More and more evidence shows that intermittent fasting is not only for weight loss but also for your overall health.
Intermittent fasting is currently a popular diet program. Most people do intermittent fasting primarily to lose weight. It is an eating pattern wherein you shift from eating periods and fasting.
You can choose from different fasting methods to lose weight. Many dieters start with skipping one meal a day and then moving forward to decrease the amount of time they can eat in a day (e.g. an eating period of 6 hours a day and fasting the rest of the 24 hours). Mints while fasting can help you get through the non-eating periods.
Others do intermittent fasting every other day while some do what is known as the 5:2 diet wherein you gradually decrease your daily calorie intake until you are only having 500 calories a day, two times a week.
If counting calories to lose weight is not your thing, intermittent fasting promises similar weight-loss benefits with long-term benefits for your brain and body.
Long-Term Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Your body works hard to process the food you eat for a steady supply of energy. Carbohydrates and vegetables are broken down into glucose that is absorbed into your bloodstream and converted into energy.
When glucose (from the food you eat) is not completely used, it gets stored in your muscle and liver as glycogen. If you have a calorie surplus, leftover fuel gets stored as fats.
Long-term fasting will, in time, signal your body to go into ketosis, a process wherein your body lacks sugar for energy and instead uses fats for energy.
You will burn fat. Intermittent fasting reduces your sugar because of reduced calorie intake so your body is forced to burn stored fat for energy.
It promotes the healthy function of the brain. The fasting period allows your body to diminish glycogen stored in your body and makes you burn fats instead of sugar. The process produces ketones. Fasting helps clean your brain. Intermittent fasting brain fog is also prevented.
It can improve gut health. If you are constantly eating, your gut microbiome (microbial community in your intestinal tract that affects your immunity and overall health) is likely out of balance. Intermittent fasting allows your gut to rest.
It can protect your heart. There are many ways intermittent fasting can protect your heart. It can decrease your LDL cholesterol levels, increase HDL cholesterol.
It can overturn diabetes. Diabetes can be overturned with weight loss, lifestyle changes, and medication. Intermittent fasting can control or even stop diabetes.
It can reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a common day occurrence, but long-term and chronic inflammation can cause weight gain. Intermittent fasting can produce anti-inflammatory effects that a high-fat diet can prevent.
You can live longer. Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle choice that can promote longevity. The non-eating period during intermittent fasting controls the energy-producing cells in your body promoting healthy aging and longevity.
You can do Intermittent fasting for 12, 18, 24, 48, and even 72 hours. A 12-hour fast lets you go into the state of ketosis where your body breaks down and burns fat. An 18-hour fast allows your body to switch from fat-burning to creating ketones.
With 24-hour fasting, your body will be recycling old parts of your cells and break down proteins linked to a number of diseases. The 72 hour fast benefits your immune cells. Fasting can break down your old immune cells and generate new ones.