Intermittent fasting is a popular practice in the health and fitness community. This eating strategy involves cycling between periods of eating and periods of fasting. The focus is not so much on what you eat, but rather when you eat. Currently, intermittent fasting is being lauded for its potential benefits concerning weight loss and overall health.
Let’s shed some light on the top 10 benefits of intermittent fasting:
1. Weight Loss and Fat Burning
Intermittent fasting boosts your metabolic rate and reduces the amount of food you eat, resulting in weight loss. It changes the function of cells, hormones and genes, making your body more conducive to fat burning.
2. Increased Insulin Sensitivity
Intermittent fasting can help those with insulin resistance by reducing blood sugar levels and increasing the body’s resistance to insulin.
3. Extended Lifespan
Preliminary studies suggest that intermittent fasting may extend your lifespan, making you live healthier and longer.
4. Reduced Inflammation
Fasting might help fight inflammation, a key instigator of many chronic diseases.
5. Improved Heart Health
Intermittent fasting can help improve various heart disease risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers.
6. Boosted Brain Function
Fasting increases the secretion of a hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes brain health and could delay brain aging.
7. Cancer Prevention
Regular fasting and the consequent cell autophagy (recycling and renewal of the cellular components) may help decrease the risk of contractible cancer.
8. Increased Growth Hormone
During fasting, levels of growth hormone–necessary for metabolism and muscle growth–can increase multiple folds.
9. Effective Against Alzheimer’s Disease
Research studies are showing the potential of fasting to help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, or reduce its severity.
10. Encouragement of Autophagy
Lastly, intermittent fasting triggers a cellular waste removal process called autophagy. This involves your cells creating membranes that hunt out scraps of dead, diseased, or worn-out cells; leading to better overall performance of the body’s cells.
In conclusion, intermittent fasting is not just about losing weight, it’s about reaching a healthier lifestyle. Always consult with a healthcare professional before embarking on intermittent fasting, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.