Intermittent fasting can help a lot of people achieve their personal health goals, which can include weight loss, diabetes management, and better sleep.
Today’s post will simplify how you can benefit from the top 10 most notable benefits and some practical tips to help you get started.
The purpose of this post is to provide an overview of the benefits of intermittent fasting; it is not to provide any professional/medical advice.
- What is Intermittent Fasting
- How to Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
- What Are the Possible Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- 1. Weight Loss
- 2. Elimantes Food Restriction
- 3. Lower Cholesterol
- 4. Reduced Inflammation
- 5. Sleep Benefits
- 6. Brain Function
- 7. Blood Pressure Benefits
- 8. Insulin Resistance
- 9. Heart Health
- 10. Cellular Repair
- Is it Good to Do Intermittent Fasting Every Day
What is Intermittent Fasting
Fasting is when you refrain from eating, so intermittent fasting is the practice of alternating when you eat and when you don’t eat.
The hours you fast (don’t eat) are referred to as your “fasting period”, and the period of time (hours) you can eat your meals is called your “eating window.”
With intermittent fasting, you are not restricted to eating certain foods, although most people benefit greatly from eating a healthy variety of foods while practicing intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet. It’s simply a schedule you set for yourself on when you will eat your daily meals.
How to Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting works by allowing your body to focus on its functions during a period of time when no food is consumed.
Digestion requires quite a few bodily processes to be involved, so when you refrain from eating (fast), you allow your body to focus on the other important functions that often yield benefits.
Without digestion, the body can focus on burning fat, hormone production, insulin regulation, sleep cycles, and more. More on these topics below.
Getting started is easy since all you have to do is pick a fasting schedule that works for you and then move your meals to your eating window. The best part is that you don’t have to skip meals, you simply squeeze your meals into a smaller set of hours.
Learn more about food for intermittent fasting in this video.
What Are the Possible Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Whether you choose a 12-hour fasting schedule or the popular 16:8 fasting method, in a few short days, you’ll soon begin to feel some of the benefits.
Below, I will explain the top 10 benefits that have been both researched and noted by people who practice IF short and long-term.
1. Weight Loss
The no. 1 reason for a lot of people to decide to start with intermittent fasting is its role in helping with weight loss.
When you fast, your body first burns its sugar stores for energy; and once it burns through them, it begins to burn fat. This is where your metabolism switches from burning sugar for energy to burning fat.
This means that during fasting, your body is able to use up stored fat and, over time, help you lose weight.
2. Elimantes Food Restriction
While not technically a medical benefit, a lot of people find it very helpful to have an eating window in which to enjoy their meals without worrying about sticking to a list of “allowed” foods.
The best part about intermittent fasting is that you don’t have to limit any particular foods as long as you make sure you consume the appropriate calories your body needs for the day.
This gives a lot of people a sense of freedom without feeling restricted by the types of foods they can eat. This sense of freedom of choice can be specifically helpful to individuals who have tried many diets but ultimately fail because they feel deprived of their favorite foods or end up binging on them.
3. Lower Cholesterol
The studies on whether or not intermittent fasting lowers cholesterol are mixed. Some studies show that it can lower the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) when a person eats a healthy and varied diet.
Unfortunately, many people that don’t experience these lower-cholesterol benefits are those that follow a Keto diet, where a lot of fat and animal protein is consumed and ultimately raises their cholesterol levels (I’ve experienced this firsthand).
If you’ve heard that the best way to fast is while doing a keto diet and struggling with high cholesterol, I urge you to read the following article, where I explain how to practice intermittent fasting without doing Keto.
Learn how to incorporate intermittent fasting the easy way with this complete eBook!
Intermittent Fasting for Women
If you want to dive deeper, I’ve created a book with everything you need to know about intermittent fasting & a 1-week meal plan so you know exactly what to eat during your eating windows. Check out my Intermittent Fasting Guide here.
4. Reduced Inflammation
For people struggling with chronic pain, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases, incorporating intermittent fasting into their lifestyle can help reduce the symptoms.
Intermittent fasting reduces a body’s inflammatory response by decreasing the amount of “monocytes” (inflammatory cells) released into the blood steam. With fewer monocytes circulating, many individuals have been able to improve their quality of life by simply reducing their chronic pain.
And since inflammation goes hand in hand with many autoimmune diseases, a lot of people successfully use intermittent fasting to manage their symptoms and reduce their chronic pain. If you’re being treated for an autoimmune disease, please consult your physician.
5. Sleep Benefits
Some people report better quality of sleep while intermittent fasting, while others report increased insomnia, the latter is believed that it’s due to caloric restriction, not intermittent fasting itself.
People that report better quality of sleep are often following an intermittent fasting meal plan that includes a variety of healthy foods and are not restricting their bodies from nutrition.
For example, if your last meal for the day is at 7 pm, you have a couple of hours to digest the food before you go to bed. Once you fall asleep, your body is able to focus on hormone production, sleep more comfortably, and begin to heal and repair itself at a cellular level.
6. Brain Function
Because of the extended cellular repair that occurs at night without having to focus on digestion, many people report feeling more alert while fasting in the morning.
This increased cognitive function is due to your body having repaired itself while sleeping, and it wakes you up more alert and therefore helps you perform better at mental tasks. People often report that they’re most productive in the morning before they break their fast.
7. Blood Pressure Benefits
For some people, intermittent fasting can improve cardiovascular health by reducing arterial blood pressure, especially in those people who are not considered obese and are healthy or minimally overweight.
For others, improved blood pressure levels occur because of weight loss; but ultimately, improved cardiovascular health is seen as a benefit of intermittent fasting.
8. Insulin Resistance
For people who seek help with diabetes management, pre-diabetes, and other insulin-related conditions, following a 16-hour fasting schedule has been shown to reduce insulin resistance.
While insulin resistance can be caused by several factors, the improvement of how your body (the pancreas specifically) responds to foods through insulin responses (how much it makes), can help prevent diabetes for people who are pre-diabetic or at risk of developing diabetes.
9. Heart Health
Intermittent fasting, when incorporated as part of a healthy lifestyle, can improve the overall heart health of a person. These include the heart functions and regulatory processes (such as blood pressure) as well as the circulatory system.
Over time, an improvement in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar (insulin) levels, and weight loss can dramatically help with long-term heart health.
10. Cellular Repair
Our bodies are in a constant state of cellular repair due to lifestyle factors, such as activity and stress, and due to health conditions. Intermittent fasting can help with the cellular repair process, especially at night, by allowing the body to function without the interruption of the digestion process.
During periods of fasting, the body can repair pathways and improve how it responds to oxidative stress (the breakdown of cells). Fasting can promote long-term health in a variety of systems, including organ health, disease prevention, hormone regulation, and improved performance.
Is it Good to Do Intermittent Fasting Every Day
Ideally, intermittent fasting is something that becomes part of your lifestyle, and you are able to incorporate it into your daily routine without feeling deprived or disrupting your lifestyle.
With as little as 12 hours of fasting, you’ll be able to experience many of the benefits mentioned above and improve your long-term health.
Both fasting daily or on alternate days can be very beneficial for your health.
Intermittent fasting can be simple and easy to incorporate into your life when you understand how to do it properly. You can learn more about it inside the Intermittent Fasting eBook which comes with a simple meal plan to help you get started.