The US has become a country in which two-thirds of the population is either overweight or obese. Along with that statistic the rate of chronic illness associated with over eating or eating unhealthy foods (eg diabetes, many cancers, irritable bowel) are dramatically increasing.
For many decades (since food became plentiful) we have been advised to continually graze, eat three square meals per day or eat before going to bed. Unfortunately continual eating or eating close to going to bed never allows the body to rest from the metabolism and energy required to digest, your insulin is always at high levels and the body rarely gets any recovery time as digestion occupies an inordinate amount of energy and digestive enzymes.
These issues lead to chronic illnesses which are generally treated with medications without addressing the underlying causes. One major cause of illness is that of continually eating especially high carbohydrate, sugar laden foods.
One of the most important goals in reaching health is to become a fat burner rather than continuing to eat and burn only carbohydrates and sugars. When your body only burns sugar and carbohydrates it eventually stores those as fat, your liver will become full of fat, your cholesterol levels are distorted and much more. Fat burners are much healthier and have higher levels of energy throughout the day.
This is where the value of fasting comes into play. Fasting allows the body to burn up the sugars and carbohydrates then transitions to a fat burning metabolism. Continual fat burning has many health benefits.
Why becoming a fat burner is so healthy
The benefits of becoming a fat burner through fasting are many. As you will see, becoming a fat burner is critical to become healthy and can be achieved by fasting. Benefits of becoming a fat burner by fasting include:
- Blood sugar levels stabilize and the liver begins to function in a healthier manner by removing fat from the liver
- Insulin is reduced and insulin resistance (the basis of diabetes) improves. Lessened circulating insulin vastly improves overall health
- Gut and surrounding immune system can heal. Not eating for extended periods of time allows the gastrointestinal system time to heal the lining mucosa. The immune system (90% of the immune system is around the GI system) also can rest and become stronger
- Ketones increase- Fat burning and fasting increases ketones which the body, especially the brain, uses as a necessary source of energy
- Metabolism increases with fasting via adrenalin release
- Aged and damaged cell removal increases- Fasting increases the ability of the body to clean out aged cells and toxins. This removal decreases inflammation, increases stem cell activity, slows aging and optimizes health
- Hunger throughout the day disappears as fat stores (higher energy than sugar and carbohydrates) are accessed and hormones involved in digestion and metabolism are normalized
- Body fat and obesity disappears as fewer calories are consumed and no eating occurs for a 12-15 hour block of time. Fat burning with fasting increases metabolism to burn fats faster.
- Cancer producing hormones are decreased- Fasting decreases insulin, leptin and Insulin – like growth factor 1 (ILGF1) all of which stimulate growth of cancer cells. Insulin receptors on cancer cells (cancer cells have much higher concentration of insulin receptors on their surface as sugar is the food for cancer cells) allow for the intake of sugar which drives Cancer growth. By decreasing insulin the appearance and growth of cancer cells dramatically lessens.
- Aging slows- Fasting increases Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and decreases free radical damage. Fasting also inhibits the mTOR chemical pathway to better control insulin, leptin and ILGF1. This overall improves healing in the body.
- Fasting induces fat burning – This produces more energy and induces formation of more mitochondria (energy factories in every cell)
- Fasting increases brain function- This is one of the factors to prevent Alzheimer’s . Fasting also stimulates production of Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) that stimulates the development of nerve cells from nerve stem cells.
There are several kinds of fasts including water fasting for several days or a one day fast, low calorie fasting or the one I prefer which is intermittent fasting (IF).
IF avoids eating for 12-15 hours each day from dinner to a late breakfast or to lunch. This concentrates eating to a block of 7-12 hours to allow the benefits of fasting.
I accelerate the benefits of fat burning by exercising in the morning (at the end of my fast) to truly become fat burning. The benefits of coupling intermittent fasting with exercising at the end of the fast has made a huge difference in my health, energy levels and I never experience hunger pains.
The health benefits of food are not just inherent in the nutritional value but how food consumption is timed to your metabolism throughout the day. Remember that great health is one of the best strategies to……
Enjoy the journey,
Research from “Fat for Fuel” J.Mercola