Intermittent fasting has been practiced for a more extended period of history. It certainly is not a 21st-century thing. The practice of intermittent fasting has played an essential role in various cultures and religions throughout history.
There are numerous benefits of intermittent fasting apart from just weight loss.
The month of “Ramadan” is well known all over the globe as a month of fasting for Muslims.
Jews practice six days of fasting, which is “Yom Kippur.”
Numerous other religions, including Buddhism, Taoism, and Jainism, also have their fasting practices.
“The best of all medicines is resting and fasting.”~ Benjamin Franklin
However, nowadays, more and more people are adopting this ancient practice for a healthy living style and not for religious reasons.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
In the recent few decades, there has been an increase in the admiration of intermittent fasting, especially for its numerous benefits for health.
Following are the five health benefits of intermittent fasting that will hopefully surprise you and will motivate you to practice intermittent fasting.
1. Increase In Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting for weight loss is the best choice to drop off some extra pounds.
Intermittent fasting means to refrain from both food and beverages for a specific period.
When your body goes through starvation, it burns fat to utilize stored energy. Intermittent fasting forces the body to use its primary source of energy rather than sugar.
Intermittent fasting helps in losing significant weight. It allows the body to burn more fat than just regular weight loss diet plans.
Adding intermittent fasting in your daily routine ensures burning more fat and losing more weight quickly.
Practicing intermittent fasting for weight loss depends upon various factors like starting weight, medical conditions, and the quality of food you consume other than fasting days.
For instance, if you plan on consuming food and beverages that are high in sugar and carbs, then intermittent fasting for weight loss will not have the desired result.
Recent studies show that intermittent fasting leads to significant weight loss. It is proven to reduce body weight by 3 to 7% over 3-20 weeks.
An average person loses about 0.55 pounds a week with fasting, also your circumference decreases 4 to 7% ensuring the loss of belly fat.
2. Enhances Metabolism
Imminent fasting enhances your metabolism. One of the noticeable results of intermittent fasting is easing obesity.
Fasting stimulates the liver’s enzymes to break down cholesterol and fat to transform into “bile acid.” The weak digestive system reduces metabolism; thus, your body burns less fat.
Fasting regulates your metabolism by giving rest to your digestive system. It leads to an increase in metabolism naturally.
Intermittent fasting also reduces your appetite, which decreases hunger levels in your body. You will realize your portion sizes reducing during the period of imminent fasting.
It also promotes healthy bowel movement and improves your overall metabolic function.
Studies show that one of the many benefits of fasting is that it enhances your metabolism by up to 14%.
Intermittent fasting increases production levels of “norepinephrine” in your bloodstream, which further enhances metabolism.
3. Healthy Brain And Longevity
Intermittent fasting is healthier for your body, but it is also very beneficial for your brain.
It improves your brain’s function effectively by increasing the production of a protein known as “brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).”
BDNF triggers brain stem cells to transform into neurons. It also activates several other compounds that ensure neural health.
Low levels of BDNF in the brain causes depression and other mental problems.
Accept it or not, it is a fact that the lesser you eat, the longer you will live.
One of the main effects of aging is slower and weak metabolism. You give rest to your digestive system by eating less.
Apart from the increased production of BDNF, fasting also enhances brain function by reducing brain activity.
Depending upon the food you consume, the energy can affect your brain into going overdrive. It makes it hard for your brain to focus correctly.
During fasting, your brain goes into a survival mode, and that aids in increased ability to focus.
Fasting reduces oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and blood sugar levels, as well as decreased inflammation.
Moreover, fasting also increases the production of growth hormones leading to increased bone strength, better protein synthesis, and increased muscle mass.
It aids in slowing down the process of aging in your body, thus resulting in longevity.
Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to cleanse your body and detoxify. By not consuming any food, your body concentrates on removing toxins as you give the digestive system a rest.
Numerous toxins are absorbed into your body every day in the form of food you consume.
Many of the processed food we consume contains additives that are toxic to your body.
Fasting forces your body to cleanse and build up its inside layer. It also undergoes a process where cells remove damaged and unhealthy particles from your body.
As your body detoxifies, your blood circulation improves significantly.
During the process of intermittent fasting your body reacts to nutritional deprivation by triggering adaptive stress responses.
Your brain triggers the conversion of glycogen within the liver for energy to keep metabolism running.
However, glycogen is not an ideal source of energy, and after the glycogen deposits get short. Your body starts burning fat to provide required energy; thus, toxins stored within fats are released.
These toxins are then eliminated from your body by liver, kidneys, and other organs, leaving your body detoxified and toxin-free.
5. Boosts Immune System
Practicing intermittent fasting promotes healthy living as it strengthens your immune system as opposed to digestion, further enhancing muscle growth.
As the immune system mainly consists of white blood cells, and fasting forces your body to reprocess old white blood cells, strengthening your immune system.
Your body renews stem cells along with your platelets once you consume food again. This renovation of cells aids in boosting your immune system.
As you read before, fasting increases the burning of fat. It eliminates the toxins from your body—this aids in boosting your immune system and its overall ability to fight off diseases.
Intermittent fasting also decreases inflammation and aids in reducing the existence of free radicals in your body, which damage cells DNA and the body’s proteins.
Recent studies prove that fasting for three days can lead to regeneration of the immune system and the production of new white blood cells with enhanced ability to fight diseases.