7 Benefits Of Fasting: Why You Should Do It Once In A While
If you’ve ever contemplated losing weight, you’ve undoubtedly heard of fasting. Little do most people know that there are tangible benefits to intermittent fasting, as long as you follow a healthy regimen of doing so. There has been a lot of discussion amongst the health community as to whether fasting is beneficial or not, but the conclusion has been that it can be beneficial, when done responsibly.
Below are 7 benefits of fasting that you might find as surprising.
1. Losing Weight
By far, the most prevalent benefit of intermittent fasting is that it will give your body the ability to lose more weight. This is particularly true amongst athletes, as they commonly use fasting to help their bodies have incredibly low percentages of body fat prior to participating in competition, such as with MMA (mixed martial arts).
When you allow your body to fast within a set time it will encourage your body to burn more fat than if you were to rely on a traditional diet. According to a scientific study in 2015, fasting on alternate days helped participants to shed up to 7% of their body weight and up to 12 pounds of their body fat.
2. Promoting the Development of HGH
HGH, also known as human growth hormone, is a hormone that is naturally produced by your body but it is only available in your blood for a few minutes at a time. There have been plenty of clinical trials that suggest introducing longer levels of HGH to the blood stream helps the body to build muscle mass and cut back on obesity. Human growth hormone is also a phenomenal tool for increasing the strength of your muscles, helping to boost your performance while working out.
When you fast intermittently, it excites your HGH levels, causing your body to secrete more of the hormone, therefore promoting your body to shed fat and become stronger.
3. Improving Your Sensitivity to Insulin
This is a particularly important benefit, especially for those who are suffering from diabetes, as fasting could be a recommended way to encourage your body to be more receptive to insulin. The better your insulin levels are, the easier it will be for you to tolerate sugars and carbohydrates than if you weren’t intermittently fasting. However, it is important to remember that these effects have only ever been seen in individuals who intermittently fast, and not starve themselves.
4. Boosting Your Metabolism
If there’s one thing the majority of people in the world know about losing weight, it’s that if you’re able to boost your metabolism, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your ideal physique. Your metabolism is not only responsible for digestion, but also for burning fat cells throughout your body and the faster it is, the thinner you’re going to be.
With intermittent fasting, you’re giving your digestive system a break and when you begin eating again, it will give your body the strength it needs to burn through your consumed calories far more efficiently. Not to mention that a healthy metabolism also means you’ll have high functioning bowels, helping to eliminate more waste and detoxifying your body.
5. Promoting a Healthier Eating Pattern
It’s important to note that there is a significant difference between eating when you’re hungry and eating because your diet tells you to. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to enjoy a meal because you’re experiencing true hunger and unfortunately, the majority of diets that require you to eat every 2-3 hours are encouraging you to eat, but you’ll never enjoy your food.
Fasting enables you to finally give your body the ability to experience true hunger, which is imperative for breaking any unhealthy eating patterns, such as obsessively eating in stressful situations or snacking right before bed.
6. Improving Brain Functioning
Aside from the fact that fasting can help you to lose weight and cut back on poor eating habits, did you also know that it can help to improve the way your brain functions? Considering that intermittent fasting is a phenomenal way for encouraging the production of hormones, your brain will also be likely to produce an increased amount of BDNF. BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor) is a protein that is used to promote a healthier neural system throughout your brain.
With healthier levels of BDNF, you’ll have a simpler time staying focused on important tasks, experience improved sleeping patterns, and even protect yourself against developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
7. Promotes Healing Throughout the Body
As the 7th and final benefit of intermittent fasting, it’s a tool that you can use to promote healing in other areas of your body, such as your face and skin. Remember, when you start fasting your body doesn’t need to use as much energy to digest food, as there isn’t any in your system. This means the energy has to go somewhere, such as to other important functions within your system, including regeneration.
If you’re one of the many people who has dealt with acne and other cosmetic skin conditions, deciding to fast could be exactly what you’ve been looking for. All of the excessive energy will be dedicated to clearing toxins and free radicals from your system, enabling your other organs such as the kidneys and liver to do their jobs more effectively until your next meal.
Is Fasting Right for Me?
As with any type of drastic change in your diet, it is important that you first talk to a medical professional before you begin your fast. There are plenty of benefits that surround this particular eating pattern ranging from giving you the ability to lose weight to promoting healthier organs, but these benefits will only be experienced if you fast properly. Unlike many common myths state, starving yourself is not a beneficial way to ensure that you cut down on excess weight and as such; you’ll still be responsible for consuming a reasonable amount of calories on a regular basis while on your fasting diet.
With millions of people around the world who have been curious about whether the process works or not, talk to your doctor and see if fasting would be a good option for you.