Intermittent fasting has been around for quite some time. However, recent, newly discovered research, has shed new light on how and why it works so well. We knew it had some benefit but we didn’t always know the mechanics behind the results. Also, there was a lot of confusion on the methods of implementation such as the amount of time of the fast, and the intervals between fasting and eating. There is now enough data and experience to help us navigate these variables. So, by increasing the time between eating meals we decrease the levels of insulin in the blood. This is key. As a result, we see amazing physiological changes occurring for the better. Intermittent fasting creates greater insulin sensitivity which allows the body to regain better function. Greater insulin sensitivity means it takes less insulin to control the sugar levels in the body. This is huge and I’ll have more on this in future blogs. Medicine and all healthcare providers have longed to accomplish this, but to no avail, until now.
So what are the benefits of fasting? The most obvious benefit is that carbohydrate intake is decreased. Carbohydrates are a number of chemical compounds found in foods that are sugar, starch, and cellulose. Most carbohydrates can be broken down in the digestive process and turned into sugars. Thus, fasting reduces carbohydrate intake which results in less sugar in the body which lowers insulin and results in weight loss. It makes sense that if we restrict the intake of food, particularly sugar and carbohydrates, we’re going to begin to lose weight.
Studies have shown that fasting generally shows improvement in overall health. These same studies showed delays in age-related damage to the liver and other organs. (1)
Intermittent fasting has shown the following benefits results as well:
Additional long-term benefits that are key factors in “Aging Well”:
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of intermittent fasting is financial. That’s right. Instead of having a pantry full of expensive shake mixes, snack bars, “fast start” diet products, protein drinks and all kinds of “lose weight fast systems” you basically have to do nothing. Yup, all you have to do is simply nothing”. Don’t eat! It doesn’t cost a dime. You actually save money on food you don’t have to purchase for those meals that you’re fasting.
Another advantage is that Intermittent fasting is flexible because it can be done at any time with any schedule and any duration. You can fast for 16 hours, 24 hours, two days, six days, 21 days, or for as long as you want. You can fast using any diet: vegetarian, vegan, keto, carnivore, or paleo. It can be done anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter. And if you don’t feel well you can always stop fasting. You are in complete control. And on that note patients report that intermittent fasting is a tool that gives them a sense of empowerment. They truly feel that they have taken back control of their healthcare.
Every day researchers and doctors are finding more and more benefits as a result of intermittent fasting. It’s truly remarkable and we can only hope that the healthcare community can begin to embrace the benefits and accomplishments of intermittent fasting and really incorporate it as a viable and valuable modality of healthcare.
(1) Sarah J. Mitchell, Michel Bernier, Julie A. Mattison, Miguel A. Aon, Tamzin A. Kaiser, R. Michael Anson, Yuji Ikeno, Rozalyn M. Anderson, Donald K. Ingram, Rafael de Cabo.
“Daily Fasting Improves Health and Survival in Male Mice Independent of Diet Composition and Calories. “
Cell Metabolism, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.08.011
Disclaimer** Blogs are not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice of physicians. The information included is for general or educational purposes only. Readers should consult their physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to this information or any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Reading this information does not create a physician-patient relationship.