How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Live Longer
There’s been a lot of talk about intermittent fasting and the health benefits of fasting. There’s even been some research that suggests that fasting can help us live longer. I’m sure you’ve heard about the study of mice that were put on a very calorie restricted diet and they tended to live much longer lives. (we however are NOT setting out to specifically calorie restrict!!!!)
There are even people who stick to very low, strictly plant based diets in an effort to extend their lives. They function on the least food possible; being very careful about what they eat to make sure they get the most nutrition possible from the least amount of calories. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.
Does that mean you should be starving yourself? Absolutely not. From what I’ve read, you can get many of the benefits of fasting and low calorie living with intermittent fasting. Some interesting things happen in your body if you stop feeding it three meals and several snacks per day.
Here’s the thing. It isn’t natural for us to have a constant and steady supply of food at all times. And it really isn’t natural to have carbohydrates and sugar constantly in our body. That’s what’s causing weight gain, excess body fat, obesity, metabolic syndrome and eventually diabetes and a slew of health issues.
There are a couple of positive things that happen in our bodies when we go back to the old famine and feast ways of eating. A lot of it has to do with insulin. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that insulin has a lot to do with diabetes and obesity. Insulin is a hormone that is involved in converting sugar and carbs into body fat. On the flip side, we can’t burn body fat as long as insulin levels are high. Instead our metabolism shuts down and we crave sugary food until we give in and feed the insulin monster.
An effective way to cut into that vicious cycle is to simply fast. By fasting even for a few hours, we give insulin levels in our body a chance to go down and we can start to burn body fat for energy. It takes about six hours of not eating before insulin levels will start to drop. Do you see how eating three meals and a few snacks in between can be a problem and add to the obesity epidemic we’re facing?
Fasting helps us start to burn body fat and helps us reverse the negative effects of being overweight. That alone is a plus, but the benefits don't stop there. When we don’t eat, human growth hormone levels start to rise in our bodies. Plus our cells are busy starting to do internal repairs and our body releases adrenalin to keep our energy up. It only makes sense when you think back to our hunter and gatherer days. When there was no food, we needed a way to stay in shape so we can go out and find food. Fasting actually helps us keep in shape and thus helps us live longer and healthier lives.
We may not understand all the internal mechanisms and everything that’s going on yet, but don’t you think it’s worth a try. You may live longer and even if you don’t, you’ll feel better and have more energy to boot.
Which picture below do you want to be? What kind of 85-year old? One who is fit and having a great time in their golden years, or one in an assisted living facility?
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I know what I choose!
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