Not everyone knows or has the right idea about the concept of fasting. Some people think it means starving yourself, and others think it’s a religious act that only certain people can do.
But I’m here to dispel the myths and list the benefits of a type of fasting called Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern where you eat for certain parts of the day and you fast for others. It has proven to have many benefits not only for your body but for your brain too. Some of these notable benefits include the following:
Helps the Heart
Heart disease is one of the biggest killers of our time. Luckily, intermittent fasting helps improve your chances of not getting heart disease as it helps with multiple 'risk factors' associated with this killer. Blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels are just a few of many factors that intermittent fasting helps to improve.
Induces Cell Repair Processes
Intermittent fasting allows the body a period of time where a process called ‘waste removal’ occurs to the cells in our body. The scientific term for this process is autophagy, and what’s more fascinating is that increased autophagy is believed to provide protection against multiple diseases.
Helps You Lose Weight & Body Fat
The reason why most people try Intermittent fasting is because they want to lose weight. And it’s possible. Through intermittent fasting, you take in fewer meals and fewer calories. Short periods of fasting also increases your metabolic rate which helps you burn more calories. Its a win-win situation with intermittent fasting if the goal is to lose weight and body fat!
Changes the Function of Cells, Genes & Hormones… For The Better!
When you fast, a lot of things begin to change in your body. For starters, your hormone levels begin to change to make stored fat more accessible and weight loss easier. Your growth hormone levels increase to make muscle gain and fat burning easier. And your body induces a variety of cell repair processes around your body.
Reduces Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is very closely linked to ageing, so if you want to hold onto your youth why not try intermittent fasting. Studies show that fasting helps enhance the body’s combat skills against oxidative stress. You won’t stay young forever, but intermittent fasting will definitely slow down the ageing process if you combine it with a healthy lifestyle.
Enhances Brain Activity
Intermittent fasting improves certain metabolic features which in-turn have a positive effect on your brain. It increases the levels of a certain hormone that helps to keep depression and other brain problems at bay. As the saying goes, what's good for the body is good for the brain and that applies to Intermittent fasting too.
Helps with Chemotherapy
Though there has not been any definitive evidence for this, intermittent fasting can help with the side effects of chemotherapy. For example, researchers speculate that fasting before and during cancer treatment can better the patient’s tolerance of chemotherapy. Doctors also believe that even if intermittent fasting has no exclusive benefits to fighting cancer, it still benefits the body in many other ways and for that reason, cancer patients should incorporate it into their lives.
Reduces Insulin Resistance & the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
The main feature of Type 2 Diabetes is high blood sugar levels that are resistant to insulin. Since intermittent fasting helps reduce insulin resistance in the body, it helps reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. It also helps reduce blood sugar levels so for anyone at risk of having Type 2 Diabetes, intermittent fasting could really help you out.
It should be noted that intermittent fasting is not for everyone. It works best on certain body types, while it may not work on others at all, so before changing your lifestyle and eating pattern permanently, consult a physician, dietician or nutritionist.
Improves Appetite Control
Intermittent fasting not only helps you lead a simpler life in terms of the food you consume, but it also brings control to the amount of food you eat. In a world where obesity is on the rise, it’s good to have a structured eating plan and Intermittent fasting provides just that. Remember that delicious chocolate muffin you've been eyeing at the line in Starbucks? Well, soon you won't have the same urge of temptation as you do now - that is, if you try intermittent fasting