December 18, 2018

Benefits of Fasting

what are the health benefits of fasting?

Fasting, which is a diet whereby you abstain from eating and drinking for a period of time, has become quite a diet fad lately, although it has been in practice for many centuries. I talk about the different types of fasting in another post here, each of them involving different lengths of hunger and eating. All of these can be helpful for losing weight, but did you know that they can also provide many other health benefits?

Take a look below on the different ways it has an impact on your health. If these sound enticing to you, perhaps it is time that you adopt a style of intermittent fasting into your lifestyle.

How Fasting Benefits the Body

The most common form of intermittent fasting is called 5:2. This is where you go hungry for two days out of the week, consuming only around 500-600 calories, and then eat freely the other five days of the week. The philosophy behind it is to shock your metabolism. When you eat at the same time every day, eat roughly the same amount of calories, and a lot of the same foods, your body adapts. Your metabolism slows down as it becomes accustomed to this eating schedule.

The Skinny Gene

By throwing a curveball in your eating habits, your metabolism will stay at peak performance at all times. It can’t relax into a set eating schedule day after day. One reason for this is because intermittent fasting activates the SIRT1 gene. This is also known as the “skinny gene.” This gene facilitates the maintenance and repair of cells that help our bodies survive during periods of hunger. It also reduces fat storage and is said to have anti-aging benefits as well.

Elimination of Waste

Another way that fasting benefits the body is because it does not recognize that it is being fed. This makes the body go into fasting mode. During this biological phase, the body gets rid of damaged cells and replaces them with newly generated cells. It also burns away extra fat for energy since there are not enough calories coming in as a fuel source.

is fasting healthy?

Immune System Support

When you fast, it causes a reduction in immune cells, at least temporarily. It also causes a decrease in white blood cells. However, as found in studies conducted on lab mice, when you resume eating again, your body goes into overdrive in reproducing immune cells and white blood cells, making your immune system even stronger than it was prior to the fasting.

Other Benefits

On top of all the benefits listed above, studies have indicated that fasting can also:

  • Reduce the level of IGF-1, a hormone that has been linked to premature aging and increased risk of cancer
  • Resets blood sugar levels
  • Reduces cholesterol levels
  • Minimizes inflammation that leads to achy muscles and joints
  • Combats troublesome fatty areas, such as the belly, hips, and thighs

Which of the other fad diets can provide this many benefits? If you are able to stay disciplined to an eating schedule like this, there is no doubt that it can do wonders for weight loss as well as raise your health overall.

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About 

T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

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