Fasting benefits! It seems like everyone is talking about fasting these days.
Intermittent fasting is the fasting that everyone is talking about. If you haven’t heard about intermittent fasting, it’s just a matter of time because it’s a rapidly growing health trend that is becoming more popular by the day.
Fasting is basically giving up food for a period of time – from a few hours to a few days at a time.
Fasting is hot right now because it has so many real health benefits. And these fasting benefits are actually backed by science.
After you’ve read all the benefits of fasting, you may want to give it a try. Read all the way to the bottom of the post to get your own free intermittent fasting chart and tracker.
Fasting Benefits That Will Surprise You
2. Improved Insulin Sensitivity
3. Fasting Improves Heart Health
4. Fasting Benefits – Slowing Aging
5. Boosting Brain Function
6. Benefits of Fasting – Reducing Inflammation
7. Increase in Human Growth Hormone
8. Keeping Hunger in Control
9. Cancer Prevention
10. Fasting Improves Immunity
I first discovered intermittent fasting for weight loss when I was researching different diets for women. Most people start fasting when they are looking for a quick and easy way to drop a few pounds.
What I discovered was different than what I expected. Fasting is actually a way of eating, not a calorie restricted diet. And the weight loss benefits of fasting are backed up by numerous medical studies.
For instance, fasting was found to be more effective than calorie restriction at increasing fat loss while simultaneously preserving muscle mass. (1)
Research (2) has also shown that short-term fasting may boost metabolism by increasing your body’s levels of norepinephrine, which can enhance weight loss.
If you’re not convinced, fasting has been proven to shrink waistlines, so if you have stubborn belly fat, you may want to give it a try. (3)
I personally love intermittent fasting for weight loss because I don’t feel like I’m having to deprive myself. I am naturally not hungry in the morning, so it’s not hard for me to wait until 11 am or so to eat. And I really love being able to eat what I want (within the confines of a healthy diet, of course!) without having to count calories, carbs and the like!
When you feed your body too many carbs and too much sugar, you can become insulin resistant, which can lead to a host of chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes.
Several medical studies have found that fasting can improve blood sugar control which can be useful if you are at risk of diabetes.
One study in people with type-2 diabetes showed that short-term intermittent fasting significantly decreased blood sugar levels. (4)
Intermittent fasting has been shown to be as effective as limiting calorie intake at reducing insulin resistance. (5)
Decreasing your body’s insulin sensitivity can allow it to transport glucose from your bloodstream to your cells more effectively. Coupled with the lowered blood sugar levels, fasting can keep your blood sugar levels steady, preventing spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels.
If you’ve been told you’re pre-diabetic, or are concerned about insulin sensitivity, fasting may help you get back on the right track.
Fasting has been shown to be remarkably beneficial when it comes to heart health.
Research has shown that fasting can reduce the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 25% and 32% respectively. (6)
Another study in obese adults showed that fasting for three weeks resulted in lowered blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. (7)
Since heart disease is a major cause of death, adding fasting to your routine can be a big plus in your overall health plan.
Multiple animal studies have shown a link between fasting and living longer.
In one study, rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats that didn’t fast. (8)
Another study found a link between intermittent fasting and decreased body weight and increased lifespan. (9)
While these are animal-based studies, the results are encouraging for humans as well. One proven benefit of fasting is its effect on autophagy (10) or the process by which cells restore and refresh themselves. Since cells age along with us, boosting your cells turnover rate can lead to improvements in health and the aging process.
I know that when I have eaten a big meal, my brain gets fuzzy and all I want to do is take a nap. It’s like my brain is so busy working on coordinating my digestion, that it’s harder to think straight. I find those mornings when I’m fasting, I can do my best work because I feel mentally sharp.
While research has been limited to animal studies, several studies point to a link between fasting and brain health.
Because fasting can relieve inflammation, it’s been suggested that fasting may protect against conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease in human patients. (13)
Fasting can help decrease levels of inflammation, which is linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
A study in 50 otherwise healthy adults showed that intermittent fasting significantly decreased levels of inflammatory markers (14)
Human growth hormone (HGH) sounds like something bodybuilders use illegally for competitions. But actually, it’s a hormone that is key in metabolism, weight loss, and muscle strength. (15)
Fasting has been shown to naturally increase HGH levels. (16)
Increasing HGH naturally is important if you want to lose fat, and keep the muscle you already have. The combination of fat burning and muscle building is a is a fasting benefit that has become so popular among people who love to workout.
This sounds crazy and counter-intuitive, but fasting can help you feel less hungry.
Ghrelin (17) is known as the hunger hormone, and dieting and restricting your calorie count can really increase ghrelin production, leaving you feeling hungrier than ever before. That’s why crash diets rarely work long term. You just get too hungry and fall off the diet wagon.
Fasting can actually help you normalize your ghrelin levels. After your body adjusts to fasting, you’re actually normalizing ghrelin levels. Now that I’ve been intermittent fasting, I sometimes find that I’m not really hungry even at the end of my 16 hour fasting interval.
Animal and test tube studies are showing that fasting may benefit the treatment or cancer and even may help prevent it from occurring.
In one rat study, it was found that fasting helped block tumor formation. (18)
Another test-tube study of cancer cells showed that exposing them to cycles of fasting was as effective as chemotherapy in delaying tumor growth and even increased the effectiveness of drugs on cancer formation. (19)
While these studies have only been conducted with rat and test-tube experiments, experts agree that it’s promising news for the future of cancer treatment. Anytime fasting benefits cancer prevention, it’s something to take seriously.
Stress! Who hasn’t grappled with the demands of daily life and ended up stressed out, strung out and ragged? What usually happens next? For me, I get so run down that I get sick.
Scientists believe that fasting causes our cells to become more resilient to damage.
According to one study of both mice and humans, periods of fasting lowered white blood cell counts considerably. (20 )
The study showed that two to four days of fasting effectively resets our immune systems, which can benefit everyone from healthy stressed out adults to chemotherapy patients.
Super interesting and encouraging!
Benefits of Fasting are Significant
With these amazing ten fasting benefits, fasting is definitely a great way to improve your overall health and wellness. While I started intermittent fasting for weight loss, I was surprised by the amazing health benefits of fasting – all of which are backed by science.
So give fasting a try. The benefits of fasting might just change your life!
Get the password to my resource library to download your own printable intermittent fasting chart and tracker and start reaping the benefits of fasting today.