Whether we are trying to lose weight or avoid food for religious reasons, there’s a good chance we have already experienced occasional fasting – and thought it was quite terrible.
Still, when it comes to its numerous health benefits, science seems to approve it. In fact, there are quite a few reasons everyone should try to fast a few times a week or completely stop eating after 8-10 hours.
1 – Weight loss
Obviously, if we decide to fast for a day or try intermittent fasting, we can expect to drop a reasonable number of pounds. However, this will depend on our calorie intake.
The main reason fasting leads to weight loss is quite simple. While you’re fasting, you’re not taking in calories. Thus, there’s a slimmer chance you’ll eat more than you should and create a great environment for more fat to develop.
2 – Increased insulin sensitivity
We use glucose as a source of energy, and insulin has a role in that. Once there’s glucose in our blood, it starts taking it and transferring it into cells. However, if our body, or rather tissues found it in, are not responding to it, our pancreas is confused.
It “thinks” we need more of it, so it releases even more insulin. This leads to unnecessary cell and tissue growth, a rise in blood glucose levels, and later on, obesity and even cancer.
Luckily, occasional fasting can help with this too. Anything we eat can trigger insulin, especially sugar and carbs. However, by restricting ourselves for a day or a period of time, we could make our bodies respond better to it.
3 – Decreased inflammation
Acute inflammation is quite normal in all of us, and it helps us to fight off infections on a daily basis. Nevertheless, things can get a bit bad when it turns into chronic inflammation. This condition can lead to numerous health conditions, including cancer and heart disease.
Yet, some studies show that occasional fasting may reduce the levels of inflammation and keep serious health risks at bay. In fact, even a diet that resembles fasting, i.e., a low-calorie diet can lead to similar results.
4 – A healthier heart
Finally, one of the greatest benefits of fasting is that it helps “heal” our heart and lead a better life. When incorporated into our lifestyle, occasional fasting can reduce the levels of total, as well as “bad” cholesterol. What’s more, it can reduce our blood pressure too, not to mention that some studies have shown it has a positive effect on triglycerides as well.
Even though there are other benefits to occasional fasting, it’s safe to say that most of them are interconnected. When we reduce our overall body weight, we effectively reduce our chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. Thus, if you were on the fence about occasional fasting, know that science has some evidence that proves it can help us lead a better, healthier life.