Fasting can improve your overall health as much as it can aid weight loss.
1 – Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting allows the body to use fat as it’s primary source of energy instead of sugar.
Eating during a specific time period mixed with fasting successfully, increases metabolic rate by up to 14%. Metabolism increases more with frequent fasting.
Fasting increases the leptin, which facilitates weight loss.
2 – Anti-inflammatory properties
Some research suggests that intermittent fasting may be more beneficial than other diets for reducing inflammation and improving conditions associated with inflammation, such as:
3 – Slows aging
The less you eat, the longer you will live. Studies have shown how the lifespan of people in certain cultures increased due to fasting. Fasting increases a molecule which slows the aging of arteries and skin.
One of the primary effects of ageing is a slower metabolism, the younger your body is, the faster and more efficient your metabolism. The less you eat, the less toll it takes on your digestive system.
Fasting produces beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is a ketone that encourages multiplication of youthful cells. It does this during fasting when glucose storage runs out and ketosis begins.
This multiplication overrides old cells and replaces them with youth cells. The increase of the beta-hydroxybutyrate ketones can therefore delay both vascular and cellular aging.
4 – Increases brain function and health
Studies display how intermittent fasting improves metabolic processes which aid better brain functioning. The timed eating restrictions encourage new cells to produce more regularly and induce BDNF expression.
Fasting has shown to improve brain function because it boosts the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF.)
BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
5 – Increased energy
A recent study focused on 32 healthy males to discover the effect fasting has on their energy levels. 31 males completed the study and all saw significant improvements to their total mood. All found themselves more motivated with improved vigor. All saw reductions in weight and fat mass.
An increase in energy comes from the ketosis process. When the body starts to burn fat instead of glucose, it provides both the brain and the body with energy. This blood-brain barrier is not something that occurs without ketosis. Thus, when ketosis begins, the brain will signal more energy to the body.
6 – Activation of autophagy
When the body fasts and goes without food for an extended period of time, it begins a waste removal process. This is better known as autophagy, which we touched on briefly earlier.
Autophagy is a cellular process where the body removes old cells and replaces them with new healthier cells. Replacing old cells with new ones help the body fight disease and cancers.
Studies show that the autophagy process begins with long term fasting over short term fasting. Autophagy can only begin when glucose and insulin levels are low. It is a healthy process for cells and tissue to repair.
The study suggests that autophagy begins after 24 hours of calorie restrictions. It can increase with exercise during periods of fasting.
7 – Helps improve heart health
With heart disease being the number one cause of death worldwide, it is important to find ways to reduce the numbers and ultimately lower the risk of heart conditions.
Intermittent fasting has been studied for various heart health benefits. Fasting has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation, as mentioned previously. Yet, there are many other factors fasting can improve.
Studies display that intermittent fasting methods can lower blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL. All of which are key drivers of heart conditions such as strokes, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease and cholesterol. Reducing these factors can lower the risk of heart disease and improve heart health.
8 – Increases growth hormones
Fasting enhances the growth of hormones. During fasting, human growth hormones (HGH) increase exponentially. Research demonstrates how the process of excelled hormone secretion contributes to numerous health benefits such as cellular repair, fat burning and increased metabolism.
It can also aid weight loss and improve muscle growth and strength.
One study shows that HGH can increase by up to 300% after 3 days of fasting. Then after 7 days, it can increase by up to 1250%. Thus, demonstrating how effective fasting can be for the human growth hormones.
9 – Extends lifespan
With the abundance of health improving, disease reducing benefits fasting offers, there is much to say that it could extend lifespan.
If fasting can limit disease, help treat conditions and slow down the aging process, there’s no reason that it cannot improve life longevity.
Studies showed that fasting can increase lifespan by up to 83% over diets that do not involve fasting.
So far these tests have only been complete on laboratory rats. However, this does signal encouraging effects for the ability to extend human lifespan.