Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that can be very beneficial when used correctly and at the right times.
I first heard about IF about 6 years ago but to be honest, I dismissed it as I was always a big believer in never leaving the house without a good breakfast for fear of my muscles shrinking and losing all my gains 🙂
I talked about this in one of last week’s newsletter which you can find here if you missed it.
Yes, that’s what we all thought back in the day and it made sense to be honest but if you read that newsletter, you will know that it doesn’t matter when you eat your breakfast or your first meal of the day.
There are various protocols used with fasting but the one I’ve had first hand experience with is the 16/8.
This would mean eating during an 8 hour window such as 1pm – 9pm and then not eating again for another 16 hours or until the next day at 1pm.
My personal experience was excellent to be honest. It’s great for fat loss for several reasons, which I will mention below and a whole host of other health benefits and I believe it’s a great tool to have in your tool box but it’s not for everybody.
Here are 6 life changing health benefits to Intermittent fasting.
- Radically improves metabolism
Fasting can initiate hormonal changes that make stored body fat more accessible.
Insulin, which is released from the pancreas when your blood sugar rises is primarily a fat storage hormone so when you fast and there is a significant drop in insulin, its hard for the body to store body. Too much insulin and your body can go into lipogenesis, which is the creation of fat cells.
There is also the potential of less calories due to missing a meal so you can see the benefit of that in weight loss. However, you shouldn’t use fasting for that because you are then just reducing your calories over the day, which becomes starving.
You don’t want to hang your hat on that concept and use fasting as a way to reduce calories as this could potential slow down your metabolism rather than increase it.
Use fasting to manipulate your hormones and not to restrict calories.
By doing this you potentially lose muscle mass and that is the kiss of death when it comes to your metabolism.
MUSCLE IS YOUR BODY’S FAT BURNING MACHINERY.
I can’t emphasise that enough.
According to research, there is less muscle loss during fasting compared to calorie restriction. It’s important to see the distinction between the two.
- Fasting improves brain function.
Fasting increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, which is a protein that protects your cells in the brain. When we lose our brain cells, we can see an increase in neurological diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s
A deficiency of BDNF has been implicated in illnesses such as depression and several other brain disorders. Fasting has also been shown to increase neurogenesis which is the creation of new brain cells and also boosts neuronal autophagy, which is the elimination and recycling of brain cells.
For these brain benefits alone, it’s worth looking at fasting.
Personally, I feel a lot clearer and focussed when I fast – maybe this is the reason why?
- Fasting slows down the ageing process.
Yes, I hear you all scream 🙂
Fasting has been clinically proven to increase HGH or human growth hormone.
HGH is a powerful hormone that is produced by your pituitary gland and often referred to as the “youth hormone”. It’s very anabolic, which means it’s building and repairing.
Quality sleep and strength training are two great ways to also increase this powerful hormone but fasting is in a league of its own when it comes to HGH.
Increased HGH means more cellular repair and gene expression, which means turning on genes that are anti-ageing rather than genes that are degenerative and ageing.
Why you might ask?
Well in terms of evolution, thousands of years ago when we went without food for days at a time, this expression of genes enabled us to keep going and give us energy to hunt and survive and keep the process alive
Very clever indeed.
- Fasting improves the immune system and protects you against cancer.
Studies have shown to decrease the incidence of carcinogenic cells, slow the growth of tumours AND help with the side effects associated with the treatment of cancer, namely chemotherapy. In fact, every symptom of chemotherapy has been shown to decrease with short bouts of fasting.
Short term fasting has been shown to increase survival rates of rats with tumours. Now I know we are not rats but the results in rats cross over into humans apparently.
- Fasting improves insulin sensitivity
This point is linked to point number 1 really.
This means you can significantly handle carbohydrates much better. This doesn’t mean you go and eat all the carbs but it means that you can deal with them more efficiently and have less chance of storing them in the form of fat.
It can also improve your liver function. Your liver, sometimes called your second brain helps to break down insulin so by looking after your liver you can increase your insulin sensitivity.
- Fasting improves digestion
When you fast you give your organs a break. Digestion is one of the most expensive processes in the body so by giving you body a break, it allows your body to process everything instead of shoving more and more food into the system when it’s still processing the previous meal.
Breakfast – snack – lunch – snack – dinner – snack and more is the typical schedule for many people. By having a non-eating window it allows your body to relax a little.
Our relationship with food is more about habit rather than hunger to be honest.
Are we really hungry in the morning or is it just time for breakfast?
So there we have 6 major benefits to fasting.
As always, it’s not all rosy.
In some studies with women, fasting seemed to mess with their hormonal system and their blood sugar. I know some ladies that it works really well with so experimentation is the key here.
Everybody is uniquely different in their structure and metabolism. What works for one person MAY not work for you.
But, if all those benefits above are true and it appears they are, it might be worth a look.
That’s all for today.
I hope you’ve taken something from this. Please share this with as many people as possible if you think they could benefit from the information or better still, give me their email with their permission of course and I will add them to the list
Thanks in advance
Speak with you on Friday.
PS. Two people took us up on the offer of a COMPLIMENTARY PT session/nutrition consultation last week but we’ve got room for two more.
If you want one, reply now to this email – thanks 🙂
Oh and another thing, 2 more spots of the retreat went last night, which means 10 spots gone leaving only 4.
We may sell this out quicker than last time.
If you are on the fence then get of the fence rather swiftly.
14 people had an incredible week last year and you could be next.
Click the link below for all the details.
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