Fasting has become tremendously popular over the years, especially among the health and fitness community. Whilst most health practitioners are sceptical to recommend eating less due to the stigma involved, it still does not alleviate the incredible benefits of fasting when used sensibly.
Let us explore 7 surprising benefits of fasting and ways you would incorporate them into your routine.
1. Fasting Helps Weight Loss
Think about a process that allows your body to use fat as the primary source of energy instead of sugar. That only means one thing; weight loss. That is exactly what happens with intermittent fasting, a practice that is being used by many athletes to hit low body fat percentages in preparation for competition.
2. Fasting Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Fasting has proven to have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, allowing you to tolerate carbohydrates (sugar) better than if you didn’t fast. After periods of fasting, insulin becomes more effective in communicating with cells to take up glucose from the blood.
3. Fasting Speeds Up Metabolism
Intermittent fasting allows your digestive system a rest and as a result, your metabolism is energized to burn through calories more efficiently.
Poor digestion affects your ability to metabolize food and burn fat. Intermittent fasts can regulate your digestion and promote healthy bowel movements, thus improving your metabolic function.
4. Fasting Promotes Longevity
Did you know the lifespan of certain cultures is increased due to their diets?
The less you eat, the longer you live.
As you age, your metabolism slows down. The less you eat the less toll it takes on your digestive system.
5. Fasting Improves Your Eating Patterns
If you find it hard to establish healthy eating patterns due to work or other commitments, fasting is a helpful practice.
With intermittent fasting going all afternoon without a meal is okay and it can allow you to eat at a set time that suits your lifestyle.
Additionally, if you want to prevent binge eating, you can establish a set time in where you allow yourself to eat your daily amount of calories in one sitting, and then not eat till the next day.
6. Fasting Improves Your Brain Function
Fasting boosts, the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
This greatly improves brain function.
BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.