December 30, 2019
Conquer hunger and expand your dominion over yourself. Everything else will be easier to conquer.
A new study has revealed that intermittent fasting may help you live longer and improve your overall health.
While many fad diets, such as keto, have been proven unsustainable or even, in some cases, harmful, intermittent fasting has by and large held up to scientific testing.
Intermittent fasting diets, fall generally into two categories: daily time-restricted feeding, which narrows eating times to 6-8 hours per day, and the so-called 5:2 intermittent fasting, in which people limit themselves to one moderate-sized meal two days each week.
In order for people to be in a proper fasted state, no calories in any form and no substance that would make your digestive organs work should be consumed. No fruit juices, no sugarless sodas, no coffee, no tea, nothing other than water and salt.
If you ingest things like black coffee or tea, you’ll still get all the benefits stemming mostly from the caloric restriction but your digestive system won’t be able to rest completely during the process and you may not get the full benefits of a water fast.
Studies comparing water fasting to fasting with coffee are not conclusive, but most people think it’s better to just use the water. But that coffee probably isn’t a big deal.
According to a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the benefits of intermittent fasting includes improvements in ‘glucose regulation, blood pressure, and heart rate’.
In the study, Johns Hopkins University neuroscientist Dr Mark Mattson writes that intermittent fasting may be able to help many health conditions like obesity, diabetes, mellitus, cardiovascular disease and cancers.
Intermittent fasting could reduce risks of diabetes. Fasting can also increase stress resistance and suppress inflammation, according to the paper.
Mattson, who has studied the health impact of intermittent fasting for 25 years, and adopted it himself about 20 years ago, writes that ‘intermittent fasting could be part of a healthy lifestyle’.
According to Mattson, preliminary studies suggest that intermittent fasting could benefit brain health too.
The suppression of inflammation and the increase in stress resistance are my favorite alleged benefits of fasting. They are totally worth it on their own even if you leave out the other alleged benefits like improved glucose regulation, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Chronic inflammation is linked to nasty stuff and the average person often exhibits symptoms associated with it, such as fatigue, abdominal pain, mouth sores, and others. Fighting this kind of inflammation and increasing stress resistance strengthens the immune system and allows for faster recovery times.
Then there’s the cognitive benefits. The brain appears to work differently when not managing digestion in the background. An example of this is that in a fast, once you get past the first stage of
hunger grumpiness and are able to focus, you’ll realize that you’re pretty focused.
You’ll be able to think through and to think around obstacles.
If you’ve never fasted before and are interested in giving it a try, I suggest going for a 18-hour fast in your first try as a challenge. This means sleeping for 8 hours and then not eating for ten hours after you wake up. Or not eating for ten hours before you sleep.
Once you’ve managed that a couple of times, you can then go for 24 hours.
- You pick Sunday for your fast
- You have Saturday’s dinner at 7 PM
- You don’t eat anything (but drink water when thirsty) until Sunday at 7 PM
Of course, if it is your first time fasting, stay away from food, from the smell of food, from the sight of food, and from the thoughts of food.
You’ll make it.