Intermittent fasting is all the rage these days as the Keto frenzy blazes on. And while I'm not a fan of Keto as a lifestyle eating plan (a blog for another day), I am a fan of fasting.
I grew up learning about fasting from a spiritual perspective. Raised a Catholic, I was immersed in the fasting culture of Lent from an early age. When I shifted more evangelical in my 20s, I learned about the power of fasting and what it could do for my relationship with God. But it wasn't until I went for my health coaching certificate a number of years ago that I really began to understand the health benefits of fasting. Bottom Line: We all should be considering fasting for optimal health.
A good number of studies suggest that fasting — whether intermittent, daily fasting or a 1-3 day, more traditional fast where all food or select foods are avoided — can offer signifiant benefits to general health as well as combat a number of chronic health states our western culture has been plagued by. It seems that giving the body's digestive process an opportunity to rest for a significant spell can do a body good.
Here are just a few things that recent studies have shown fasting can do:
🌱 Increase weight loss (intermittent fasting was shown to be just as effective at producing weight loss as daily caloric restriction; it appears fasting can “rev up” metabolism)
🌱 Improve blood sugar management and lower insulin resistance (a study showed that Type 2 Diabetes patients who intermittently fasted for as few as two weeks saw better blood sugar levels and required less insulin)
🌱 Reduce systemic inflammation (fasting resulted in a set of patients testing with lowered inflammation markers just a couple weeks after beginning the regimen)
🌱 Increase cardiac health (normalizing blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels)
🌱 Improve brain function and maybe even help to ward off conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Fasting has also been looked at for it's ability to extend longevity, to increase secretion of human growth hormone (HGH) which helps with weight loss and strong metabolism and recovery, and to help bolster the effectiveness of chemotherapy in cancer patients. Short story, there's just something to fasting. It's proving to be a real tool in helping the body to balance and find some much needed time and space to heal.
Most recent research speaks to intermittent fasting, but it appears that more “traditional” fasting, like a 1-3 day water only fast, or even a more lenient fast, such as a Daniel Fast, can provide similar benefits. It would seem that the effects would simply continue if one continued with intermittent fasting. With a short, one time fast, once you go back to the normal way of eating, it appears those effects would go away as well.
So what do you think? Are you interested in trying out fasting as a way to increase your health and wellness?
I'll be releasing the Beacon Sugar Detox in just a few months and for the first time in its four year history I am going to include a 3-day fast to kick off the program. If you'd like to get on the list to be notified when the Beacon Sugar Detox is opening, you can sign up below.