The modern world is rife with diets and fitness fads, but fasting for health has been happening for millennia. The most recent studies of this ancient practice show that it can lead to a longer, healthier life.
What is Fasting?
Fasting has been used by many cultures for thousands of years, so it is no longer surprising that it is one of the most widely accepted practices in today’s society.
Before you dive into the benefits, it’s important to note that fasting is not a diet. Instead of providing decreased calories or meal-delivery prepackages, fasting provides an immediate cessation of eating food and drink. Your body goes into a prolonged period of autophagy or “self-eating.” During this time, cells will clean out aging proteins and organelles to help restore balance and reduce oxidative stress in your body.
What is the Best Way to Fast?
When it comes to intermittent fasting there are several approaches that have been used successfully by many people while they see great results in fat loss without any side effects or adverse symptoms at all. Here are the two most popular methods that people are using today and the reasons why.
Time Interval: The first method is to set an exact time for your fasting period. For example, you would eat your last meal at 8 pm and then do not eat again until 12 pm. This method is convenient for people who live by a tight schedule and it is easy to plan ahead of time. You can even break your fast with a small snack if you get hungry before the end of your fasting period. Fasting for health can be easily done with time interval fasting.
Calorie Restriction: The second method is more flexible with regard to time but requires more awareness of what you are eating, as well as hunger cues when deciding when to start eating again.
For example, you may fast for 24 hours and then eat some calories (such as 500-1000 calories) at the end of your fast. This will put you into a low-calorie state and your body will begin to burn fat. You can continue to eat 500-1000 calories every day for about 30 days until you lose about 6 pounds. After 30 days of eating only 500-1000 calories per day, you re-introduce a higher-calorie diet.
Benefits of Fasting for Health
1) Cleansing and Detoxification
During a fast, your kidneys remove toxins from your body and help you move towards optimal health. If you continue to eat after a fast, the toxins in your body will trigger an inflammatory response that will ultimately lead to illnesses such as cancer or heart disease. We suggest starting on a detox diet or cleansing program if you are prone to illness.
2) Weight Loss
Fasting is an ancient practice that can lead to weight loss without causing any adverse side effects or unwanted symptoms. You can lose weight and keep it off as well. This is why many people are implementing fasting into their lifestyle and have seen great results.
It causes an increase in your resting metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy that your body uses to keep itself alive. This increase in metabolism allows you to burn more fat for energy when you are fasting. The byproducts of the breakdown of fat stored in your body will be useful as fuel.
3) Reduced Insulin Levels
Fasting has been proven to reduce insulin levels by up to 3 to 6 percent, which is essential if you want to stay healthy in the long term. High insulin levels lead to diabetes, obesity, and other serious health issues in the long term. Reducing insulin levels gives your body a chance to find a new balance point at an even lower level of glucose tolerance, allowing your body some much-needed rest from processing excess sugar that causes inflammation and oxidative stress within your body.
4) Protection Against Illness & Infection
Studies have shown that while fasting, bacteria, viruses, and parasites are cleared out of the body at a faster rate than when people are eating normally. When the immune system is well-oiled with anti-oxidants and healthy nutrients you won’t get sick as often or stay in bad health if you already do get sick.
5) Reducing Inflammation
As if you didn’t need another reason to fast, fasting will reduce inflammation throughout your body. Inflammation is a factor in most diseases and even premature aging. Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more.
Studies show that cells that are exposed to intermittent calorie restriction (fasting) will have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. The effects of these anti-inflammatory cells last for about 24 hours after the fast. The longer you fast, the greater the impact of this anti-inflammatory effect will be on your body. (1)
6) Increases Energy
One of the reasons why many people fast is to increase their energy.
When you are in a calorie deficit and breaking down fat stores, your body will be able to convert fatty acids into an alternative source of fuel that is used by the mitochondria of your cells. This fuel helps slow down the aging process and prevents oxidative stress throughout your body. Just like when you start your car after it has been sitting around for a while, this alternative source of fuel will give you an initial burst of energy as your cells start feeling more nourished after being in a fasting state.
7) Improved Mental Clarity
When you are fasting, your brain is not being bombarded with a constant influx of glucose and energy. Instead, it is able to go into a deeper state of relaxation which can lead to increased mental clarity, creativity, and alertness. Improved mental clarity improves your ability to focus on the things you want to focus on without having any distractions.
Intermittent fasting can be a great way to keep your body healthy and go into a state of ketosis, which will help reduce inflammation throughout the body while promoting healthy brain function, as well as preventing or reversing many diseases. Fasting for health is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself!
It is important to note that if you are going to try Intermittent Fasting that you do it correctly.
Please check the articles below to read more on fasting:
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