5 Reasons Why Fasting Is Good For Your Body
If you are considering going on an intermittent fasting diet, it will reassure you to know that there are multiple ways in which fasting is really good for your body. An intermittent fasting diet needs to be carefully thought out before you commit to starting it. There are multiple pitfalls you need to avoid, such as the mismanagement of portion sizes between fasting periods, to ensure that you get the results you desire. There would be nothing worse than seeing all of your hard work and self-discipline go to waste. However, if done wisely and properly, fasting for sensible periods of time can be very effective and can have multiple health benefits.
Here are 5 reasons why fasting is good for your body:
You can lose weight
Fasting helps you to lose weight in a number of ways. The simplest of these is that you consume less calories. If you eat less calories per day than your body naturally consumes, you will begin to lose weight. The number of calories someone burns naturally per day can vary significantly based on their gender and lifestyle, but for a sedentary woman it tends to be around 1,800.
However, as mentioned, you will also have to make sure you keep an eye on your portion sizes while you fast, otherwise all those hours of self-discipline will be wasted. Don’t have bigger portion sizes to compensate for missed meals, because that way you are still consuming the same amount of calories, just all in one go, and that isn’t going to help you lose weight.
You will need to maintain a suitable diet, too. As ever, a good diet is a balanced diet. You shouldn’t completely cut out sugary foods, but you should limit them. Also, including healthier sources of carbohydrates (such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and fibres in your diet will be particularly beneficial during a fasting period.
As well as the clear benefit of consuming less calories, fasting also helps you to burn more calories. This is because it can increase your metabolic rate by as much as 14%. Fasting can lead to your body breaking down your fat stores to generate energy, this is caused by things such as higher growth hormone levels and more norepinephrine. This all helps to increase your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn calories faster and lose more weight as a result.
Good for the brain
Fasting is known to be good for your brain in multiple ways, as well. It can increase the growth of new nerve cells, and it increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. BDNF can help prevent brain problems such as depression and the development of new nerve cells can improve other brain functions. Other ways which studies have found that fasting can help your brain include the reduction of inflammation and a reduction of the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s disease.
Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
Fasting has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance. Blood sugar can be reduced by as much as 6%, whereas insulin can be reduced by up to 30%, which is beneficial because high blood sugar levels as a result of high insulin resistance is one of the leading factors that can make people vulnerable to developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, the risk of type 2 diabetes is reduced by fasting. However, this doesn’t mean you should starve yourself just to protect yourself from getting diabetes. Some studies have shown that women’s blood sugar levels can actually get worse as a result of fasting discontinuously for a 22-day period, so you should be careful about how long you make your fasting period.
Fasting causes your body to begin multiple cellular repair processes which are beneficial for your body. This includes the removal of waste material from cells and protecting against immune system damage. It causes the initiation of immune system regeneration by stimulating stem cells to regenerate old and damaged cells, as well as killing off some old and damaged cells and generating new ones to replace them. This happens because white blood cells are depleted during fasting, inducing stem cells to regenerate new cells in response. This also means that you are less susceptible to certain diseases that you are usually more vulnerable to as you begin to age, potentially improving your life-span as a result.
If you would like to know more about our selection of fasting retreats, feel free speak to our wellness team who will be able to help you to find the one that is perfect for you - call us on 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.