed.
- Fasting lowers insulin more powerfully than any other strategy we know of.
- Insulin resistance is the precursor to diabetes, obesity, heart and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and many other chronic diseases.
- Insulin is the primary hormone that tells your body whether to store energy or burn it. When you eat, especially high-carb foods and processed foods, your blood glucose levels increase. Your body then increases insulin in an effort to lower those glucose levels.
- High insulin levels and insulin resistance are far more serious than elevated blood glucose.
- The way to lower insulin and glucose is to lower carb intake.
- A result of insulin resistance is weight gain because higher levels of insulin signal your body to store energy as fat.
- Another result is that the receptors for insulin in your cells begin to get desensitized so you need to release more and more insulin in order to move glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells
- When you fast your blood glucose levels fall and your pancreas produces less and less insulin. When insulin levels fall, your body gets the cue to release energy so you will start to burn your fat stores.
5. Circadian Rhythms/ Better Sleep
- When you take a break from eating you give your circadian rhythms a chance to normalize
- When you stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed your energy requirements are focused on your sleep and insulin sensitivity.
6. Improved Gut Health
- There is a huge population of microbes that live in your gut.
- 80% of your immune system lives in your gut so when your gut microbiome is disrupted you also impair your immune function.
- Your microbiome is largely influenced by your diet (what and when you eat) and by stress.
- Fasting helps to reset your gut microbiome and helps to reduce gut permeability (leaky gut).
7. Optimize Brain Function
- Fasting has been shown to boost mood, improve memory, trigger the generation of new neurons and lower the risk of age-related cognitive decline
8. Optimize Cardiovascular Function
- Fasting decreases visceral (abdominal fat) which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
9. Increased Energy
- When you fast, you burn fat. This gives your body access to unlimited energy stores and allows you to feel more energetic
10. Stem Cell Production
- Fasting improves your body’s stem cell production. Stem cells help to maintain and repair your tissues.
- Fasting helps to improve your intestinal stem cell function which helps to maintain the lining of your gut and maintains your sacred gut barrier.
So, there is not just ONE, but TWO considerations for proper food choices:
- WHAT to Eat; and
- WHEN to Eat!
I’ll end with the two most common questions about fasting.
- Is it healthy? Scientific studies conclude that it carries signficant healthy benefits. Metabolism increases, energy increases, and blood sugars decrease.
- Can you do it? I hear this one all the time. Absolutely, 100 percent yes! In fact, fasting has ben a part of human culture since the dawn of our species.
If this information makes a lot of sense to you and you’re TIRED of being frustrated with your weight or metabolism, I’d love to see how I can help you and find out if working together is the right fit. Fill out an application for a complimentary consultation via the link below.