In 2012 intermittent fasting exploded in popularity.
Interest in fasting peaked in 2019. But, as you read this post, thousands of people worldwide are deciding to start a fasting protocol. While there are many reasons for this, the biggest reason is the benefit of weight loss.
Now, we’ll explore why fasting is good for weight loss along with 11 other compelling reasons.
1. You won’t have to worry about yearly weight gain
Since the late 1980’s the average American now weighs 15 pounds more.
This is not because Americans are getting taller. An average American male stands at 5’9. Unfortunately, other factors have contributed to this rising epidemic. Which includes:
- Ultra-processed food subsidized by the government- unhealthy food is cheap and easily accessible.
- Lack of general knowledge– many don’t know the harmful ingredients in food or the caloric content.
- A sedentary lifestyle– most people in the States live an inactive lifestyle.
To avoid yearly weight gain, measures must be taken today.
Intermittent fasting makes it easier for you to lose weight and keep that lost weight off long-term. Expect to weigh around 20 pounds more in 10 years if no action is taken.
For most, combating yearly weight gain through fasting will drastically improve mental and physical health.
2. Your mental health will improve
When most people start fasting they report having better mental clarity.
This is contrary to popular belief. Many people think that when you fast for long periods of time you become less focused-unable to do tasks that require more brainpower.
But this is simply not true.
One study proved that after 24 hours of fasting the participants had no lack in sustained focus, attentional focus, reaction time, and immediate memory. Fasting can also prevent cognitive decline.
This is done through autophagy which is a cellular cleansing process.
3. Your risk of type 2 diabetes is lessened
Type 2 diabetes is typically a lifestyle-related disease.
When you eat many meals per day you consistently spike your insulin levels. Insulin’s primary function is to help you store fat. Because of the way food is produced in the United States, it’s quite easy to become diabetic or pre-diabetic. When you eat a high sugar diet combined with frequency, you eventually become insulin resistant.
Insulin resistance means that your cells can no longer do a good job removing glucose from your system.
With an improvement in diet along with fewer daily meals, you’ll spike your insulin less, which in turn causes you to have insulin sensitivity.
Insulin sensitivity prevents type 2 diabetes.
4. Workouts are more productive in a fasted state
If you’re new to fasting it’s best to work out after eating.
Even if it’s a small meal you’ll have an easier time adjusting to your protocol. As your body becomes used to being in a fasted state you can start to test and see if working out fasted more effective. The benefits of working out fasted include :
- Increased human growth hormone (HGH) levels- aids in fat loss and muscle growth.
- Better performance (once your body becomes accustomed to burning fat).
- You have the potential to have a more efficient metabolism.
One study examined the benefits of metabolic adaptations due to endurance exercise training in the fasted state. In the study:
- 20 healthy males were assigned to two experimental groups for a 6-weeks. There was the fasted group (F) and the fed group who ate an ample amount of carbs before working out (CHO).
- All subjects were active previously and were told not to participate in any strenuous activity other than the exercises prescribed in the study.
- The F group did all training in the fasted state. The CHO group had a carb-rich meal 90 minutes before the training session.
- The study found that the F group had more muscular oxidative capacity. The F group’s blood glucose didn’t drop like the CHO group.
The study concluded to say that fasted training is a good tool for endurance.
While fasted workouts are not for everyone, they will give you an extra edge especially if you participate in sports like basketball.
5. Your HGH (human growth hormone) levels will skyrocket
Fasting allows you to optimize your body so that you may reap the same benefits of HGH without supplementation.
HGH is a hormone secreted from your pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is responsible for the secretion of many hormones including the growth hormone. HGH is at its highest during puberty and gradually decreases as you get older. Natural HGH is responsible for:
- Improving and maintaining lean muscle mass
- Allows you to have thicker skin
- Increased bone density
- Increases blood sugar levels
- You have a higher chance of you becoming diabetic.
- Increases blood pressure
- Increase chance of prostate cancer
Fasting boosts your HGH levels naturally without raising your blood sugar or blood pressure.
Increased HGH production makes you look younger if you practice daily fasting.
6. Fasting can aid in the prevention of cancer
One of the most amazing things about fasting is that it can reduce the size of cancerous tumors.
Studies show that when mice are on a fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) along with chemo treatments, tumors reduced 3-fold. Autophagy also happens (like I mentioned earlier). Autophagy allows your body to:
- Repair damaged and diseased cells
- Reduce inflammation
- Protects your brain from diseases
- Helps you have younger, clearer skin
Constant eating impedes this process from happening.
7. Your immune system will receive a massive boost
One of the biggest advantages that you’ll receive from fasting daily is that it strengthens the immune system.
Valter Longo who is the creator of the fasting-mimicking diet found that fasting depletes white blood cells and triggers the production of stem cells which regenerates the immune system. This is crucial if you want to avoid sicknesses like the flu. Your body has everything it needs to keep illness at bay. All you have to do is abstain from eating constantly.
You’ll forget the last time you’ve been sick.
Personally, I haven’t had a cold since I started fasting in 2017.
8. You’ll use food for fuel rather than pleasure
Food is used in all facets of life.
From celebrations to funerals, food is the emotional glue that binds humans together. This is not necessarily a bad thing. But unfortunately, food sourcing in many countries is meant to keep you addicted and sick.
Our media is filled with junk food advertisements and it’s hard to not overindulge.
Healthy eating before fasting creates more energy and focus and you won’t experience mind-numbing hunger.
9. Fasting helps with anti-aging
Eating less helps you live a longer and healthier life with fewer chances of having a chronic disease.
Many populations around the world are living longer. But unfortunately, the quality of a person’s life in their golden years is usually less than desirable. In the West, this is mostly due to the medical system. Western medicine treats symptoms instead of the root cause of diseases. Only treating symptoms allows people to continue living. But they may have decreased mobility, dependence on multiple daily medications, and low levels of happiness.
One study documented the prevalence of centenarians in Okinawa (a small island off the coast of Japan). Researchers found that:
- Total food consumed by school children was only 62% of the recommended intake of mainland Japan. For adults, the intake was 20% less.
- This lower food consumption translated into Okinawans having a 59% lower death rate from heart disease than Japan.
- When Okinawans moved away and abandoned their healthy lifestyles their mortality rates were higher than those who stayed on the island.
This goes to show you the power of eating fewer daily calories — it literally can extend life for decades.
10. Space from food gives you a chance to grow spiritually
Throughout the ages, the use of fasting has been referenced for spiritual growth.
This is no accident. Fasting allows ample space from the seduction of food. Our world is bombarded by constant images of food-telling you how important it is to consume more. Fasting breaks you out of that cycle. You’ll start to realize that while food is necessary, it should not be used as a source of pleasure on a daily basis.
Fasting provides you direct access to a higher power.
Your mind and body are free from the process of digestion. During this repair process, you’ll gain clarity around what matters most in your life. You’ll become stronger, more disciplined. The more you practice fasting, temptations from food become easier to resist.
You also may find yourself taking up a spiritual practice like mediation or yoga.
Use fasting to explore and grow your spirituality with deep intentions of love and kindness.
11. Fasting can help mitigate depression symptoms
Along with a healthy diet, fasting can help ward off depression.
Studies have shown that caloric restriction in mice has produced antidepressant-like effects . Fasting in rodent models saw enhancements in tryptophan and serotonin production .
Other studies proved that fasting increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is found is found in many pharmaceutical anti-depressants. BDNF helps with neuroplasticity and the adaptation of new situations.
Most anti-depressants have extreme side effects like weight gain and the reduction of sexual function.
A healthy diet along with intermittent fasting may help you get off of anti-depressants, or at the very least reduce the dosage.
12. Fasting simplifies your lifestyle (after a brief adjustment period)
Most of us, when we start fasting, we overcomplicate things.
This makes long-term compliance next to impossible. But if done correctly, fasting can make your life more simple. Think about it, fasting reduces the need for you to plan and prep multiple daily meals per week.
Instead, all you have to do is plan one or two meals per day.
Batch prepping and weekly grocery shopping streamlines your process even more.
Personally, great stress was lifted from my life once I found that I didn’t have to worry about eating breakfast and plan 4–6 small meals daily.
The weight started to fall off (which never happened before), and I was able to let go of old, outdated science.
Do the same, pick a fasting schedule that works best for your lifestyle.
It doesn’t matter if you work overnight or a 9–5. As long as you allow your body to be without food for at least 12 hours (to start), you’ll be well on your way to creating a lifelong habit.
Here’s a Guide That’ll Help You Make Better Food Choices During Your Eating Window
Download The Food Replacement Guide. You’ll be able to heal from long-term cravings while still eating tasty foods. Restriction never works.