Intermittent fasting is one of the trendiest diets in the health and wellness world today, but fasting is nothing new and for centuries has been a part of many major world religions and cultures.
Here are some of the top benefits of fasting:
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is a conscious eating style that alternates between periods of consuming foods at certain times and then fasting at other times.
The length of time you fast can vary depending on your goals and capabilities.
Although it is always best to talk to your doctor before doing extreme fasts, most people can handle a 12-13 hour fast without difficulty!
The fasting window can then be expanded to 16-18 hours, leaving an eating window of 6-8 hours. Other types of fasting include alternate day fasts or 5:2, which is eating regularly for 5 days and then fasting 2 days a week.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss four powerful benefits of intermittent fasting and then talk about a few keys to success.
1. Autophagy: After an extended period of time fasting, the body reaches a point of autophagy. This is the way our bodies get rid of dead or dysfunctional cells that could wreak havoc on our bodies if not properly eliminated.
Autophagy is cleaning and recycling at the same time, The cells are cleaned out and parts of them are recycled towards cellular repair.
This is the body’s way of turning back the clock and creating younger cells!
2. Reduces cell damage from inflammation and oxidative stress - Inflammation is a key culprit in many common health conditions, such as asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating less, staying hydrated, and losing excess weight are all factors in reducing chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
It’s no secret that oxidative Stress can cause aging and chronic disease. This is in part due to free radicals (unstable molecules) reacting with important molecules such as DNA and proteins resulting in damage. The body’s resistance to this oxidative damage can be enhanced through intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting on a regular basis can lower chronic inflammation and ultimately lead to living a healthier, longer life!
3. Detoxification - The detoxification process is ignited through fasting. Even with the best intentions of clean eating, our bodies can become victims of toxic overload through our environments and modern life - EMF’s, pollution, pesticides, to name a few.
When the body is fasting, the liver and other organs are not burdened by processing foods. Reducing caloric intake helps the natural elimination processes kick in since there isn’t anything else to metabolize.
It makes sense that if you reduce the number of toxins that enter the body, it is easier for your body to more efficiently remove the toxins that are already there.
Fasting stimulates the production of liver enzymes that aid in the detox process, resulting in a reduction of inflammation - the cause of so many chronic diseases!
4. Weight Loss - Eating less each day, keeping track of what you are eating, and learning to control your appetite are all key factors in successfully losing weight.
Metabolism can be increased up to 14% through fasting (even more with frequent fasting), this can increase the leptin hormone which facilitates weight loss.
1. Find the right Fasting Method for you - This will take trial and error. Try fasting 12 hours, then work your way up to 14 - 16 hours.
2. Give yourself time to adjust - It’s normal to have hunger pains and headaches and it’s normal to even cave in and eat when you’re not supposed to. But use those mistakes as learning opportunities; figure out why you didn’t stick with the goal and what steps you can take to prevent it from happening again. It doesn’t mean that fasting is not for you.
3. Have a plan and routine - Break and start your fasts at the same times every day. Prepare what you can ahead of time, know what you are going to eat and when. Save your brain from decision fatigue!
4. Start fasting after dinner - This way a large portion of the fast period is while you are sleeping.
5. Stay hydrated - Drink lots of water and enjoy some black coffee or herbal teas. This curbs the appetite which lessens the chances of you breaking the fast. And hydration has plenty of benefits all on its own!
6. Don’t overeat during the eating window.
7. Eat the right foods that will sustain you - While intermittent fasting isn’t restrictive on what you eat (only when), be sure you are eating enough protein and healthy fats that will prevent hunger pangs later and give your body the power it needs to sustain this lifestyle. Eating processed, sugary foods isn’t going to help you reach your goals!
If you are looking to give your body a healthy reset, slow down aging, and fight off chronic illness and disease, maybe it’s time for you to give intermittent fasting a try.
You’ll thank yourself for helping your body heal and thrive!
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