Story at-a-glance -
- Intermittent fasting may seem daunting and challenging, but going on this kind of fast will ensure that you reap the long-term benefits
- Intermittent fasting gives the body adequate time to clean up and remove toxins from the body, which it cannot do with an all-day grazing diet
- There are important factors that you should take into consideration to ensure that you successfully incorporate this strategy into your lifestyle. Here are some tips you can follow
The holidays ahead make for a busy and tempting season filled with overindulgence. Begin this fall and winter on a positive note by cleansing your body of toxins and impurities using intermittent fasting.
While other people would think that fasting is unhealthy because it strangely looks like starvation, it actually offers you a wide array of health benefits, as long as it’s done properly. Intermittent fasting refers to limiting your food intake to a six- to eight-hour window.
While this might get some getting used to, as you’ll need to skip a meal or two, it will surely pay off with numerous health benefits. It’ll just take a whole lot of self-control and commitment into improving your health.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting may seem daunting and challenging, but undertaking this type of fast will ensure that you reap the long-term benefits. These impressive health benefits that intermittent fasting offers will surely encourage you to try it out yourself:
- Promotes cellular regeneration. Intermittent fasting promotes cell regeneration by triggering autophagy, which is a natural process needed to renew damaged cells. It helps inhibit cancerous growths and chronic disease development.
- Normalizes insulin and leptin sensitivity. Insulin and leptin resistance is one of the principal factors for numerous chronic diseases, including diabetes. Intermittent fasting shifts your body’s dependence on glucose, which then stops its constant craving for sugar, thus normalizing insulin and leptin sensitivity.
- Shifts the body to burn fat for fuel. Limiting your food intake forces your body to switch to burning fat as a source of energy instead of depending on the constant flow of glucose. This may assist in weight loss and may lead to better body processes because fat is a much more efficient fuel.
- Minimizes cravings and hunger pangs. While fasting may feel like you’re starving your body, this can actually help you avoid cravings and hunger pangs by resetting your body’s glucose dependence.
- Boosts cognitive function. Intermittent fasting improves cognitive function by providing the brain with fat instead of glucose. Studies show that intermittent fasting helps in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease because of the boost in brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), a protein that is both neuroprotective and brain-stimulating.
Why Is Intermittent Fasting Effective?
Researchers suggest that the reason why intermittent fasting works so well is because it’s the closest diet to what our ancestors had. The easy access to food nowadays has completely eliminated the normal “feast and famine” cycle the body needs for regeneration and cell replacement. Dr. Michael Mosely, author of the book “The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting,” states:
“It's only in the periods when you don't have food that your body goes into a sort of repair mode, because most of the time it's going flat out. Your body's really only interested in procreating, growing cells, always going on and on. But when you go without food for 12 to 14 hours, your body starts to think, 'Well, let's do a little bit of repair now.'
Intermittent fasting gives the body adequate time to clean up and remove toxins from the body, which it cannot do with an all-day grazing diet. Not only does intermittent fasting trigger the body’s ability to heal and produce efficient cells, it also transitions your body into burning fat for fuel, which is a better source of energy.
Things to Remember With Intermittent Fasting
There are important factors that you should take into consideration to ensure that you successfully incorporate this strategy into your lifestyle. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Eliminate all processed foods from your diet. If you’re going to go on an intermittent fast, make sure that the foods you consume during the six- to eight-hour window are real and healthy. Eating processed foods will defeat the purpose of detoxifying your body.
- Drink plenty of water and liquids. During fasting, make sure that you’re getting enough liquids to keep yourself feeling full and satisfied. This will help you curb cravings in the beginning of your fasting.
- Get support from friends and family. It is important that you have the support of your friends and family, especially the people you live with. This will provide you with enough motivation and stop you from veering off your diet path.
But most importantly, remember that this all depends on you. The transition period in intermittent fasting may be tough, especially in the first few days, but your commitment and drive will help you achieve and maintain better health.