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Should You Try Intermittent Fasting?

Learn the benefits of intermittent fasting. Because this new trend might be on to something…

The benefits of intermittent fasting, alarm clock on a plate

The word “fasting” might instill despair in your mind (because being hangry is a real thing). But fasting is much more than just depriving your body of food—especially intermittent fasting.
If you’ve never heard of intermittent fasting, it’s a bit of a diet craze. Basically, intermittent fasting is eating during a specific period of time, and then fasting the rest. The length of fasting and eating varies for everyone.

Some people fast for 16 or 24 hours at a time, and others prefer to fast for a few hours each day or skip one meal. You might choose to fast on certain days of the week or simply have your fasting period mean that you’re skipping breakfast every morning.

Whatever your preference, you may reap these benefits of intermittent fasting:

It’s an effective weight loss tool

If you’re looking to lose those last few inches on your waist that haven’t budged (no matter how many times you’ve replaced your late-night cheesecake with an apple), intermittent fasting might just be your key to success.

According to studies of people who tried intermittent fasting, participants shed an average of 10 pounds over a 10-week period—and it stayed off! This type of fasting targets the body’s fat stores and jumpstarts your metabolism to help you shed stubborn pounds.

It can add years to your life

Intermittent fasting can lower your cholesterol, which keeps your heart healthy, and prevent obesity, which lowers your risk of many cancers. And because intermittent fasting reduces blood glucose, it can help regulate the body’s insulin production. When your blood sugar and insulin levels are working in harmony, your risk of diabetes is lowered significantly.

In a recent study, participants engaged in intermittent fasting for 24-hour periods, three times a week for 10 months. In the end, all the participants lost weight, their resting blood sugar was lower, and they were all able to stop using insulin only 30 days into the trial.

Related: 7 Benefits of Meal Planning

It may become your brain’s bestie

Every process in your body is controlled by your brain, so it’s no wonder it can get tired out as you grow older. But no worries—intermittent fasting can actually slow down the mental aging process. Because fasting helps to reduce inflammation, increase resistance to stress, and improve immune function, it can provide a brain boost and help with things like memory improvement and help with mood disorders.

Although intermittent fasting has many lasting benefits, it’s definitely a learned habit. Be patient with yourself and start small. Experiment until you see what works best for your body.

While you’re here, check out our other articles on healthy living. For information on our medical and dental plans, visit selecthealth.org/plans.

Related: Keys to a Healthy Diet

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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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Post Author

Chakell Wardleigh
Chakell has a B.A. in English and is a magazine editor. She enjoys exercising, laughing with family and friends, and online shopping. She strives to be as versatile as cauliflower, which she often turns into pizza.