10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Fasting & How Fasting Helps In Weight Loss
Are there any health benefits of fasting? How many times have you come across your family members or friends who claim that fasting is the best way to lose weight? Here are the answers to your major question of “is fasting good for health?” and the impact of fasting for weight loss.
Is Fasting Healthy?
Before I clear your doubt, let me ask you about your own definition of fasting? Most general perception of fasting is about being with empty stomach all through the day, which is a mediocre way to understand the concept of fasting. Also, the health benefits of fasting aren’t reaped to the maximum by not eating anything for an entire day. There’s much more to dig into this.
If you are looking for ways to lose weight with the help of fasting, you could be habituated to some of these things
1) Saying no to sweets
2) Not eating anything for prolonged periods of time (in an attempt to lose weight)
3) Skipping breakfast or meals whenever you feel bad about your personality.
If you have really been considering the habit of skipping the meals for an entire day (once or twice in a week) as fasting, I will honestly suggest you change your definition of fasting.
There are definitely numerous health benefits of fasting, but you can make the most out of them only when you fast in an appropriate way that benefits your health and one such way is intermittent fasting(1).
Fasting For Weight Loss
If you have been binge eating all this while and have gathered a few pounds, just relax! You need not go on a continuous hunger strike or fast for an entire day to lose weight. This is only going to take a negative toll on your health because this is just a continuous cycle of binge eating and then starving yourself.
You can instead choose intermittent fasting as one of the methods to lose weight and thereby get exposed to various other health benefits of fasting but before doing so, there is one important step that you need to take up!
The First Step Of Fasting
Whenever you feel tempted towards the taste of the junk foods, try to understand that, it is just your mind that is trying to play tricks and simply train your mind to not eat the junk, but how do you do that?
Whenever you come across the unhealthy foods, think of all the negative consequences that you might face because of the junk foods and all the advantages of staying away from such foods that are going to serve nothing better than just appeasing your taste buds.
Think for a moment before grabbing that bite and make up a long-term vision of some amazing health benefits of fasting that you will experience, and you will be surprised to see yourself staying perfectly healthy like never before.
Some Amazing Health Benefits Of Fasting
If you have been eating healthy foods and have inculcated one physical activity in your life, you are definitely doing a great job to stay fit, but you will be surprised to know that fasting every once in a while can have some amazing positive impact on your body. Here are some amazing health benefits of fasting that you definitely need to know.
1. Fasting For Acne And Scars!
Protecting your sensitive skin from all the dust and bacteria can be a big challenge for you because the reason for the emergence of acne can vary and you may find it difficult to find out the root causes of their occurrence.
Pollution, stress, hormonal changes, oily skin, and lack of cleanliness can all be the reasons for acne, but whatever might be the cause, you can try fasting and you will be amazed to see how it works out.
Your sugar levels are going to lower down when you fast, and you will automatically end up drinking more water to quench your cravings and thirst and this is the best way to eliminate all the toxic substances from your body. The more water you drink more will be the effect on your skin.
2. Fasting Reduces Blood Pressure
Did you ever get yourself so engaged in your accomplishing your work, that you forget to eat your food, or skip your timely meals? If yes, you could have experienced your hands and feet going all sweaty and you could have sensed a slight fatigue and dizziness.
All these symptoms indicate that your blood pressure has dropped down drastically and you need to recharge yourself with foods to pump up your energy levels.
So, this implies that people who have been suffering from a high blood pressure can obtain the health benefits of fasting by choosing to restrict the foods so that they can regulate their blood pressure, but you have to make sure you are consuming a whole lot of fresh fruits all the while to keep up your energy levels.
3. How Can You Utilize Fasting For Weight Loss?
Fasting will undoubtedly help in weight loss, but if you want an effective result that does not harm your health, you must opt for intermittent fasting which involves two popular fasting methods 5:2 diet and 16/8 method of fasting.
If you really want to shed those extra calories and look gorgeous, you can definitely opt for these two methods which do not let you starve and will still help in an effective weight loss.
A. 16/8 Method
The rule says that your eating regime should be restricted to a particular timing that is from 12 in the noon till 8 in the night. This simply means that you should not eat your breakfast before 12 in the afternoon and not eat your dinner after 8 in the night.
B. 5:2 Rule
The rule is simple and it says that you should choose to fast twice in a week and you should not eat not more than 500 calories on the days when you fast but you can eat normally for the rest of five days which is why the rule has been named as 5:2.
Since you are restricting your timings to eat, this will help you to stay away from certain unhealthy habits like binge eating and help you stay away from junk foods.
An intermittent diet does not mean you can eat whatever you want when you are allowed to eat. You must be particular about the foods that you choose if you wish to make the best out of fasting for weight loss.
4. Fasting Increases Your Perseverance
They say, if you really want to test someone’s level of patience, you can give them an internet connection that is too slow and check how they deal with it. Sounds funny? Here is what I do to test someone’s level of patience.
I would only put one question in front of them. “Do you go nuts when the food that you have ordered takes much time to reach your table or your doorstep?”
How patient are you is determined by how sane you can be when your food is late! If you are really looking for some serious ways to improve your perseverance, intermittent fasting may not be the best option for you.
You can instead choose to fast for an entire day and rely on fresh fruits and water, and you will be amazed to see the positive effect of this on your patience and perseverance.
5. Health Benefits Of Fasting On Longevity
It is not vaguely stated that fasting helps in increasing the lifespan of a person, but there is a clear scientific explanation of how fasting can benefit longevity. Do you perhaps remember studying about mitochondria(2)?
You know that these organelles are known as the powerhouse of the body. Researches have proven that these cell organelles should be present in a fused form for healthy survival, but this fused arrangement decreases with the time period.
Scientists have conducted various experiments which proved that a restricted diet helped in restoring the fused network of mitochondria.
So, it is pretty much evident from this experiment that fasting can be beneficial in restoring the fused structure of mitochondria and this, in turn, helps in increasing your lifespan.
6. Periodic Fasting For Diabetes
The cases of diabetes have been increasing so drastically, you can see one in a very few people suffering from the disease. Whatever might be the factors that trigger the increase in the cases of diabetes, the biological defect that causes diabetes is the same.
The main function of the pancreas is to produce insulin so that this hormone converts the sugars into energy. So, when your pancreas cannot produce enough amounts of insulin, the sugars are not converted into energy and they remain intact in your blood.
Regulation of blood sugar levels is one of the most significant health benefits of fasting because periodic fasting helps in increasing the production of insulin by the pancreas and this helps in an effective conversion of blood sugars into energy.
7. Health Benefits Of Fasting For Low Cholesterol
If you are under a false perception that cholesterol is bad for your health, you need to understand that there are basically two types of cholesterol(3) HDL (High-density lipoproteins) and LDL (Low-density lipoproteins). HDL is usually known as the good cholesterol and LDL as the bad cholesterol.
A research was held where two groups of people were selected among which one group was asked to fast for alternate days. The participants of the group who were put on fasting were asked to consume not more than 500 calories per day on the day of fasting.
They could consume the foods of their own choice on the next day. The food habits of the other group were perfectly normal i.e. they could consume foods of their own choice.
When the blood samples of these two groups were taken after they followed the regime for a certain number of weeks, it was found that the amount of triglycerides (which when linked to LDL or HDL can build up the fat) got reduced in the people who fasted for alternative days.
8. Fasting Strengthens Your Immune System
Studies show that continuous fasting for three days results into an emergence of a much stronger immune system because when you give enough rest to your body, the stem cells in your body tend to produce more number of leucocytes or the white blood cells.
White blood cells play an important role in fighting off the infections which are why fasting can help your body in fighting the infections.
This type of continuous fasting is only recommended for cancer patients who have been undergoing the sessions of chemotherapy and is not usually recommended if you are already healthy and fit.
Also, fasting once a week can help your body fight with the free radicals, and this is one of the major health benefits of fasting.
9. Fasting For Cardiovascular Health
It is a very common and natural thing to understand that people who are obese and overweight are more likely to experience cardiovascular health problems when compared to normal people.
Does fasting help obese people lose weight? Definitely, yes! If obese or overweight people identify their health problem and opt for various modes of intermittent fasting, they can pull themselves out of the risk of being affected by cardiovascular problems.
Also, fasting helps in regulating your blood sugar levels, regulating your blood pressure and prevents you from eating junk foods, all of which are the main causes of heart-related disorders.
10. What Does Fasting Do To Your Brain?
If you haven’t tried fasting yet, you can without any doubt, try and experiment with fasting to see some an amazingly positive impact on your brain.
If you are not sure whether you can be patient enough with your uncontrollable food cravings, you can choose to go for intermittent fasting which does not let you starve but instead helps you restrict the quantity that you eat.
Fasting has an amazing impact on your brain because it releases a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that helps in improving your memory, helps in a quick grasping and learning of things and enhances the quality of your thinking.
Side Effects Of Fasting
Is fasting healthy? Are there any side effects of fasting? Well, the answer depends on your health type because certain conditions do not support fasting and may instead show an adverse effect on your health.
Here Is The List Of People Who Should Not Fast.
People who suffer from low blood pressure may experience the side effects of fasting as this further lowers the blood pressure
Although there are not many side effects of fasting on pregnant women, it is not advisable for pregnant women to fast as this may affect the fetal development.
Trainers or athletes need to improve their stamina to gain success in their respective fields, but fasting in no way helps to improve stamina. Therefore, people involved in athletes or sports can avoid fasting
If you are a diabetic patient, you can fast but, you have to take the advice of your concerned doctor about the method of fasting that you are going to adopt.
You would not realize the extent of health benefits that fasting has on your health until you try to make a slight change in your lifestyle and go for the type of fasting that really suits your health type because not all methods of fasting are favourable for everyone.
If you wish to obtain the maximum health benefits of fasting, fasting for an entire day may not be really helpful. You can eat healthy foods from 12 in the noon till 8 in the night and fast in the remaining time which is the easiest and healthiest way to restrict yourself from eating way too much.