There is a multitude of benefits when you regularly intermittently fast. Although there are several different timeframes and ways which you can practice IF, fasting provides the following benefits:
- Reduced blood sugar levels
- Increased energy levels
- Cellular repair (waste material removal from cells)
- Increase longevity
- Protection against disease
In my own opinion, through many different experiments with diets over the years, I must say, this lifestyle provides so many more benefits than any I’ve ever come across. When you think about it, fasting requires eliminating one or two meals per day to experience the benefits above and many more without dipping too deep in your pockets for added requirements. The only warning for fasting is for those who have diabetes. However, you should be aware of this if you do suffer from blood sugar fluctuations. It may cause some concern because insulin or medications already regulate blood sugar reactions when you suddenly eat much less. As a result, your blood sugar can drop too low. It’s called hypoglycemia. The problem may also appear for those who naturally experience hypoglycemia (as I do regularly). You may suddenly feel faint, confused, sweat or have chills. It can be a bit scary, even more so for anyone using medication to control this. The next potential danger is on the other side of the equation, which is hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia happens when you eat more than regularly, especially coming off a fast and being extra hungry. Complications with hyperglycemia can bring increase blood pressure, heart disease, eye conditions and stroke.
How to start fasting when you suffer from either condition
It would help if you spoke to your diabetes specialist. They will be able and equipped to provide you with the correct information. Doctors may favour the fasting method because it will help you lose bodyweight, which will help regulate your diabetes with diet, rather than resorting to drugs.
Now comes the valuable part. It is possible to put your diabetes in remission due to weight loss. Fasting is probably the best way to cut calories without a lot of effort, decrease weight dramatically and increase the likelihood of remission. Intermittent fasting isn’t the only way to reverse diabetes, and you could experiment with different alternatives. It is your decision. I do find that the simplicity of eliminating one meal a day (rather than having to weigh, measure and fiddle around in the kitchen too much) proves to be a lot more achievable for those of us leading a busy lifestyle. These days, everyone is too busy to fuss about and would like a packaged up, ready to go alternative – fasting provides this.
Regulating normal blood sugar
If you don’t have diabetes, then fasting helps to improve the regulation of blood sugar, increase your resistance to stress, and suppress inflammation. The reduction in bloodstream glucose is not a secondary benefit of weight loss but a direct result of intermittent fasting. The decrease in blood sugar could be due to the changes in signalling pathways and metabolic rhythm that fasting involves and increased ketones. Improvements in blood sugar tend to be dependent on fasting. Your blood sugar will typically improve after about 2–4 weeks of regular fasting. Then, unfortunately, when you start to increase the frequency of meals again, your blood sugar will return to its original status. Another unfortunate occurrence will be the inability to maintain you’re weight loss after you stop fasting. Therefore, long term fasting (more of a lifestyle plan rather than a diet) is beneficial if you want to regulate your blood sugar. The counter effect of this is weight loss and maintenance for life. It’s crucial to note that fasting shouldn’t ever be an excuse to eat poorly. Fluctuating blood glucose levels can increase oxidative stress on those non-fasting days. The best way to create balanced blood sugar and maintain weight loss is to eat a balanced diet, eliminate any bingeing tendencies, and fast every day. If you haven’t tried this before, let me say that it’s so easy that you can easily integrate it without too much thought. Many people need the assistance of an app to help them stay accountable. I recommend this one as it provides exercise options and meal plans and allows you to monitor steps and water intake with timely reminders during your fasting and when you’re nearing the end of the fast. Apps make a fasting lifestyle so much easier. I use this every day, and it proves to be very useful.