Explaining The Science Behind Fasting

fasting benefits

People have been losing weight by counting calories, exercising, going into diets, and more.  According to Longevity scientists, the above activities are not the only ways you can lose weight. By understanding fasting benefits, you can also accomplish weight loss in a short period of time. These scientists also consider the science of fasting as the key to increase human lifespan.

Intermittent fasting ensures weight loss, longevity, and reduced chronic disease risk since it advocates taking periodic breaks from eating within a day or a week. It is a research-proved and an effective way of shedding some weight.

Scientists argue that the most effective way to lose weight is taking in few calories into the body so as to trick it into a fat burning mode. Of course, how much weight you lose will depend on the kind of fasting that you follow. A successful fast usually deprives your body of 1000 to 2300 calories. But exactly how are health and fasting dependent on each other?

How Fasting Benefits Affect the Body

Numerous studies show that there are many fasting benefits such as improving disease resistance, reducing oxidative stress, and enhancing your memory and general body functioning.

  •     Fasting enables you to lose weight.

Intermittent fasting generally requires you to eat fewer meals, so you can take fewer calories. Through this, you can improve hormonal activities and functions and expedite weight loss.

Higher growth hormone levels and lower insulin levels increase the chemical breakdown of body fat and ensure that liberated body fat is utilized as energy. Short-term fasting can already raise your metabolic rate by 4 to 14% enabling you to burn even more calories.

The science behind intermittent fasting shows that regular fasting for a period of even 3-20 weeks can work wonders by reducing your weight by 3-8%. It can also reduce waist circumference by 4-7%.

  •    Fasting is good for the heart.

Heart disease is among the biggest killers in the current world. Thus, finding ways to reduce the risks of heart disease is crucial.

According to Dr. Ahmed of Cleveland Clinic, the four major risks of heart disease are diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. If you reduce these, you lower the risk of suffering from a heart disease. Because fasting has shown some remarkable improvement in blood pressure, blood sugar levels, inflammatory markers, and blood triglycerides, it’s one way to protect your heart’s health. However, you have to consult your cardiologist before you undergo fasting. Improper application of the practice can be dangerous to your health.

  •    Fasting improves brain function.

Fasting improves several metabolic processes which are vital for brain health. These metabolic processes lead to reduced inflammation, reduction in blood sugar levels, reduced oxidative stress, and insulin resistance.

Several studies have shown that regular fasting may increase the growth of nerve cells, which is highly beneficial to brain function. It increases the levels of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a brain hormone whose absence or deficiency would lead to depression and other mental problems. It also protects the brain from damage and prevents cases of stroke.

  •    Fasting changes the functions of cells, hormones, and genes.

When you fail to eat for some time, several changes occur in your body. The body initiates some vital cellular repair processes and alters the hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. Some of the changes that can occur include:

  1. a)    Insulin levels drop significantly to facilitate the burning of fats.
  2. b)    The body initiates important cellular repair processes (autophagy) and removal of waste materials from a cell.
  3. c)    The level of growth hormone increases as much as five times to facilitate and quicken the process of fat burning and muscle gain among other benefits.
  4. d)    Gene expression changes, which are beneficial since they are mainly related to longevity and protection against diseases.
  • Fasting reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

When you are under oxidative stress,  unstable free radical molecules to react with important molecules, such as protein and DNA, and damage them. This leads to premature aging and being prone to many chronic diseases.

Studies show that fasting enhances body resistance to oxidative stress and help fight inflammation.

Is It Safe to Consistently Go On Fasting

As long you are in good health, and you follow safe fasting rules, it’s easy for you to reap the fasting benefits without the risks. You should, however, be careful not to overdo fasting so as to give your body sufficient time to rebuild nutritional reserves. This is basically what the science says about intermittent fasting.

Fasting frequency is recommended as following:

  1. One day per week for regular fasting: this emphasizes skipping meals on a specific day to attain weight loss.
  2. Three days per month: dictates that you fast for certain days in a month; the fasting should be 24 hours.
  3. Ten days yearly: suggests that you should at least fast for that time for body rebalancing.
  4. Fat fasting: this means eating only calorie-based foods for a few days to induce ketosis, which involves burning stored fats.

Health professionals believe that a proper use of approved fasting benefits and methods can help avoid major health hazards. It is prudent to listen to your body; you should only fast when your body allows it. When in doubt, it’s best to consult your doctor.

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