Last updated on December 8th, 2023.
Maybe you want to have a healthier lifestyle and eat on a more consistent basis than you usually did. For some, intermittent fasting is an answer that will solve some’s problems, but some remain skeptical about the benefits of this method.
Many benefits come with intermittent fasting. From weight loss to reversing, or preventing, diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, intermittent fasting benefits many people in various ways.
Read more about intermittent fasting and the seven benefits of intermittent fasting consistently.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
So, what is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is when you eat for a specific period during the day. Once that time is up, then, for another number of hours, you are not eating, also known as fasting; you repeat the same thing every day. A benefit to intermittent fasting is that it can help you have a consistent eating pattern throughout the day and is not considered a diet. Before committing to this, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor to ensure that it is safe enough for you to go through with it.
There are many different forms of intermittent fasting that work for various people. Read more to learn about how intermittent fasting works and the multiple forms that come with it.
How does Intermittent Fasting work?
Intermittent fasting works as a fasting and eating cycle. You fast for a certain amount of hours, and then once that time is up, you can eat within the window of time that you have before having to fast again. During the fasting period, the body burns fat after exhausting the sugar within your body.
Many different forms of fasting work for various people, but the outcomes remain the same. Other types of fasting can include:
- Time-restricted: Time-restricted fasting includes eating for several hours and then fasting. Typically, the fasting period is a significantly more amount of time in contrast to the eating period. For example, there is the 16/8 fasting period where you are fasting for sixteen hours before having an eating period of eight hours.
- The 5:2 Method: The 5:2 method is where you will only be fasting twice a week, and then the remaining days can be approached with a healthy diet. For example, if you want to fast Monday and Tuesday, you would generally eat during the rest of the week.
- 24-hour fast: The 24-hour fast consists of fasting for 24 hours which is often done either once or twice a week, and then after the fasting period has ended, you can eat a regular, healthy diet during the non-fasting day.
7 Key Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
For some, intermittent fasting can be a daunting challenge, but there are some significant benefits once you get started and consistently continue it. These are the 7 Key Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
- Weight Loss
- Lower Risk of Diabetes
- Better Sleep
- Lower Risk of High Cholesterol
- Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
- Healthier Brain
Read more to learn about the seven key benefits of intermittent fasting.
1. Weight Loss
Motivation for those to start intermittent fasting for weight loss purposes, in many cases. If you are fasting for an appropriate amount of time, there will be weight loss results because intermittent fasting forces you to eat less than you normally would within a smaller window of time. After all, through this fasting, you will burn fat.
Some best practices show that if you fast for approximately sixteen weeks, this will help you lose weight and prevent obesity.
2. Lower Risk of Diabetes
Intermittent fasting can help with reducing insulin resistance, which can lower your risk of reversing or developing diabetes. For those diagnosed with prediabetes, through intermittent fasting, their blood sugar reduces by no more than 6% throughout a couple of weeks.
However, with diabetics, it is best to consult your doctor about this because while lowering blood sugar is the goal, it can also be life-threatening if it becomes too low. So you will need to consult your doctor and if they give you the okay, then ensure that you are heavily monitoring your fasting, blood sugar, and taking whatever medications you are still prescribed to take.
You are likely to live longer through intermittent fasting, which has become a fad among those who are not wanting to age. However it may be, there have been studies through fruit flies and mice, and the results have been positive in increasing their longevity through intermittent fasting. After fasting every other day, a 13% increase in longevity in male mice reduces their cancer and liver disease risks.
However, with humans, while fasting, your energy levels will lower, and this will cause the mitochondria to shift. The mitochondria is an organelle cell that generates chemical energy, so when it shifts, they function a lot longer and become beneficial in longevity.
4. Better Sleep
Intermittent fasting helps to promote better sleeping habits. Consistent intermittent fasting will reinforce your circadian rhythms, which helps with your eating and sleep cycles, depending on when you eat your meals. So, if you eat your dinner earlier in the evening versus later, the food you will have eaten will have already digested into your system instead of sleeping with a full stomach. This leads to a much healthier sleep!
5. Lower Risk of Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Rising
Lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure risk can also reduce your stroke risk. A lowered chance of rising blood pressure is beneficial in many ways. There is a decrease in stroke, kidney disease, and heart disease. The same with a lower cholesterol level, which can, if lowered, decrease your chances of having a stroke, heart attack, or any other heart disease.
6. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
When you are consistently fasting, your insulin levels will fall, decreasing your risk of heart disease. Those who have a condition such as diabetes have a higher chance of developing heart disease than those that do not. Lowering your insulin and blood sugar levels will help reverse your diabetes and, in turn, reduce the risks of heart failure through weight loss with the help of being calorie deficient during the hours that you can eat.
7. Healthier Brain
Intermittent fasting helps with a healthier functioning brain. It can also help with the reduction of having Alzheimer’s. As shown by studies, Fasting could help delay or reduce the severity of Alzheimer’s. While you are fasting, your body burns fat which will produce ketones.
Ketones are chemicals made within your liver and can be produced when you do not have enough insulin within your body, so you will, in turn, burn fat. When your body burns fat due to the ketones produced, this will help increase energy and omit any “brain fog” you may have, making your brain clearer and healthier.
Now, with knowing some of the key benefits of intermittent fasting, you may still want to learn more about the topics of intermittent fasting and ketosis. Read more to learn where else you can learn more about these topics.
Where can I learn more about Intermittent Fasting and Ketosis?
There are other resources where you can learn more about fasting and ketosis. One of course is this site! We’ve got a ton of great content covering topics from nutrition to fitness all the way to yoga and mental health. Another good source is Nutrition, which is a website where you can learn more about intermittent fasting and ketosis through the various article posted on their website. Per their website, nutrition.org, their mission is to provide a “healthier world through evidence-based nutrition” by advancing “the science, education, and practice of nutrition.”
So, you have now learned about what intermittent fasting entails, along with the seven benefits of intermittent fasting consistently.