Intermittent Fasting. Yes, by now, you should know the drill with it. This eating pattern is spreading like wildfire, and more and more people are keen to try it. While there are different methods and approaches to intermittent fasting, many people stick to the idea that it’s only good for losing some pounds. Is it, though?
Research shows that intermittent Fasting has multiple health benefits. Our ancestors believed that too. They used this method only for cleansing, rejuvenation, and religious reasons, surely not to just lose some extra skin. By having a strict eating window and a fasting period, your body shifts through biological processes. Along with your circadian rhythms, you get a boost of benefits, which we will cover later.
And with every diet, the results usually kick in after the first two weeks. Of course, the results may differ from person to person due to their metabolism. And from their desired goals: either fixed levels of energy, balanced sleep, lesser constipation struggles, or simple weight loss – it all lies in the benefits basket of Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
The usual question, “besides weight loss, are there other benefits to intermittent fasting?” lingers on the cloud with little information. One of the most noticeable and commonly desired benefits of Fasting is weight loss. Today, as research shows, we know that Fasting has even more reported and demonstrated benefits. While some are more visible on the exterior than others, the truth is that it takes time to show (or feel) the results with every diet.
Here are the benefits of intermittent fasting that you might’ve heard of but never truly dug deep into how it works and why:
Slows Down the Aging Process
Aging is a process that can’t be stopped, but changing the way we treat our bodies dramatically affects the way we age. According to research, dietary restrictions such as Intermittent Fasting can keep our mitochondrial networks in a “youthful state.” This means that the fasting process activates the life-extending mechanisms, creates space for new cells to grow, and rejuvenates our bodies.
Benefits Your Skin
Intermittent Fasting has helped numerous people who suffered from skin-related problems, such as acne. The secret is, when you give your body an extended break from its digestion routine, it kick-starts your body’s detox mechanism too. Those who allow their body to adjust to this new digestion pattern claim to enjoy clear, glowing, healthy skin – an unexpected, long-lasting perk that comes with Intermittent Fasting.
Simplifies Your Life
When you eliminate the number of meals you eat in a day or week, you also find this amazing added benefit: meal preparation becomes much easier. During eating windows, you can simply eat your regular food and then drink water, tea, coffee, or bone broth while fasting. Easy!
With other diets, you usually need to replace your daily food with expensive alternatives or fancy ingredients that are difficult to find. Fasting does not require replacing food. You are simply eliminating some of what you eat and not replacing anything if you don’t want to.
Improves Resistance to Oxidative Stress
Intermittent Fasting may improve our resistance to oxidative stress. This process eventually leads to the destruction of important molecules in the body through reactions with other unstable molecules, such as free radicals.
Fasting controls the release of free radicals present in your body and protects you from inflammation. Fasting for prolonged periods, coupled with ample water consumption, can help you eliminate inflammation issues. But remember that fasting too much can be harmful, unhealthy, and lead to serious damage.
Improves Your Brain Health
Fasting improves metabolic factors that are important to our brain health. This includes less oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as a drop in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Eventually, it also increases the levels of brain-driven neurotrophic factors – a brain hormone that, when deficient, is directly linked to depression and other mental health issues.
Helps You Lose Weight
This might be an obvious benefit, but it’s important to know about some of the less obvious reasons behind weight loss. Intermittent Fasting increases “lipolysis” (fat burning) in the body and changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss. By lowering insulin and increasing growth hormone levels, it also increases the release of the fat-burning hormone called norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Due to these hormonal changes, Fasting increases your metabolic rate.
The Bottom Line
Though the common goal of intermittent fasting is weight loss, there are other health benefits that we usually don’t take for granted. After you lose enough weight, you shouldn’t stop following the fasting pattern. Despite the shrinking effect, intermittent Fasting also improves heart health, boosts brain functioning, fights inflammation, and much more.