Intermittent fasting is the controlled approach to food consumption that outlines specific windows for eating, and specific windows for fasting.
This popular dieting trend has taken off because it can be relatively easy to implement, and there are huge benefits.
One of the most common intermittent fasting benefits is weight loss. But weight loss isn’t the only perk.
There are tons of other health related intermittent fasting benefits that adopters are loving, and we’re breaking them all down for you here!
Intermittent Fasting Refresh
Intermittent fasting is a dieting schedule that most commonly looks like fasting for around 16 hours out of the day, and eating for the other eight. The timing is flexible, so you can choose whichever arrangement works best for your schedule.
Because a lot of people don’t eat breakfast, fasting from after dinner until an early lunch time can be really easy to adopt.
Intermittent fasting doesn’t put any strict guidelines on what exactly you can consume while in an eating period. However, for those looking to lose weight, it obviously makes sense to eat on the healthier side.
The 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule is most common, but some people adopt different schedules where they fast for 2 entire days out of the week, or alternate fasting and eating days.
For the full scoop on intermittent fasting, check out this Intermittent Fasting Beginner’s Guide.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Now, onto the good stuff.
One of the clear intermittent fasting benefits is losing weight.
Typically when you eat your body processes and uses what you just ate for energy. When you aren’t eating, your body has to dip into fat stores for energy. Hence, when you fast, your body is burning existing fat, and helping you lose weight.
But that’s not the only benefit to fasting, which has been around for hundreds of year.
Let’s dive into all the possible intermittent fasting benefits so you can get an idea of just how powerful this popular dieting option can be.
1. Weight Loss
As we mentioned above, intermittent fasting can be a super powerful strategy for weight loss.
You will most likely be consuming fewer calories overall, and your body will be burning existing fat and energy stores while you’re in fasting periods. Instead of constantly using the new food you consume for energy, your body will be forced to dig into the extra weight you’re trying to lose.
If you make sure to eat healthy during your “feasting” periods of the day, it’s likely you will see a major difference in your weight.
2. Lower Risk for Diabetes
Obesity is commonly recognized risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Because intermittent fasting helps promote weight loss, it also helps decrease your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Some initial studies on animals show that fasting could lower blood glucose and insulin levels for people at risk of diabetes, and may also lower markers for diabetes, like insulin sensitivity.
More research needs to be done, but the initial results are promising.
3. Cancer Prevention
Who would have thought? One intermittent fasting benefit is that it could help reduce the risk of cancer.
With obesity being a factor for many types of cancer, the weight loss aspect could definitely help lower your cancer risk profile. And some studies with animals are also showing that intermittent fasting might delay the onset of tumors, but more research is needed to prove these findings for humans.
4. Better Brain Health
Intermittent fasting is getting a lot of attention in the realm of brain and memory disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and strokes.
Some early studies on mice are showing that subjects exposed to fasting periods had better learning and memory performance than those who did not.
Other research is showing that fasting could help with inflammation in the brain, which is also often linked to neurological conditions.
More research is needed, but again, these initial findings are a promising start.
5. Slows Aging
One surprise intermittent fasting benefit is that it may slow the aging process.
Intermittent fasting is a form of caloric restriction, which is linked to an increased life span. When you fast your cells get the ability to detox and recycle. This process helps prevent age-related diseases and potentially slow down your aging clock.
Intermittent fasting benefits spread far beyond weight loss. If you’re looking to shed some pounds, or improve your health in other ways, this popular dieting option might be perfect for you.
Not to mention, research regarding intermittent fasting benefits is just get started. We can’t wait to see all the cool perks unfold as more studies happen!
To learn more about intermittent fasting, check out the ultimate beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting.