10 Intermittent Fasting Benefits.
Intermittent fasting benefits the body in so many ways. It helps lower weight, insulin and prevents diseases associated with aging such as Alzheimer among others.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a type of dieting that involves eating on a cycle or schedule between periods of eating and fasting. It requires that an individual stay without eating for a certain period.
You only eat when that period is over. The periods of starvation could range from 16-36 hours.
Intermittent fasting does not contribute to the starvation of the body, but it only changes the time you eat .It helps improve your metabolic rate by allowing you to eat earlier in the day then extend the fast overnight. For it to work effectively, choose an approach that works best for you.
What type of diet is suitable for intermittent fasting?
This type of dieting does not specify which kind of food to eat during the fast but, instead determines the time you should be eating. Therefore, the type of food you eat will depend on your discretion, and the purpose of the fasting.
If you are fasting for health reasons or losing weight, then you should eat foods that will help you achieve that goal.
Intermittent fasting is beneficial to health. Most research studies done on animals prove that intermittent fasting can benefits human beings too.
Most research studies on the effects of intermittent fasting on fat rats showed that rats lose weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels when subjected to intermittent fasting.
Studies on humans also showed some health benefits such as weight loss especially when calorie intake is restricted.
The intermittent fasting benefits?
1. Intermittent fasting helps you lose weight and fat.
Most people benefit from intermittent fasting because it helps them eat fewer food calories which aid in weight loss. Fasting enables the body to burn more fats and store less, but at the same time helps to build muscles. Frequent fasting can contribute to your body’s increased metabolic rate.
In a study by a Canadian Medical Association Journal, showed that intermittent fasting restrictions were necessary for improving weight loss in overweight women.
Intermittent fasting can, therefore, aid in weight loss more so when you consume fewer calories of food. Eating fewer calories will help you burn more fat and stay in shape.
In cooperation with other healthy lifestyle choices to lose more weight and be healthy.
2. Lowers heart disease
Intermittent fasting is beneficial for lowering heart disease. It helps you control the number of calories you consume. Low-calorie foods help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels in the body especially when you make better eating choices.
Frequent fasting may lower the lower density of bad cholesterol and enhance the metabolism of sugar in the body. Fasting may reduce the chances of you developing diabetes or weight which are major risk factors for heart disease.
3. Intermittent fasting benefits the brain.
One of the intermittent fasting benefits is that it improves brain memory and activity. Fasting can improve cognitive functions and enhance better learning. Overeating fogs the brain and makes it more sluggish but on the contrary, going without food for sometimes activates your mind and challenges it into action.
Fasting causes neurochemical changes in the brain that helps to improve its cognitive functions, lower inflammation in addition to increasing your stress resistance.
Intermittent fasting increases the production of in the neurotrophic factors (protein in the brain). These factors promote the development of neurons that enables your body to resist any stress.
Neurotrophic factors protect the brain from developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Fasting also promotes the formation of new stem cells and ketones (an energy source for neurons) Ketones strengthens the neurons in the brain and thereby help improve memory. It also helps repair your immune system and promotes its regeneration.
4. Intermittent fasting helps with cancer prevention.
Intermittent fasting reduces and prevents the spread and growth of cancer cells. Fasting increases the repair of a compromised immune system. It slows down the division process of cancer cells by starving them to death while leaving the healthy cells to thrive thus promoting the body’s healing mechanisms.
Fasting lowers the level of glucose in the body. It does this by making it difficult for cancer cells to survive under normal circumstances. During a fast, cancer patients should try to eat foods low on the glycemic index.
It enhances the ability of the body to fight cancer. Fasting makes cancer cells self destruct without affecting other vital cells.
If you have cancer, consult your doctor before going on an intermittent fasting diet plan.
5. Intermittent fasting helps lower the risk of diabetes.
Intermittent fasting benefits diabetes patients by, lowering their blood sugar levels and reduce the effects of type 2 diabetes. For potential benefits, diabetes should restrict their calorie intake in addition to eating foods that enhance fat burning.
Most studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve fasting glucose and weight in people with type 2 diabetes.
In a study where participants with type 2 diabetes were subjected to a three weeks observational study of intermittent fasting on diabetes; participants had a reduction in weight, fasting glucose and swings in blood glucose levels.
During fasting, the body burns off the excess sugar and fat to release energy to fuel the body. A reduction in fat helps the body to overcome insulin resistance hence lower blood sugar levels.
Some people manage their diabetes with intermittent fasting and some stop taking insulin altogether like in the case of these three men.
You can benefit more from intermittent fasting if you modify your diet by cutting back on refined foods such as; pasta, white flours, and rice. These foods convert to glucose and can trigger a spike in your insulin.
Consult your primary physician if you have diabetes before undertaking any form of intermittent fasting.
6. Intermittent fasting helps with cellular repair.
Fasting helps to repair and replace damaged cells in the body. New batteries can reduce the production of free radicals which can easily damage the cells by their oxidative effects. The repair of worn-out cells reduces aging and improves the body’s resistance against stress.
The damaged cells are repaired and reused by the body to boost its immunity. It helps to lower the division of damaged cells and their activities in the body.
Intermittent fasting also enhances the activities of the cells by helping the body burn more fat, improve tissue repair, and function.
7. Intermittent fasting reduces inflammation.
Intermittent fasting benefits the body by helping to fight and prevent inflammation. Fasting enables the body to use the stored sugar and fat for energy release. It reduces the version of leukotriene B4 which is a precursor to inflammation. The reduction of caloric intakes also reduces markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. It also helps the body repair and heals itself.
8. Intermittent fasting helps improve digestion and metabolism rate.
Fasting helps your body take a break from digesting food constantly. Eating healthy foods and not eating late in the night can help improve your metabolism rate and gut health. It prevents the growth of intestinal bacteria which can cause bloating and constipation.
Intermittent Fasting prevents the stomach and the intestines from being overworked hence they release enough gastric secretions and enzymes for the proper functioning of the body. It also helps regenerate the worn or damaged cells in the body.
It improves your body’s gastrointestinal system .Fasting allows enough time for the bacteria in your body to ferment the digested food fully and produce healthy nutrients and remove waste from the body.
9. Intermittent fasting Promotes longevity
Intermittent fasting lengthens your lifespan and delays aging. Several studies on rats show an extension of their lifespan. It helps repair and recycles degenerative cells which improves their function, thus slows the effects of aging.
Fasting helps build and improve the body’s immune system. It helps the body to fight free radicals hence reduce and prevent age-related diseases like Parkinson’s. It improves your health and survival.
10. Intermittent fasting helps the body to detox.
Fasting helps the body to get rid of toxins naturally. The fasting period gives the body a chance to clean and repair itself. The body cells eat up any damaged or unhealthy cells through a process called autophagy (self- eating) thus helping the body to detox.
Detoxification of the body plays a vital role in improving our immunity and preventing inflammation.
What to do before doing intermittent fasting.
Set a goal and write it down.
Having a goal and understanding the reason why you are doing it helps achieve your goal. For example; if your goal is to reduce weight, improve your health, or for religious purposes. Try to write your goal down and put it somewhere as a reminder.
You are likely to achieve your goal when you write it down. Do not fast just for fasting sake, have a set goal.
Consult your doctor
Talk to your doctor before starting intermittent fasting if you are suffering from an illness such as diabetes or cancer. Making severe adjustments in your diet especially when you are chronically ill can have a drastic effect on your health.
Adjust your diet
It is essential to be ready and prepare your body for the new changes it is yet to experience during intermittent fasting. Try to understand the requirement of the regimen before and after. For instance, if you were on a high-calorie diet, adjust to a low calorie one.
Plan ahead of time.
Prepare your meals ahead of time. Do enough shopping and stock enough food to last you during the fasting period. For instance, buy enough fruits and vegetables for making the juices.
To achieve better results with intermittent fasting; watch your calories, avoid refined sugars and refined foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
For beginners consider a simple form of fasting that will not overwhelm you. Eat mostly early in the day and avoid snacking between meals for your body to burn more fat.
Exercise, whenever you can, to avoid inactivity and boredom which may make you want to eat more.