You’ve probably already heard that fasting has several health benefits – like burning fat and losing weight.
But… did you know there are many more benefits of fasting – many of which are rarely mentioned?
What’s your problem?
Many people face many challenges with their health – and in their lives. You may share some of these challenges – like being overweight or obese, declining brain function leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s, and an overall lack of time and focus to get the things done in business and in life.
The BIG 3 Benefits of Fasting
You may think that 21 benefits are too many remember. And maybe you’re right. So you can simplify and break them down into three major categories;
- You burn fat.
- You “detox” your body.
- You boost your productivity.
What is fasting?
Fasting doesn’t mean you have to go for DAYS on end without food. Rather…
Simply put, fasting means that you are NOT consuming calories. However, there are a lot of variations when it comes to fasting.
You already fast at night while you’re sleeping!
What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
Intermittent fasting generally means that you are restricting your eating “window” during the day (while extending the amount of time you go without food).
There are many variations of IF like: 16:8, One Meal A Day (OMAD), 24 hours, 5:2, Alternate Day Fasting. There’s also a “Fasting Mimicking Diet” that restricts calories for 5 days while offering many of the same benefits you get when fasting.
BENEFIT #1: Fasting burns fat.
Like many of my students and coaching clients, you may want to lose some weight. Unfortunately many people approach weight loss in an unhealthy way.
You see, when your goal is to simply lose weight, you can go on a crash diet that severely restricts calories and likely you will lose weight – and burn fat. So what’s the problem?
The problem is that you’re not just burning fat, but you’re also burning lean (muscle) mass! This results in a lower metabolism and potentially disrupts your hormones as well which means that, as soon as you stop your crash diet, not only will you gain the weight back, but you’ll gain MORE fat than when you started!
BENEFIT #2: Fasting spares/builds muscle.
The solution is to focus on burning fat and you can do this effectively with fasting [ref] because fasting spares your lean (muscle) mass resulting in better overall body composition (meaning you’ll look good naked!). [ref, ref]
Fasting helps you “detox” your body.
You see “detox” in quotes because it’s become such a buzz word that it merits explaining what it means in this context.
When you fast, you’re giving your body (a much needed) rest from eating food and thereby allowing your body to ramp up its own clean-up and detox mechanisms. (Some of these mechanisms include insulin sensitivity, autophagy, ketosis, growth hormone [ref], stem cells, and BDNF. You can learn more about these mechanisms while experiencing fasting for yourself – along with a group of your peers – via the FASTER challenge.)
This detox leads to many potential benefits, including:
BENEFITS #3-4: You recover and heal faster from workouts and injuries.
Conventional wisdom would likely state that you have to “fuel your body” to recover from both workouts and injuries. This seems to make good sense when we consider that we use food – and especially proteins – to help (re)build damaged body parts.
However, what about recovery of your immune and antioxidant systems? And…
How much food is enough (and how much is too much!) to support recovery?
These are questions that the science doesn’t definitively answer. However we have some good evidence to help us out.
First off, you have improved insulin sensitivity (as referenced above) when fasting meaning that, when you do eat, your body does a better job of shuttling energy and nutrients to more “desirable” places to support recovery from workouts and injuries, rather than storing them away as fat.
Second, you have a boost in growth hormone (referenced above) that promotes fat burn and protein sparing that can be used to repair tissue for improved muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and skin. [ref]
BENEFITS #5-7: You’ll have healthier skin, joints and bones.
With healthier skin, joints and bones, you’ll not only be stronger and more resilient to injury, you’ll also look younger.
As you read above, the same mechanisms that help you recover faster from workouts and injuries also help your skin, joints and bones.
BENEFITS #8-13: You reduce your risk for Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Stroke.
As you already learned, when you fast, you are giving your body a chance to recover and heal. As we see the prevalence of chronic illness increase, it’s more important than ever to allow your body to heal.
I’ll admit that there’s no one thing you can do that will fix all of your life’s ills. When it comes to the complexities of your body, you’ll need to address various aspects of both your body and your environment to make the biggest improvement leaps.
However, I strongly believe that fasting is one of the most powerful ways to not only heal but also to enjoy life more.
BENEFIT #14: You clean up your gut.
Your “gut microbiome” is becoming a more and more trendy term for explaining our health issues. Unfortunately I think that too many of us focus on what we can take to fix our guts.
For example, you may have asked, “What probiotic should I take?” It’s a great consideration. However, I think there’s something much more simple that you can prioritize.
You can fast to help your gut. Research is now showing that fasting can increase your tolerance against “bad” but microbes while restoring your intestinal epithelium – and protect your gut agains the negative effects of stress. [ref, ref]
BENEFIT #15: You live longer.
Yes, there’s some evidence showing that you could actually live LONGER by fasting.
However, the current studies around this have been only done with mice (for good reason since us humans live so much longer!). [ref]
It makes for an interesting study but I would focus more on how fasting improves your HEALTH SPAN. That is, you’re going to live a healthier, happier life when you incorporate fasting.
You boost your productivity when you fast.
This is one of my favorite benefits of fasting.
Boosting productivity means you get more done…whether that means accomplishing more, with more time to spend with friends/family and to get outdoors to enjoy nature.
How do you boost productivity? In order to be more productive, you need more time, more focus or more energy, meaning that your brain works better. When you fast, you get all of these benefits…
BENEFIT #16: You have more time.
By the simple fact that you’re spending less time thinking about food, buying food, preparing food and eating, you now have more time on your hands. The question then becomes:
How are you going to spend this extra time? Are you going to get more work done? Spend time with friends and family? Or perhaps get out and enjoy nature?
BENEFIT #17: You have more focus.
That is, your mental acuity/sharpness improves when you fast. [ref]
When I eat I’m often tired, lethargic and even want to take a nap after! And I notice that my brain doesn’t work as well (with “brain fog”).
Conversely, when I fast, I have more clarity of mind and focus that allows me to get more done at work, be more present with friends and family, and even get closer to my long-past dreams of performing like a pro when I snowboard, mountain bike, and play volleyball and basketball.
One study with aging rats shows that cognitive and motor functions improve when they fast. [ref]
BENEFIT #18: You have more energy.
Although I will at times feel tired while fasting, overall it allows me to sustain my energy levels throughout the day.
For example, when I go snowboarding for the day, I no longer worry about eating a big breakfast before I go nor do I need to fill my pockets with energy bars and other snacks. And, now that I’ve adapted to fasting, it’s obvious that I have more sustained energy throughout the day. While my friends are complaining about hunger and thinking about what/where to eat, I’m enjoying the snow!
One study shows fasting increases orexin-A levels in the plasma during fasting hours. This finding supports findings from animal studies showing that fasting increases alertness. [ref]
BENEFIT #19: Fasting makes you happy.
During a couple of my fasts, I’ve at times felt so good that I would say I was bordering on euphoric!
I’ve since come across some evidence that helps explains the mechanism behind my elevated mood – with increased brain availability of serotonin, endogenous opioids, and endocannabinoids. [ref]
BENEFIT #20: You have more money!
As you already learned, when you fast, you are not spending money on food…so you are likely saving money on food.
And, if you are using your extra time on things that make money, now you have even more money!
How can YOU get the benefits of fasting?
Do it! Just get started. Start by fasting for at least 12 hours overnight and progress your way up from there. Experiment with eating at different times of the day and find what works best for you and your body.
BENEFIT #21: You get guaranteed results when you join the FASTER challenge.
You can also join the FASTER challenge so that you ensure you get the benefits of fasting. You’ll get the support of a coach, a group of your peers and you’ll learn all about fasting while gaining control over your eating habits.
You’ll also compete for prizes in a fun and friendly competition.
You’ll burn fat, detox your body and boost your productivity. Guaranteed.