In the world of health, there are lists and lists of diets that will leave you researching for hours on end. In truth, no one diet works for everyone, but there is a method known as intermittent fasting that can be truly beneficial for people of all types. Intermittent fasting is a pattern that cycles through periods of eating and fasting that has proved to be helpful for both mind and body. Can this type of eating pattern benefit you by bringing you better health? Most likely. You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like 10 cancer-causing foods to avoid, how to detox and lose weight using an infrared sauna, 7 plastic-free food storage ideas, now join us as we take a look at 11 ways this special method of fasting can change your life!
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern comprised of times of eating followed by times of fasting. Most people lose weight when intermittent fasting, but this is not the only reason why people do it. Intermittent fasting has incredible health benefits as well that are not related to weight loss. But first, how do you do it? It is quite simple and there are three main ways to get started.
- The 16/8 Method–This is where you fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours. Most people skip breakfast and then resume eating as soon as they have made it to 16 hours.
- The Eat-Stop-Eat Method–This involves fasting for 24 hours two times per week and then eating normally the rest of the week.
- The 5:2 Diet–This method involves eating only 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week but then eating normally on other days of the week.
Disclosure: This post was written by Alyson Monaco. It contains affiliate links.
Table of Contents
The main reason many people decide to try intermittent fasting is its link to weight loss. In general, in order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you take in. What makes intermittent fasting different is consistency. By intermittently depriving your body of calories, there is a change in hormones, leading the body to change how it uses the calories it does receive in a more efficient way. This chain of reactions is responsible for an increase in metabolism, which is a key in the journey of weight loss.
Because of the hormones released, your mood can improve by consistently fasting. The hormones have a positive effect on intestinal flora, creating a much happier and better functioning digestive system. This directly leads back to your brain, helping to ease symptoms of both depression and anxiety.
Unless faced with specific traumas, brain health may not be the first stop on your list, but it is definitely one to consider. By intermittent fasting, your body produces higher levels of a hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, keeping your mind sharp and clear.
Belly Fat Reduction
Weight loss is one thing, but if we take it down even further, fat loss is an even greater benefit of intermittent fasting. A large percentage of those seeking weight loss are worried about losing fat specifically around their midsection. Luckily, this fasting method targets belly fat with that change in hormones, melting away the gut that may have snuck up on you.
Protect Against Neurodegenerative Disease
On the topic of the brain, many neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s can be improved with intermittent fasting. There have even been animal studies suggesting that fasting can be used as a prevention for these diseases if there is a clinical history present.
Helps Fight Cancer
This may seem like a tall order, as it seems more and more cases of cancer are discovered every day. Intermittent fasting has shown promise in studies however, claiming some ease in the side effects of radiation treatments. Also, because of the body’s hormone changes, the growth of cancer cells may be able to be controlled or even prevented.
At the cellular level, intermittent fasting helps to increase cell repair, acting as a catalyst. This means cells become super-powered, allowing them to get rid of waste, such as cancer cells, at a much higher rate than usual. This process is called autophagy.
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you have most likely been told that it can be either controlled or prevented with a healthy dose of diet and exercise. While intermittent fasting can absolutely lead to weight loss, there is more under the surface, as it actually helps to lower the levels of blood sugar in the body. This means there will be less resistance to insulin overall.
A common diagnosis amongst those who need to lose weight is high cholesterol. While dabbling in different diets is helpful, intermittent fasting may be the key. In fact, if you have ever taken a cholesterol test, you are asked to fast beforehand. Fasting helps to decrease triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) particles, as well as lower blood pressure.
We put our bodies through excessive amounts of stress on a daily basis. This stress can cause inflammation in your digestive tract, leading to larger issues. Luckily, intermittent fasting allows your digestive system to rest and repair itself properly for better overall function.
All of the benefits of intermittent fasting lead to this one – a longer life. When the digestive system rests, it causes hormones to be released that promote cell regeneration. The faster your cells can repair themselves, the slower you seem to age. Not only that, but it can ward off common diseases many people experience as they get older.
Intermittent fasting may be a huge breakthrough in the healthy-living game. With very little negative side effects, it is absolutely worth a try. The only thing you have to lose is a little belly fat, bad cholesterol, anxiety, and inflammation. With all of that, it is a no-brainer!
Want To Get Started Today? Read This Book
One great book to read that can get you started on the path to intermittent fasting is Glow 15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life by Naomi Whittel. Based on the breakthrough Nobel Prize-winning science of autophagy—the process by which cells remove toxins, recycle parts, and repair their own damage—Glow15 is a lifestyle plan that will make you look and feel younger. It’s all about the process of autophagy where cells literally cannibalize themselves to remove the parts that are unhealthy. This happens through periods of fasting and then protein cycling. This process helps you drop weight, improves your skin quality and restore energy. And we’ve taken the liberty to link up this book below so you can check it out.
Combine intermittent fasting with infrared sauna use and you are on your way to a longer life, healthier skin, science-based detoxing, and weight loss.