Five Life-Changing Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
From business icons to famous actors, Intermittent Fasting has been praised by several world-class performers as one of the lifestyle changes that helped them achieve extraordinary fat loss, have more energy, become physically stronger, and stay more productive and focused.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. In the past few years, this eating pattern has become very trendy and several methods have emerged. The most popular ones being:
- Eat-Stop-Eat: Once or twice a week, don't eat anything for dinner one day, until dinner the next day (a 24 hour fast).
- The 5:2 Diet: During 2 days of the week, eat only about 500-600 calories.
- The 16/8 Method: Fast for 16 hours each day. For example, only eating between Noon and 8:00 pm. This method is our favorite and the easiest to incorporate into a daily routine. Just skip breakfast.
Be sure to pick a method that fits your lifestyle best and consult with a certified physician before trying any sort of diet or eating pattern.
Benefit #1: Enhance Your Cognitive Ability
While in a fasted state the body increases production of a protein known as Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, also known as BDNF (1).
When BDNF is activated in the brain, it greatly influences the protection of brain cells, the growth of new neurons/synapses, and supports cognitive function (3).
While fasting, it was discovered that the body boosts the production BDNF by 50 to 400 percent (4)!
Benefit #2: Weight Loss, Fat Burning, and Muscle Gain
Intermittent fasting promotes weight loss. It is a simple eating pattern that is effective at restricting calories and burning fat (5). (But if you're looking to maintain your weight or even gain weight, make up the calories with healthy protein during the time window that you are fasting.)
Also, when intermittent fasting, the body’s growth hormone can increase 5 times that normal amount (6). Higher levels of this hormone have been proven to facilitate, muscle growth and fat-burning (7).
Benefit #3: Reduces Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke
Heart disease kills about 610,000 people every year in the United States.
That is approximately 1 out of every 4 deaths.
Strong scientific evidence has shown a positive correlation with intermittent fasting and caloric restriction improving several risk factors for coronary artery disease and stroke including a reduction in blood pressure and increased insulin sensitivity (8).
In recent studies, it was also found that the effects of Intermittent fasting are similar to regular physical exercise on a cellular and molecular level within the cardiovascular system and the brain, suggesting shared mechanisms (10). Simply put, while fasting your body goes through a similar biochemical reaction as if you were physically exercising.
Benefit #4: May Help Increase Lifespan
One of the most exciting applications of intermittent fasting is the possibility for it to help increase our lifespan.
In some studies, rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats who weren’t fasted (11).
Although it hasn’t been proven for humans yet, it makes sense that intermittent fasting could help you live a longer life given the known benefits for metabolism and other health markers.
Benefit #5: Simplify Life
Lastly, Intermittent fasting, especially the 16/8 method, can help with simplifying life on a daily basis.
By skipping one meal a day, it can help to decrease the amount of the decisions on food and the money you’ll need to spend over time.
You’ll have more time and headspace for other activities that you were hoping to accomplish for the day (exercise, yoga, meditation, journaling, ect.).
Need Help With Fasting?
Skipping one meal a day can be tough. Especially in the beginning.
While fasting there are a few beverages with 0 calories that can help distract your mind from hunger. These beverages include coffee, tea, water, and sparkling water.
If you’re looking for the perfect morning beverage to help suppress hunger, try our premium coffee tea blends. It’s the combination of coffee and tea in one drink that will provide you with calming focus and lasting energy especially during a fasted state. Click here to shop now!