What Are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

by Patti Croft December 17, 2021

Tons of people have been talking about intermittent fasting and how they blend it into their healthy routines. Yet, many still don’t know what intermittent fasting is and why they should try it.

Intermittent fasting is creating a timeframe of eating. You eat within a specific window and fast the rest of the time. Then, you break your fast after a prolonged period.

There are different ways to fast, including 16:8 intermittent fasting, OMAD, and alternate day fasting, and many benefits from practicing eating this way. Let’s jump into how 16:8 intermittent fasting can improve your wellness and how you can make it part of a healthy lifestyle. 

Weight Loss

So many people today search for ways to lose weight. They try all kinds of diets that leave them feeling deprived. These diets often fail because you stay hungry all the time. You can use willpower for a while, but eventually, you will eat more due to the hunger sensation.

When you skip a meal or two, you will automatically decrease your caloric intake. Some people get confused and think intermittent fasting is all about the caloric deficit, but it’s much more than that. For one thing, when you fast, your insulin levels decrease. When that happens, it produces a fat-burning response in the body. Your nervous system also sends norepinephrine to your fat cells, which can get used for energy. Fasting increases HGH (Human Growth Hormones) levels, and these also help with burning fat.

It gives you a bonus when combining intermittent fasting with a low-carb diet. Eating a low carbohydrate diet helps you burn fat much faster because you aren’t storing so much sugar.

When you’re not fasting, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy diet for the best results. Eating nutritious whole foods can keep you from getting hungry while losing weight.

Reduces Insulin Resistance

An enormous number of people get diagnosed with insulin resistance every year. These people have blood sugar instability and often suffer from type 2 diabetes. For all those who know they have these issues, many have them and don’t know it yet.

Intermittent fasting drops your insulin levels. It lowers insulin resistance, and that also lowers blood sugar levels. That helps heal the cells so that the blood sugar goes into them the right way.

When you implement fasting into your diet, you create balance in the body. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting helps guard against diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness in some people.

Balances Hormones

Along with insulin, intermittent fasting helps balance hormones like leptin and ghrelin. If these two hormones get out of synch with the body, it can cause signals to get disrupted. Leptin is the hormone that sends signals to the body to burn fat. If your body doesn’t recognize the leptin signals, it won’t burn fat. Ghrelin lets your body know that you feel satiated and don’t need to eat anymore. When this hormone is unbalanced, it can cause you to overeat because your body doesn’t realize you already feel full.

When your hormones stay balanced, you will feel better. It’s not only about the weight loss but also about keeping all these hormones in synch that can keep your body healthy at a sustained level.

Decreases Inflammation

When you have inflammation in your body, you will have more pain. As inflammation rises, so does your pain level. Many people get diagnosed with illnesses like Fibromyalgia because they report diffuse, achy pain all over their bodies. That often leads to prescription drugs to treat the symptoms. These can sometimes cause more problems than they solve.

Many times, if you work on decreasing inflammation, you get rid of all that pain. When you stay in a state of chronic inflammation, it can cause various diseases down the road. You may be able to avoid these simply by getting control of the inflammation in your body. Intermittent fasting can help you lower that inflammation and reduce the pain.

Helps With Aging

We’ve all seen commercials promising lotions and creams with anti-aging properties. Most of these are loaded with heavy marketing and won’t give you sustained results.

We all want to look healthy and younger. That goes back to our hormones. When you have insulin instability, estrogen tends to take over in the body. That can happen whether you’re male or female. Intermittent fasting gives you a hormonal balance across the body. Your estrogen and progesterone will even out, and testosterone will increase. Intermittent fasting makes the body more efficient, slowing down the degradation of DNA. It also speeds up DNA repair, which slows down our aging process. When your metabolic functions are in order, it can offset collagen decline, which keeps skin looking young and healthy.

Increases Energy

When you eat constantly, you put a heavy burden on your body. Over- consuming foods forces your body to break down more and process it. You are not eating to fuel the body at that point. Intermittent fasting removes some of that burden, which will also help energy levels.

Some people are afraid they won’t have energy because they don’t eat breakfast. The opposite is true because you end up not only having more energy but sustained energy throughout the day. You won’t have those mid-afternoon crashes anymore. Your metabolic hormones will stay balanced, and your insulin will remain level, creating sustainability. You won’t get the high insulin spikes, and many people get into a state of ketosis during fasting. Ketosis is the process of using ketones for energy instead of using sugar. The body burns fat as a stained source of energy.

Many people also find that consuming healthy sources of clean energy helps this process as well. You don’t want to implement intermittent fasting and then destroy those results by consuming an energy drink loaded with tons of caffeine and sugar!

Detoxes the Body

We get exposed to all kinds of toxic chemicals every day. These include the items we use to clean our homes and even the foods we eat due to pesticides. Many of us use products for our skin that contain these toxins.

When you want to detox your body, intermittent fasting is an incredible way to improve your health and remove these toxic chemicals. When you have a constant supply of food going into the body, it doesn’t make time to detox your critical organs. When our bodies have a chance at natural detoxification, it creates a healing environment.

Improves Immune Function

In the world right now, we hear a ton about immune health. There’s a lot of research showing how crucial it is to keep your immune function strong. Many people have auto-immune issues or immune systems that are stressed.

Intermittent fasting can help strengthen your immune system. That will help guard against all kinds of viruses you encounter every day. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting helps to prime our immune response. That makes it a possible strategy to fight off these viruses. Combined with healthy immune- boosting vitamins, fasting helps many people stay well all year long.

Some people are on medicines to treat their immune issues, but these medicines can often damage our immune function. That means the chances of catching whatever virus strain is near us increases. Intermittent fasting can give your immunity the boost it needs to keep your body healthy and strong.

Autophagy

You’ve probably heard about autophagy when it comes to intermittent fasting. So, what is autophagy? In simple terms, it is breaking down old, damaged cells and making new ones. Intermittent fasting promotes autophagy.

Another way of thinking about autophagy is it is your body’s way of cleaning. It gets rid of old molecules and recycles them into new needed components.

Studies show that autophagy can slow cancer growth and protect liver health. As mentioned, removing these toxins helps strengthen your immunity.

How to Start Intermittent Fasting

With all the positive effects of intermittent fasting, you may be excited about it but unsure how to start. It doesn’t have to overwhelm you. You can always start slow and work up to longer fasting periods.

An easy way to begin intermittent fasting is to eat dinner a little earlier and eat breakfast later that you usually do. Much of the fasting get done while you sleep, so you don’t even have to think about it. Many people fast for sixteen hours and go up from there.

Some people fast every day, while others mix it up a bit. Women may find it more beneficial to fast every other day because of hormonal issues that can happen when fasting every day.

Others eventually work up to the one meal a day strategy where they fast the rest of the time. If that seems too daunting, don’t worry. Starting slow can help you stay the course, and the process will lead to dramatic health benefits along the way. It won’t take long to notice the results, and it can save lots of time and money because you consume less food. Fasting can be a powerful tool that will improve your wellness naturally. If you would like to get any of the incredible benefits discussed, give intermittent fasting a try.

References :

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-and-weight-loss#hormonal-effects

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/intermittent-fasting/faq-20441303

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327398#side-effects-and-risks

https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/research-intermittent-fasting-shows-health-benefits

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/autophagy#health-effects

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32519900/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/podcasts/health-essentials/intermittent-fasting-with-dietitian-julia-zumpano

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/guide-to-healthy-intermittent-fasting-for-women

https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/blog/health/16-8-fasting

https://www.webmd.com/diet/is-eating-one-meal-a-day-safe#1

Patti Croft
Patti Croft

Patti Croft is a Certified Health Data Analyst with a thirst for all things natural and holistic. Coupled with her MBA, Patti uses her skill set here at NuVision Health Center to dive into the research. Her expertise is in taking complex medical data and delivering it in a way that readers can understand and implement into their lives.



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