Short-term fasting improves the composition of the body, strengthens the immune system, stimulates the brain and relieves anxiety. Learn about all its advantages.
Author: Jess Miller
Fasting is the practice of completely abstaining from food or drastically reducing consumption of food and drink over a period of time. Every day a person starves for at least a few hours. Usually it's something about eight hours, which we spend in the night in a dream. From the physiological point of view, hunger can be called a state of metabolism after a night break in eating and even metabolic changes after complete assimilation of food. If you spend from 8 to 12 hours without eating, the body will go into a state of "hunger". Short-term fasting has many beneficial properties. Among them, weight loss, improvement of the skin, strengthening of the cardiovascular system and an increase in life expectancy.
The practice of fasting leads to numerous metabolic changes in our body. Changes usually begin approximately in 3-5 hours after eating, when the body completely completes digestion and assimilation of food. The opposite of this is continuous digestion – a condition in which, due to frequent meals, the body is constantly in a state of digestive activity.
Some practice prolonged starvation to promote health or for religious reasons, someone is forced to refrain from eating for medical reasons. For example, before surgery or other medical procedures that require general anesthesia, patients usually can not eat. In fact, people are starving before going through many medical tests. These include analysis of cholesterol, determination of blood glucose level, lipid profile.
Useful properties of short-term fasting
Instead of working on fuel from the food you just ate, during periods of hunger the body gets the opportunity to put internal resources into play. Accumulated in the body fat is burned whenever the supply of energy from the outside begins to decline. This leads to a slow and continuous decrease in body weight, which can become a real find.
Since fasting is often the result of changes in lifestyle, rather than a temporary measure, such a modification of the diet is carried much easier than many "extreme diets". In fact, numerous scientific works show that fasting is a valuable and reliable tool for weight loss and subsequent control of body weight. At first, you lose weight due to the removal of excess fluid from the body, but in the future every day fasting leads to the loss of 200 grams of fat tissue.
2. Increased tolerance to glucose
Diabetics starvation offers a fantastic opportunity to improve carbohydrate metabolism, normalize blood sugar levels and even increase glucose tolerance. Anyone who is looking for a natural way to raise the sensitivity of receptors to insulin should try a short-term fast. Metabolic shifts in fasting can significantly change the effectiveness of the mechanisms of glucose uptake by your body.
Usually, insulin resistance is a consequence of the accumulation of glucose in tissues that are not intended for fat deposition. As the body burns fuel reserves in the form of fats, glucose stored in these tissues also becomes less and less. This allows the cells of muscle tissue and liver to become more susceptible to the action of insulin.
One of the reasons for the effectiveness of short-term fasting with losing weight is that refusal of food, followed by a normal diet, helps stimulate metabolism. The results of scientific experiments show that prolonged fasting slows down metabolic processes, and short periods of hunger, characteristic of short-term fasting, accelerate them. To be precise, at 14%, according to one of the studies.
This is a more effective tool in comparison with long low-calorie diets, which often cause a serious impact on metabolic processes. Losing weight often goes hand in hand with the loss of muscle tissue. Since muscle tissue is metabolically active and consumes a lot of calories, muscle loss reduces the body's ability to utilize food calories. Short-term fasting promotes a smooth flow of metabolic processes, which helps maintain muscle tissue during fat burning.
The results of the work of scientists from the University of Chicago showed that short-term fasting can "delay" the development of diseases that pose a direct threat to life. There is evidence that people who regularly starve can enjoy a healthier and more active life longer than supporters of the traditional approach to nutrition. And than those who adhere to the classic rigid diets with calorie restriction.
Head of the neurophysiological laboratory of the National Institute of Aging, Mark Mattson, says that the mild stress of short-term fasting is like a constant threat. It strengthens powerful mechanisms of cell defense against potential molecular damage. Short-term fasting also stimulates the body to maintain and restore tissues, which is important in terms of slowing down aging, as each organ and each cell functions more efficiently and efficiently.
It is important to learn how to correctly interpret the signals that your body sends. Short-term fasting is a great way to learn and understand the cycle of hunger. Before the true famine comes, and if the organism does not feed, it goes into starvation mode, you will feel a "hunger" attack, which is often associated with physiological needs. In fact, it is an emotional desire that is constantly confused with true hunger. Fasting gives you the opportunity to experience a "true attack of hunger" in the stomach and even the symptoms of toxins that accumulate because of our habit of eating processed foods.
In addition, you will learn to really appreciate food. Taking food after a period of "true hunger", you will understand how much pleasure this process can bring. Each bite seems tastier than the previous one, and you experience a feeling of deep satisfaction and pleasure. For the sake of this it is worth a little starving!
Unless you starve occasionally, certain hours for food, followed by a period of hunger, will help your body to work out the right schedule. You will better understand your own cycles of hunger and will be able to schedule business meetings at the right time. At the same time, the quality of sleep will improve. At first, plan the day will not be easy, especially if you have a family or a hard schedule. But as soon as you have a clear plan, you will immediately see all the ways of its implementation and will be able to draw up a schedule that enhances the quality of your life and strengthens health.
A study presented at the conference of the Society of Neurophysiology in 2015, showed that short-term fasting can have "a tremendous impact on the health of the brain." The study was conducted in both humans and animals. It demonstrated that fasting stimulates the brain through various mechanisms: it promotes neuronal growth, improves recovery from stroke and other organic brain damage, improves memory.
Short-term fasting helps reduce the risk of developing a person's neurodegenerative diseases, in particular, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. There is also evidence that fasting can improve cognitive function and quality of life in people living with these diseases.
According to scientists from the University of Southern California, starvation contributes to the "regeneration of the entire immune system" by increasing the body's production of new white blood cells. That's how your body fights infection. The fasting cycles help him to remove old, damaged and ineffective parts of the immune system and replace them with newly created immune cells.
Studies have shown that 72-x hours of fasting is enough even to reduce the negative impact of harmful and toxic effects of chemotherapy on patients with cancer. Usually, chemotherapy causes severe damage to the patient's immune system. Although scientists need to conduct more clinical trials, many are confident that short-term fasting can help patients with immunodeficiency and people of advanced age.
People who suffer from acne, know that the best way to control unpleasant symptoms of skin damage is diet. The menu should be dominated by natural, healthy food, and the consumption of dairy products is better limited.
Unsurprisingly, if you regularly practice short-term fasting, its impressive beneficial properties will be reflected on your face. Sensitization to food is often the root of problems with inflammation and redness of the facial skin, and inflammatory processes are the basis for the development of acne. After fasting, you can enter into the diet one product and fix the slightest changes in the skin. So you can know exactly which products you should avoid.
Short-term fasting also has a positive effect on hair and nails, helping them grow strong and healthy. By including short-term starvation in your lifestyle, you will not only feel better, but also look better.
10. Finding the harmony of the soul
Almost all religions of the world somehow use starvation. In this case, it should not be surprising that a lifestyle that includes short-term fasting can lead to a deeper sense of spirituality and inner harmony.
People who regularly starve, mark a state of appeasement during their posts. And experiments prove that fasting can help regulate mood by reducing the level of anxiety and stress. In fact, fasting is a natural remedy, which many medical workers recommend for various emotional and sexual problems.
Fasting you out of religious motives or guided by personal motives, short-term starvation will help you feel closer to nature and the world around you. The main thing is that you will get a lot of benefits from clarity of mind, harmonization of inner peace and improvement of appearance!