Nobody wants to starve.
But scientists says that restricting calories is a way of extending your lifespan.
This study shows that restricting caloric intake prolongs lifespan up to 30–50%.
Another study made about the benefits of intermittent fasting suggests that it activates the same mechanisms for prolonging life as calorie restriction.
In simpler terms, you get the benefits of a longer life without starving yourself.
Starvation is the involuntary absence of food. It means you don’t have the control over when you have no food intake.
On the other hand, fasting is the voluntary withholding of food for a reason – spiritual, health, or any other reasons.
You can fast from a few hours up to days or even weeks on end.
In other words, fasting has no standard duration.
Anytime that you are not eating, you are considered fasting.
For example, your fasting window can be between dinner and breakfast the next day.
Intermittent fasting is not new.
It is a part of everyday, normal life – even if only for a short duration.
How intermittent fasting works
Fasting allows the body to burn off excess body fat.
Fasting doesn’t have any detrimental health consequences. In fact, it can protect memory and learning functionality.
According to this study, intermittent fasting produces health benefits.
When we eat, more food energy is ingested.
Some of this energy must be stored away for later use.
Insulin is the hormone involved in the storage of food energy.
Normally, insulin levels are high when we eat.
When we do not eat, our insulin levels fall.
It signals the body to start burning stored energy because no more is coming through food.
So, the body only has two states – the fed (insulin high) state and the fasted (insulin low) state.
The moment we start eating right after we wake up and do not stop until we go to sleep, we put our body in the fed state.
Thus, we will gain weight because we have not allowed our body any time to enter the fasting state.
If you want to lose weight, you need to increase the amount of “fasting” time.
Because only in the fasting state can your body burn the fat.
If you are constantly eating, your body will simply use the incoming food energy. There’s no burning — only storing of fat happens.
Your body will save the fat for a time when there is nothing more to eat.
What are the advantages of intermittent fasting?
Fasting has many advantages over other typical diets.
Where diets complicate life, fasting simplifies it.
The most important thing is that intermittent fasting works. Where diets have questionable efficacy, the benefit of intermittent fasting is unquestioned.
Here are more proven health benefits of intermittent fasting:
1. Intermittent fasting extends life
As stated above, intermittent fasting helps you live longer.
A study, albeit done one mice subjects, showed that their lifespan increased when they fasted.
In this study, a group of thirty-three rats was allowed the same food. But groups of thirty-seven, thirty-seven and thirty rats were fasted 1 day in 4, 3 and 2, respectively.
After 42 days, apparent lifespan was increased for the fasting rats.
The lifespan of littermate males was increased to 20% and littermate females reached 15%.
Another result shows that the development of mammary tumors was retarded.
And that leads us to benefit # 2.
2. Intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer
Reports about intermittent fasting benefits to cancer patients look positive.
A study shows that fasting before chemotherapy results in better cure rates and fewer deaths.
A fast of 48 or 60 hours prevented toxic effects of a chemotherapy agent. When pretreated with fasting, the mice survived longer and did not exhibit toxicity.
The same study hypothesizes that a pretreatment of 2-3 weeks with fasting will improve outcomes in cancer chemotherapy positively.
3. Intermittent fasting helps you lose weight
Perhaps the most popular reason for intermittent fasting is to lose weight.
Intermittent fasting is a simple concept. It is easy to follow with no difficult calorie counting every other day.
That is why it has gained so many followers that attested to its efficacy.
According to this study, short-term starvation is increased as a result of an increase in serum norepinephrine. The increase in norepinephrine is due to a decline in serum glucose. This is considered to be the initial signal for metabolic change.
The result was supported by another study that showed metabolic rate is increased by 3.6-14%,
This increase helps you burn even more calories.
According to a 2014 study for diabetes, it revealed that IF reduces visceral fat mass.
4. Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, which is beneficial for people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes
According to this study about diabetes, intermittent fasting showed major benefits for insulin resistance. It also leads to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels.
The participants recorded their fasting blood sugar to be reduced by 3-6%, On the other hand, their fasting insulin has been reduced by 20-31%.
Another study made on rats showed that intermittent fasting can help against the complications of diabetes like kidney damage.
5. Intermittent fasting can reduce inflammation in the body
A study made about the Ramadan celebration, which is fasting for almost a month, showed that there are positive effects on the inflammatory status of the body.
Immune cells significantly decreased during Ramadan but still remained within the reference ranges.
It indicates that intermittent fasting attenuates the inflammatory status of the body.
6. Intermittent fasting is beneficial for heart health
Studies show that IF decreased the risk of having cardiovascular disease.
A study showed that intermittent fasting can favorably influence an array of cardiometabolic health indices.
It was able to improve blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and blood sugar levels.
7. Intermittent fasting is good for your brain
According to this article, fasting boosts neuronal autophagy.
Autophagy is the process by which cells recycle waste material, downregulate wasteful processes, and repair themselves.
A study shows that autophagy is needed so our brains can function the way they should.
Another study states that intermittent fasting protects against brain damage due to strokes.
Given the simplicity and efficacy of intermittent fasting, it is no wonder that more people are doing it.
Are you convinced yet?