7 Reasons to Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has gotten quite a bit of publicity lately. This is a type of fasting that involves alternating cycles of normal eating and fasting. More than just another popular fad, this is a practice that can help you improve your health in a variety of ways. Here are 7 reasons to try intermittent fasting.
1. Helps You Lose Weight
Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight. When you fast, you’re cutting your caloric intake which is obviously good for losing weight. Beyond this, however, fasting helps to increase your metabolism and even enhances hormones function. The only thing you have to watch, especially when starting out, is that you don’t overeat when the fasting period is over. As your body acclimates to the cycles, you’ll find that you won’t feel the need to binge in between fasts.
2. Balance Your Insulin Levels
One of the benefits of fasting is that it can reduce your insulin resistance, which lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes. Studies show that fasting lowers blood sugar levels. This is especially important for people who are at risk for diabetes, such as those who are overweight or who have family members with this disease. On the other hand, if you already have diabetes you should consult a medical professional before fasting or going on any new diet.
3. Lower Your Cancer Risk
There is evidence that intermittent fasting can lower your risk for cancer. It could even slow the growth of existing tumors. Studies indicate that caloric restriction, in general, is an effective strategy for slowing tumor growth. Just as being obese or overweight increases your risks for many types of cancer, reducing calories and losing weight reduces your risks. Intermittent fasting is one of the safest ways to consistently reduce your intake of calories.
4. Support Brain Health
In addition to helping you lose weight and lowering your risk for many diseases, intermittent fasting can even improve the way your brain functions. It could even lower your risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease and other degenerative conditions associated with aging. As recent neuroscience research indicates, intermittent fasting or IER (intermittent energy restriction) can improve memory function in the elderly and accelerate recovery from strokes and traumatic brain injuries.
5. Slow the Aging Process
One of the best reasons to practice intermittent fasting is that it may actually slow the aging process and help you live longer. A Harvard study shows that fasting can support the healthy functioning of mitochondria (cell components that produce energy) in the body which may extend lifespan. While similar effects can be brought about by genetic manipulation, fasting is a simpler and more affordable alternative that’s available to the average person today.
6. Lower Your Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a dangerous condition that increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiac diseases. Intermittent fasting can help to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk for such conditions. Studies have shown that fasting is especially effective for lowering the blood pressure of patients who had extremely high blood pressure. However, it was also helpful for those with borderline hypertension.
7. Increase HGH Naturally
Many people take human growth hormone (HGH) supplements to enhance muscle growth and athletic performance. The body produces less of this hormone as you age. Intermittent fasting is a natural way to support HGH growth. This helps you build lean muscle and shed fat, especially if you’re also exercising. Thus, fasting is a good way to improve fitness and support your workouts.
Intermittent fasting has many benefits to your health and well-being. There are various ways to do it and you can begin by only fasting occasionally. As you get more comfortable with it, you’ll be able to safely increase the frequency and duration of your fasts.
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