10 Benefits Of Fasting For Overall Wellness (And Yes, Also Your Skin)
by Blake Cooley on Sep 13, 2021
Have you ever heard of weight loss due to intermittent fasting? Not only can fasting be an advantage for losing a couple of pounds but it has many great health benefits that go along with it. The perks of fasting can improve your focus and help to create a better lifestyle.
Back in 2019 fasting diets were trending as everyone talked about the “eating windows” and “5:2 versus 16:8”. Although this was still considered a “diet” it wasn’t focused on calorie deficits or having to eat any special health food. This was more restricting your eating schedule to specific time windows. Many different types of fasting periods range from an 8-hour time slot to a 12-hour time slot. Starting with a longer range and slowly shortening your time is the most efficient.
The Top Ten Benefits of Fasting and Advantages
- Weight Loss: One of the major and most popular potential outcomes of fasting is weight loss. The major question is, “Can fasting help you lose weight?” This is all considered depending on the type of diet you're following and the research that you decide to apply. Some researchers found that there was no real sign of weight loss with intermittent fasting but can be efficient with limited eating windows. Newer studies showed that having an earlier eating period can assist in weight loss between the hours of 7 am to 3 pm. In 2013 Harris-Pincus points to a 2013 study in Obesity stating that people that ate a large breakfast and small dinner lost two and half times as much weight in 12 weeks as the person that ate the same amount of calories but flipped. Meaning a small breakfast and a big dinner.
- Clear Skin: As we all know what you put in your body affects your skin. Most evidence is anecdotal based on the theory that the timing of the day can affect your skin's health. The American Academy of Dermatology confirms that certain foods cause acne from forming. For example, milk, white bread, and sugary snacks or beverages can increase your blood sugar. Fasting could, in theory, be a solution to common skin issues.
- Lower Cholesterol: Another reason fasting can lead to weight loss is the fact that you're only eating during the daytime when your body is naturally supposed to consume calories. Harris-Pincus explains how we eat in the day when we need the calories that are turned into energy and slow down at night. Metabolizing our food allows us to see an improvement in blood sugar, lipids including cholesterol, and triglycerides.
- Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Some studies by the author of the 2 Day Diabetes Diet stated that intermittent fasting has been found to reduce blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. The weight loss that comes with fasting also improves insulin sensitivity. This is very beneficial to individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Better Focus: Is it possible that your brain health can be improved by fasting? The answer to that is a YES! Notes created by researcher Palinski-Wade showed that some animals behaved to intermittent fasting to be protective of the brain. This was by improving its function and structure. Although there may be more research necessary there are many contributing factors that have successful results.
- Mindful Eating Habits: Everyone has had experience in mindless eating. Sitting in front of the TV enjoying a whole bag of chips or bowl of popcorn is considered binge eating. This disrupts your body’s hunger cues and causes that extra calorie intake. But when fasting this can stop that mindless eating because you are forced to create a time slot for when you are finished eating for the day. This clears that emotional eating and eliminates the absent-minded eating that you do in front of the TV. It allows your body to have that realization that you were not even hungry and to help to take in fewer calories overall.
- Delayed Aging: One of the big claims that have been made is can fasting for a couple of weeks add extra years to your lifespan? This has not been studied clearly in humans but a 2019 study in Cell Metabolism found that specifically an alternating day fasting did improve selected common markers in aging. In other research projects, it has been known that some male mice have lived longer by eating less frequent meals. Whereas the mice that had more meals had severe liver diseases and metabolic disorders.
- Improved Sleep Schedules: For many years researchers have studied the effect of food intake on sleep. This resulted in the conclusion that eating late at night may cause sleep disturbances or disruptions throughout the night. The evidence is small on the idea of fasting but studies have shown on few individuals tested that a week of fasting resulted in fewer sleep arousals.
- Better Immunity: In the past couple of years advocates have claimed that just a short term of fasting can “reset” your immune system by giving it a much-needed power boost. This theory was established at the University of Southern California on both mice and humans. It proved that fasting for 72 hours allows your body to regenerate damaged immune cells and create healthier primed cells that the body needs to fight off toxins. At this moment, this is not a complete study but we can guarantee that fasting won’t have any negative effects on your immune system.
- Reducing Inflammation: One of the close studies was between the health benefits of fasting and reducing inflammation. In 2019, researchers at Mount Sinai found that intermittent fasting periods lasting less than 24 hours reduced the number of pro-inflammatory monocytes in the blood. Multiple other studies showed that the effects of fasting and dieting on low-carb or high-intensity exercise may help to reduce your inflammatory response.
Overall many different aspects come with the advantage of fasting. Your health and overall wellness can be improved from fasting. As more research is made fasting is growing every day while being the top trend to last.