Long-term fasting has shown to have beneficial health effects in a variety of species. However, long-term calorie restriction is difficult for most of us to follow through with, for several reasons. The good news is that short-term fasting can have the same benefits as long-term fasting, if done correctly.
How to Fast
There are three ways to short-term fast correctly. The first method is to engage in fasting for 14 to 16 hours. You are free to choose which hours these are, but most people prefer to fast between the hours of 12am-1pm and 9pm-12am. This allows them to eat between 1pm and 9pm, which is when they often get hungry. The second method is to engage in fasting for 24 hours. This can be done so that you eat every day. You could fast from lunch on Monday to lunch on Tuesday, and still eat dinner on Tuesday. The last method is to engage in fasting organically. This is way of fasting where you eat when you are hungry, and fast when you aren’t hungry. This works best for individuals who force themselves to eat meals, like breakfast, even when they aren’t hungry. Each method of fasting will provide the same health benefits, if followed correctly.
Short-term fasting has numerous health benefits, like reducing cancer risk and lowering the risk of heart disease.
- Normally your body spends a massive amount of energy digesting food. When you’re fasting, your body can use this energy to engage in autophagy. Autophagy is a cellular process, similar to spring cleaning. It allows your body to remove the damaged parts of cells.
- Short-term fasting may reduce your risk for cancer. Cells cannot multiple as quickly while you’re fasting. Since the formation of cancer relies on the multiplication of cells, this lowers the chance of a cancerous cell appearing and growing into cancer.
- Fasting is associated with an increased lifespan in some animals. This is because fasting decreases how much growth hormones your body produces. With less of these growth hormones, you age slower.
- Fasting helps promote brain health. Fasting can improve your brain function, because it reduces the amount of oxidative stress you’re putting on your body. This kind of stress is associated with increased aging of the brain, and disorders like Alzheimer’s.
- Lastly, fasting is known to reduce your risk of heart disease. This is because it lowers things like triglycerides and blood pressure, which contribute to heart disease.
Short-term fasting can also have a positive impact on your weight, and your weight loss goals.
- Fasting increases your metabolism, and increases your fat oxidation. With both of these boosted, your body burns fat faster. This ultimately leads to both fat loss and overall weight loss.
- Fasting allows your body to use excess fat as a fuel source. Since it doesn’t have food to burn for energy, it begins to burn the fat in your body. This leads to overall weight loss.
- Fasting combined with exercise has been proven to be an effective way to lose weight, and has been recommended for obese and overweight individuals.