The Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Hey everyone, I’ve had a few people contacting me to ask me what the benefits of Intermittent Fasting are, and how long it takes to see them, and if they’re worth it…
In my opinion, people who ask this are looking for more than just information about how easy it is to lose weight with the diet.
They want to know what ELSE the program can do.
And I get that.
So I’ll tell you.
Acne and Eczema clear up faster during short-term fasting. While your body is no longer diverting resources to the digestive system, it focuses on other issues. Skin damage is one of them, as are toxins that can be causing acne (among other problems).
This is more of a side benefit, but if you’re drinking plenty of water on your Intermittent Fasting (you should be) you’ll also get:
– Improved blood circulation
– Evened skin tone
As your skin gets more hydrated and is able to heal and renew itself quicker than ever before. These benefits also extend to the healing of acne scars.
Natural Weight Loss
You might be thinking “well duh!” But I’m talking about more than just the weight loss of skipping a meal. If your calories remained EXACTLY the same before and after you started IF, you would still lose weight.
– Insulin is Lowered
Insulin naturally increases and builds up the more we eat (as does Glucose). While fasting, your body has time to regulate levels of Insulin back to nromal. And lower levels of Insulin are linked to
– Norepiphrine is sent to fat cells
The nervous system sends norepinephrine to your fat cells, causing them to break down body fat into fatty acids that are then converted into energy.
– Metabolism Boosting
Even additional studies have shown that for people doing IF, body weight dropped by 3-8% over a 3-24 week period.
– You’re Eating Less
Alright, I know I said you could lose weight even if you kept the caloric intake the same – but it will be more difficult to fit that in a smaller eating window than you’re used to.
If you’re going to do a healthy eating schedule, you might as well consider eating better as well. This guide of what to eat while on Intermittent Fasting can help you clean up your diet, which opens the flood gates for a myriad of other benefits outside of fasting itself.
Usually when you’re dieting, you’re going to see a loss of muscle as well as fat. It’s inescapable.
But Intermittent Fasting has shown to have a much smaller reduction in muscle mass than other diets.
In a calorie restriction study, 25% of weight loss was muscle mass for most diets. But for Intermittent Fasting it was only 10%!
For many of you, you may see this as a nonissue. You’re not trying to become a bodybuilder.
But the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn naturally. That means you’ll have an easier turn burning fat, or inversely, you can look at it as being able to get away with eating a little bit more than normal.
So, building a little muscle and keeping it can be beneficial.
Not to mention the fact that getting toned can firm up your skin and vastly improve your figure.
“One of the only ways to slow down the progression of aging that involves disease or organ malfunctions is to reduce energy intake”
– Mark Mattson
Mark Mattson, a professor of neuroscience at the School of Medicine, were the ones who first suggested that fasting twice a week could significantly lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Mattson went on to describe strengthening to the brain to being similar to strengthening your muscles – you want to promote growth by stressing them out.
But this doesn’t mean encouraging headaches and migraines. Instead, there’s a specific kind of stress the mind can benefit from – the stress from a fast.
“In studies involving experimental mice, neurons in the brain become more active when the rodents are hungrily searching for food. What’s more, fasting animals develop protective measures against damage from stroke and other mechanisms that cause degeneration in the brain.”
The stress from being in a fasted state tricks your brain into going into hunter mode. Your brain is most engaged when it’s in hunter mode – it’s how we survived in the days before society. The individuals who survive the best were the individuals with higher brain power – who knew how to respond to predators and threats, and could remember how to approach various sources of food, or where food sources were even located.
And for the record, Mattson defines a fast as anything under 500 calories per fasting day.
Other Benefits include:
– More Brain Cells
Mattson also linked fasting to increase rates of Neurogenesis in the brain.
Neurogenesis is the growth and development of new brain cells and nerve tissues.
– Reduced Inflammation
Excessive inflammation is known to be related to Alzheimer’s, dementia, obesity, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and more.
But fasting allows your body to fight natural inflammation from insulin and glucose build-up (a natural side effect of eating). During this time, insulins levels drop, and your body can regulate itself back to normal.
– More Human Growth Hormone
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is not something reserved for bodybuilders trying to get as big as possible. It’s a natural chemical that all human beings use, and most importantly…
HGH is linked to powerful anti-aging and longevity benefits, in addition to improving cognition and promoting neurogenesis.
Despite all these benefits, people still fail at Intermittent Fasting.
Which is something I touched on in my first blog post. And the reason is that some people fall for the trap a few people are saying.
“Eat whatever you want, just do it with a certain time table and you’ll drop that weight!”
Really? So I can keep eating whatever I want? I don’t have to put down the cake and fries?!
“Well, I mean –“
Thanks! Intermittent Fasting, here I come!
The truth is that Intermittent Fasting, even with its numerous benefits and success stories, is not the end-all be-all solution to your diet troubles. And if you’re on this blog, you might have diet troubles….
Because people who are doing everything right don’t read reasons why they should be changing.
Iron deficiency leads to anemia. Vitamin A deficiency has a higher mortality rate in pregnant women. VItamin B-3 deficiency causes dementia.
There are plenty of reasons to get your diet in check, and they are not even close to all be reflected on a weight scale.
Which is why I recommend getting what you put in your body corrected. I recommend you invest in quality diet program. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of keto, and I’ve made sure that people have resources they need – like my favorite keto cookbooks, and a shopping guide for beginners. Keto, combined with intermittent fasting, is how I lost 50 pounds in 3 months.
Because trying to get fit is hard. The fake “it solves everything” fitness gurus never tell you how HARD finding the right diet is. Intermittent Fasting isn’t for everyone. Keto isn’t for everyone. 2B Mindset isn’t for everyone. But they all look good.
Like shopping for a new car. But you don’t take a car off the lot based on how it looks. You have to deal with a slime-ball salesman trying to get you into it, and then you better be demanding a test drive. You’re trying to pick the new vehicle you’ll use to get around and be seen in all around town.
Picking a diet is EXACTLY the same.
You have to TRY OUT different diets and see how they work best for you. You have to hold yourself accountable. A diet failing doesn’t have to mean, “I’m going to stay at this weight then.” It means “on to the next.” Keto, which works to eliminate dependency on carbs, which have been modified by humans until they are unrecognizable from where they used to be 50 years ago, is as close to a Tesla as you can get. A modern solution to a problem that’s existed for years.
You can start with with my keto shopping list for beginners. It’s completely free to view, and I mention a great eBook that can help you turn those items into delicious meals.
And after that?
Do Intermittent Fasting Right
Do your research, join communities that are also on the same journey (like this one, or like the various fasting Reddits/forums out there), and put a little time in. Reading Eat Stop Eat was the first and most important step in my own Intermittent Fasting journey.
I recommend you purchase and read Eat Stop Eat – the original Intermittent Fasting book – which arms you with more knowledge on what you’re doing and why it’s working. Doing so empowers you in your weaker moments, because you understand what’s happening and why. This is how I got started, although I don’t follow the timing anymore (the rest of the information is still invaluable).