9 Essential Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
“Benefits of Intermittent fasting” not only occurs in your weight loss journey. It is also beneficial for your brain, heart, stress, reduces inflammation of your body, etc.
Intermittent fasting is nothing but a time-restricted diet. There are plenty of benefits of fasting in your body.
So, this diet is based on the timing of your eating and fasting window. There are numerous studies show that fasting can have powerful benefits for your body.
In few years intermittent fasting is most popular because it is very to lose weight and fat. But there are also other benefits of doing intermittent fasting.
Here are the benefits of intermittent fasting:
1. Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
Many people who try intermittent fasting are doing it to lose weight. Studies had shown that fasting actually helps to lose weight fast (1,2).
Intermittent fasting will actually make you eat less because of the time-restricted eating window. You won’t be able to eat much on this eating window.
During the fasted state your insulin level will be decreased, your growth hormone and norepinephrine level be increased.
So, fasting enhances hormone functions to facilitate the breakdown of body fat and it’s used for energy.
For this reason, short-term fasting actually increases metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories through your stored fat (3,4).
According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of 3-8% over 3-24 weeks.
One review study also showed that intermittent fasting caused less muscle loss than continuous calorie restriction (5).
All of these studies proved that intermittent fasting can be a great method to lose weight.
2. Insulin resistance and risk of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a common problem of peoples these days. That is actually the higher level of blood sugar in the bloodstream because of insulin resistance.
Anything which can reduce insulin resistance should help lower blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting played a major role in insulin resistance and lead to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels (6,7).
A study in diabetic rats also showed that intermittent fasting protected against kidney damage (8).
3. Reduction of stress and inflammation in the body
Several studies had shown that intermittent fasting may enhance the resistance of the body to oxidative stress (9,10).
Also, studies show that intermittent fasting can help fight inflammation and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as homocysteine, CPR and TC/HDL ratio (11,12).
4. Help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease. There is no cure available for Alzheimer’s, so preventing it from showing up in the first place is critical.
A study in rats shows that intermittent fasting may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or reduce its severity (13).
Animal studies also suggest that fasting may protect against other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease (14).
But more researches on humans are needed.
5. Intermittent fasting can extend your lifespan
Intermittent fasting has also a benefit that it can help you to live longer. Studies on rats have shown that intermittent fasting extends lifespan (15).
In some of the studies rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats who weren’t fasted (16).
Although these studies are in rats, this is far from proven in humans.
6. Fasting can improve your brain function
Intermittent fasting reduces oxidative stress, inflammation, blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance, these are good for the brain also.
Several studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting may increase the growth of new nerve cells, which should have benefits for brain function (17,18).
Other studies in rats have shown that levels of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) increase (19,20). Depression and various other brain problems can occur due to the deficiency of BDNF (21).
Read Also: What Is Intermittent Fasting- All You Should Know
7. Beneficial for heart health
Heart disease is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve different risk factors, including blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammation of body and blood sugar levels (22,23).
8. Cellular repair
Our body naturally regulates their mechanism of the cell which is disassembled, unnecessary or dysfunctional components. This is called autophagy.
In a study published in 2010 claims that, short-term fasting can increase autophagy (24).
Autophagy may increase immune power in the human body and protect against several diseases (25).
9. Fasting can prevent cancer
Studies in animals show that intermittent fasting may help to prevent cancer (26).
In a study published in 2017 by Dr. O’Flanagan and their team found that short-term fasting in a chemotherapy patient can improve health (27). Chronic fasting is not recommended for people with cancer at risk for weight loss or a suppressed immune system.
Intermittent fasting is famous for weight loss. But besides that, there are much more benefits of intermittent fasting.
Many studies have been shown that fasting can improve health. And it can be more beneficial for health if we can do it in a proper way.
Even if you see the history of the evolution of humanity. You will find fasting was our lifestyle. At that time humans could not eat food whenever they want. They had to find food. So, fasting was their lifestyle.
It is an ancient secret of health. Even many religions have a tradition to do fasting for a specific time or day.
In our daily life, we use to do fasting at least 6-8 hours when we used to sleep. But if you extend it a little more it will benefit you more.
I am not saying that everyone should do intermittent fasting. But you should do fasting once in a while to shock the system of your body from the regular eating pattern.
I personally tried the intermittent fasting and it helps me a lot to reduce my belly fat. Especially it helps me to eat less.
And because you have to eat in a restricted time window it will be easier to consume fewer calories. If your weight is too much then you should definitely try intermittent fasting.
Remember, your daily calorie intake should be the same during intermittent fasting.
I mean if you need 1800 cal a day to maintain your current bodyweight than you need to eat 1800 cal otherwise your metabolism will slow down. But, you are going to eat this 1800 cal in a restricted time window.