The Top 5 Powerful Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Jerome Huff

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Intermittent fasting has increased in popularity since the beginning of the last decade.

The truth is that fasting has been around for ages.

Fasting has been used primarily for religious reasons but it has steadily become more common in Western culture.

There are many benefits to fasting, too many to talk about in this post. But I'll go over the top five benefits that most of us will experience.

1. Steady weight loss and maintenance over time

The reason why most of us start fasting (myself included) is to lose weight.

Fasting allows for automatic caloric restriction without the need to obsess over calorie counting.

In America, almost half of the population (40%) is considered obese. There is a strong need for fewer daily calories which results in weight loss and maintenance.

The prevalence of obesity is common in most Western cultures. Unfortunately, obesity is also becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

Intermittent fasting allows you to lose weight in a healthy manner and to keep it off long term.

This, of course, is only possible if your diet is filled with whole minimally processed foods low in sugar.

2. You’ll experience increased energy

After an adjustment period, you’ll start to notice that you have more energy throughout your day.

If you start eating immediately after waking this causes your insulin levels to rise.

Eating in the early morning also causes a spike in your glucose levels.

After a few hours, you’ll experience an inevitable crash which makes you feel tired and hungry.

If you skip breakfast you allow your insulin and glucose levels to stay stable.

You’ll also experience a spike in HGH (human growth hormone) which allows you to stay in a focused energetic state.

Keep in mind that there is an adjustment period once you start fasting.

You may feel lethargic and hungry all the time. If fasting is right for you this will last for less than 2 weeks.

3. Reduced inflammation in the body is common while fasting

Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases. Along with high-stress levels eating constantly throughout your day will cause the body to become more inflamed.

Symptoms of inflammation include:

  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Joint pain ( Rheumatoid arthritis is the result of long term inflammation)
  • Fatigue

Obesity along with other unhealthy practices like excessive amounts of alcohol and lack of exercise keep your body chronically inflamed.

Fasting allows your body’s cells to repair through a process called autophagy.

When you abstain from eating for more than 12 hours your body has a chance to clean up damaged, diseased cells.

Over time you’ll have less inflammation along with a stronger immune system.

Since I’ve started fasting 3 years ago I have not experienced any sickness like the common cold.

4. Increased insulin sensitivity is a top internal benefit of fasting

The main cause of type 2 diabetes is your body becoming resistant to insulin.

Insulin’s main role is to regulate nutrients in the bloodstream.

Insulin takes excess sugar from your blood. If you are resistant to insulin this process is dampened causing your blood sugar to spike to unhealthy levels.

You can become more sensitive to inulin by:

  • Having a good diet
  • Lowering stress and incorporating good sleep habits
  • Leading an active lifestyle
  • Practicing intermittent fasting

High levels of body fat especially in the stomach create a perfect storm to becoming insulin resistant.

Intermittent fasting allows you to mitigate these effects without the need for medication and surgery.

5. Fasting helps with anti-aging and a possible longer lifespan

Research is still new in the area of fasting and anti-aging benefits but the preliminary results are promising.

A popular article in Scientific American explored the benefits of fasting and anti-aging.

The article cites a popular mouse study done by Mark Mattson head of the National Insitute of Aging neuroscience lab.

In the study, Mattson found that:

  • By some measures mice who fasted regularly instead of continuous caloric restriction had lower levels of insulin and glucose in their blood.
  • This signified an increased sensitivity to insulin and decreased the risk of diabetes.

Over the years Mattson and his team have put forth the idea that fasting regularly results in decreased brain degeneration.

His team has also found that fasting protects against stroke damage and suppresses motor deficits in a Parkinson's mouse model.

Mattson himself skips breakfast except on weekends. He finds that it makes him more productive.

Start by skipping breakfast daily.

That way you too can experience all the benefits of fasting we talked about and more.

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I cover topics ranging from weight loss, intermittent fasting, meditation, spiritual growth, and American populism. For many years I was overweight, depressed, and allowed life to beat me up. In 2014 I took control of my life. I changed my diet to whole minimally processed foods and started a meditation practice. From there my transformation began.

Collegeville, PA
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