Learn the Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Optimal Function

Jeff Baldelli
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Intermittent Fasting Defined

When most people think about intermittent fasting, they think of juice fasts or starvation. While those are certainly intermittent fasting, there are many other ways to drink less and fast.

Now, intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone, and it can be dangerous if you haven’t thoroughly researched it. These are the health benefits of IF, but they don’t come without a lot of research.

So intermittent fasting is a short-term fast, which typically involves 24-48 hours of eating nothing at all, or very little. The idea is that you do this all at once, and once a week instead of skipping meals at different times throughout the week.

When you aren’t eating anything, your body must switch into a different mode in order to survive. One of the ways that it does this is by burning fat and producing ketones. The ketones help to keep your organs alive during the fast.

Something you must remember, however, is that during a true fast, you will lose weight. This is because you aren’t getting any calories or nutrients from your food.

Specific Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

When you give your body a break from food each day, it gives your digestive system a chance to rest and repair itself. In addition to that, fasting helps regulate insulin levels, inhibit blood sugar spikes, and reduce oxidative stress, which helps prevent illness in the long term.

Fasting is not just good for your health, but it is good for your brain. Studies show that intermittent fasting enhances cognitive function and memory. It improves concentration, protects against brain fog and inflammation, and slows down the onset of Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

Another wonderful aspect of fasting is the magic it works on your waistline. During fasting, you experience something called autophagy in which your body creates self-digestion to eliminate toxins. This component of the fasting lifestyle improves your health and slows down the aging process.

Weight Loss

Intermittent fasting though not a diet allows you to eat in a smaller window of time than you normally would.

This method is considered a diet in that you have to be mindful of what you are putting into your body. You will definitely not want to be consuming tasteless or highly processed foods because those are the foods that cause weight gain.

The benefits of intermittent fasting are that you are taking in fewer calories and fat than you would normally. In addition, your body is burning fat stores.

Fast also improves your body’s ability to break down glucose -or sugar- which means that your metabolism will work harder. You are also in complete control over what you put into your body so you can avoid processed foods and only put the right substances that will make you lose weight.

One of the most important things about weight loss is how you look, what you eat, and your self-image. If you want to lose weight, you don’t want a fad diet that only lasts a few weeks.

Better Brain Function

When we fast, we increase the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) , the chemical that acts as the primary source of energy for our bodies.

As we eat throughout the day, the total energy supply stays much lower than it could be and more consistent with the way we survived as hunter-gatherers. Maybe we are all cavemen and women at heart, after all.

Of course, most people today live much busier lives than the cave-dwellers of long ago and eat all the time.

In one study in the Journal of Neuroscience, intermittent fasting helped improve cognitive function in mice.

Some of the mouse participants were allowed to eat whenever they pleased, while others ate within a very regular planned schedule, every eight hours, for example, or every 12 hours.

The researchers found that the mice in the intermittent fasting condition showed a reduced amount of brain inflammation and higher amounts of neuronal plasticity. In a word, their brains worked better.

The mice in the other condition, whose energy was consistent with modern, non-intermittent lifestyles, showed the opposite results.

When it comes to cognitive enhancement, human studies are needed, but studies in rats indicate that intermittent fasting could be helpful for other brain-related functions as well.

Hormonal Balance

The type of eating that comes out of intermittent fasting is much different than what we’ve all been trained to think is a healthy diet. The macronutrient composition of a fasted/intermittent fast may not look the same as our typical macronutrient composition for a more traditional approach to eating… but in some ways, this is a good thing!

Traditional eating is typically composed of high carb, high fat, and moderate protein macronutrient ratios.

However, a more balanced macronutrient composition that has been proven to be more effective for humans is lower in carbohydrates, higher in protein, and higher in fat instead. Remember, with low carb diets, you shouldn’t be getting your calories from flour products, etc, but from the good fats in a balanced diet (nuts, seeds, extra virgin coconut oil, etc.).

In one study, insulingushion from a late night fast caused hormonal changes that were associated with weight loss, and the late night eating also suppressed ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone.

By taking advantage of the intermittent fasting protocol, you can control your hormone levels and help your body not only to maintain muscle mass, but also to burn an elevated amount of fat as fuel.

When you perform intermittent fasting regularly, you can enjoy the following benefits:

Disease Risk Reduction

Intermittent fasting has been shown in multiple studies to have several health benefits. One study conducted by “Neurobiology of Aging” magazine showed that rats subjected to a fasting regimen were “protected against Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease” (R).

Another study published in the “American Journal of Physiology” has shown that a type of periodic fasting outlined in its study significantly increased lifespan (R).

Fasting has also been shown to have positive effects on autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis (R). This is because, as I previously discussed, fasting boosts the activity of the immune system.

Although there is research that has indicated specific benefits of different types of intermittent fasting, the most significant health benefits come from a daily 16-hour water fast.

Improved Gut Health

Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool for increasing gut health. Research is showing us that the beneficial bacteria in the gut is a highly optimized system. One of the ways this is orchestrated is through the protein p38 MAP kinase which helps maintain the right ratio of bacteria.

When the MAP kinase is activated, it stops the growth of harmful bacteria. But when it is inactive, it allows the growth of the beneficial bacteria. Intermittent fasting shuts down the p38 MAP kinase activity. This provides the opportunity to reset the p38 MAP kinase.

The intermittent fasting resets the p38 MAP kinase and activates it which causes a systemic reset of the gut. This stops pathogenic bacteria from being able to colonize and increases the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.

How to do Intermittent Fasting

To Stay Healthy The Multiple Benefits of Intermittent Fasting to Change Your Life:

Burn Body Fat:

The Intermittent Fasting helps you to increase fat burning while reducing your calorie intake. A diet is only successful if it makes you lose weight. Some people eat less and sit on the couch and do not lose weight.

This happens when they’re consuming too many calories to compensate for the calorie deficit. The Intermittent Fasting makes it difficult to consume too much food in one meal.

The reduction of calories also increases the health impacts as they’re reduced calories not only from fat but from carbs.

Feel Young and Healthy:

Healthy fasting enhances the level of dopamine which increases the feel good feeling. It also activates an anti-aging mechanism which is known as SIRT1. The Intermittent Fasting activates the DNA repair mechanism which neutralizes the free radicals.

Neutralizing the free radicals makes you live longer and healthier.

Increase the overall body performance:

The Intermittent Fasting increases your overall body performance. This includes muscle building due to the release of the human growth hormone. It also increases metabolic rate which is necessary for fat burning.

The Intermittent Fasting also helps our body to release and use the mood hormone which is better and more effective than antidepressants for solving depression.

Best Foods to Eat While Doing Intermittent Fasting

What better way is there to start off your intermittent fasting than with some delicious foods!

It’s important that if you’re doing an intermittent fast that you eat food that’s high in protein, as this will satiate you and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Protein is also the most important nutrient for adding muscle, which is why I’ve listed these protein-rich foods here.

If possible, it’s always best to choose organic protein sources as they’re generally higher in nutritional value and are less likely to have been fed feed laced with hormones and antibiotics. It’s also best to buy local or pasture-raised meats at your local farmers’ market. These meats will have a more natural ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s, plus you may even be allowed to ask your farmer any questions that you’d like about how your food was raised.

Working Out While Intermittent Fasting

As we’ve discussed, there are so many amazing benefits to fasting, especially when you’re exercising. Through the process of creating an environment of intermittent (or prolonged) low blood sugar, you put your body in a better place to be able to reach its peak performance.

One way to do this is to work out. The trick is that if you work out during a time when your blood sugar is already low (i.e., you’ve fasted for several hours beforehand), your body is going to start burning the body fat in your body for energy, and you’ll have an easier time burning fat because your body doesn’t want to burn the energy stored in your muscle tissue.

This will help you get into ketosis, which will give you all of the benefits that we’ve discussed.

So for optimal results, go hard, go fast, and then go home and skip breakfast. Your body will thank you.

Tips on IF

What is intermittent fasting?

Are you trying to improve your athletic performance but not sure it caloric restriction or total restriction will get you there?

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that can help you shed fat, boost growth hormones and maintain muscle mass.

You can still eat as much as you want, but you need to restrict your eating windows to a few smaller periods during the day.

What is the intermittent fasting diet?

This diet consists of eating a normal diet 5 days out of the week with one day of eating less.

Pick a Day of Eating less Each Week

On that day, skip breakfast and eat a normal lunch and dinner. This will help keep you from feeling deprived and it’s much easier to maintain than an all-day fast.

Finally, have a light meal before bed. A small salad and a glass of a protein shake work well.

On days that you don’t fast, eat regularly, but try not to overdo it. Fasting is a great time for detoxification, but it’s also a good time to take in extra calories. Try adding a few tablespoons of olive oil to your salads or a vegetable smoothie.

Final Word on Intermittent Fasting

Even the most successful people in the world start their days off with a healthy start. It’s important to have a healthy breakfast to start your day, but many people struggle with keeping a healthy diet.

One example of this is people who do intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that helps you regulate your insulin levels and reduces inflammation to improve your health.

Intermittent fasting is based on eating for a certain period of time, followed by eating nothing at all. There are many different eating patterns and usually involve fasting for two non-consecutive days every week.

Your circadian rhythm may be the reason that you should start intermittent fasting. Your circadian rhythm is your body clock that regulates your biological processes like digestion and sleep. When you keep your circadian rhythm from fading away, you can improve your overall health.

Many people who do intermittent fasting notice that it improves their energy levels and they feel more scientific in their approach to the day. While all of these are good reasons to try it, the main reason that nearly everyone suggests intermittent fasting is actually its anti-aging benefits.

When people regularly eat their meals, they get insulin spikes to signal their bodies that it’s time to store food. This spikes can cause inflammation to your body components, which makes symptoms like blood sugar imbalances more likely.