Health Benefits of Fasting: 4 Ways Short-Term Fasting Helps your Body

Health benefits of fasting: Fasting is touted as having many health benefits. According to the Cambridge dictionary, fasting is “to eat no food for some time.” Most people consume clear liquids, nutritional shakes, or juices when fasting for health reasons.

I believe you can name at least one celebrity that promotes fasting, juicing, or some cleansing program. But why is everyone talking about fasting? Is fasting good for you or just a trendy idea that took off on social media? 

health benefits of fasting

Health Benefits Of Fasting

Weight Loss

Weight loss is likely the most popular and well-known benefit of a short-term fast. When you don’t eat solid foods, it is easier to reach a calorie deficit resulting in weight loss. When fasting, you automatically consume less unhealthy foods, and the tendency to overeat is significantly reduced.

When fasting for hours or a few days out of 7 days, it is easy to create a large calorie deficit that leads to weight loss. Weight loss also occurs from loss of body water due to consuming less sodium and fewer carbohydrates. If you want to speed up weight loss, fasting is one way to reach this goal.

Reduced Coronary Disease Risk

woman sitting in front of a couch with a bowl of fruit in her hand

According to a study, another benefit of short-term fasting is reducing the risk of coronary disease. (Improvements in coronary heart disease risk indications by alternate-day fasting include adipose tissue changes, Surabhi Bhutani et al.) The study revealed a drop in LDL or bad cholesterol by altering adipose tissue.

One of the driving forces behind fasting for many is the excellent health benefits that may result from the practice. Many seek improved health and lowered risk of cardiovascular issues. This benefit is enhanced when combined with exercise. 

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Fasting may have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity. Think of the buzzword “insulin resistance” that you often hear in the news. Improved insulin sensitivity means eating carbohydrates or sugar may cause a less dramatic insulin spike after meals.

This can reduce the risk of acquiring diabetes later in life and prevent weight gain. A study (Effect of intermittent fasting and re-feeding on insulin action in healthy men

Nils Halberg et al.) showed that insulin becomes better at telling cells to take up glucose from the blood after fasting. This helps with weight loss and reduces your chances of experiencing a metabolic disease.

Decreased Inflammation

woman sitting at table with a green smoothie in a glass with a straw. Different fruits and vegetables along with a blender is in the background.

Systemic inflammation may be reduced by increasing fluid intake and decreasing consumption of sodium, carbohydrates, and processed foods. This is the true cleanse that is part of fasting. The famous detox teas don’t cleanse the body like increasing water intake and reducing processed ingredients do for overall health.

Are you familiar with the catchphrase “garbage in, garbage out?” Cleaning up the fuel supply, the food you eat, and the liquids you drink can significantly change your health. Many people report fewer body aches and pains and improvements in mental clarity from short-term fasting.

These are only a few of the pros that many experiences from fasting. Experimenting with different fasting methods and trying various juices, protein shakes, and other beverages may change your fast results. Combining fasting with other healthy lifestyle choices will significantly enhance your benefits from this age-old practice. 

REFERENCES

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20300080/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4257368/ [health benefits of fasting]

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