“The best of all medicines are resting and fasting” — Benjamin Franklin
I find this quote to be rather understated in todays society. The best bio hack out there? Give you body time to heal; sleep, put you mental health in a more calm state and finally the focus of this article: fasting.
There are different ways you can do fasting and I’ve only done one of them: *intermittent fasting*. The simplest way to explain intermittent fasting would be to say that you eat what you normally eat in a smaller time frame than you usually would. It’s not a diet, but simply having the habit of eating only within an eight hour eating window.
For me that means I only eat food between 11am and 7pm. In the morning, I usually just drink water and coffee. After 7pm, I drink water and tea.
## What is intermittent fasting?
The biggest myth I hear is that intermittent fasting is a diet. This is not the case as it’s more a pattern of eating. It’s a way to scheduling your eating to get the most out of it. Intermittent fasting does not say anything about what you eat but rather when you eat it.
It is of course recommended to also have a healthy diet and when paired with intermittent fasting you get a truly powerful combination.
Most people get started on intermittent fasting to loose weight. This is a highly efficient method to get learner, but it also comes with other significant benefits impacting your longevity and overall health.
*Let’s look at some of the benefits of intermittent fasting:*
## *1. Weight loss*
One of the underlying problems with obesity is insulin, according to Dr Renaut from Australia.
He goes on to say “by eating regularly throughout the day, the body isn’t given an opportunity to bring insulin levels back down to zero. Instead, insulin levels are always elated. Carbohydrates, which turns into sugar, keep those levels up. This leads to insulin intolerance which means to receive that spike in energy, the body needs to have more glucose”.
When we eat, glucose levels rise and insulin is released into the bloodstream. If you eat through out the day, you get a constant flow of insulin into your bloodstream.
This is the one of the primary benefits of fasting, that when you are on the fast insulin isn’t release into your bloodstream. What happens when insulin goes into the bloodstream is that cells opens up so that they can take in sugar and use it as an energy source.
In other words, if you fast the cells will burn energy of fat, rather than glucose, a fancy word for sugar. Rather, your body switches to burning energy from your fat storages. Your body fat is converted into fatty acids, which are easily absorbed into the blood (and spread to your cells through the blood stream). Fatty acids produces ketones, which becomes your new source of energy (rather than glucose) (4).
These days people eat all day long from breakfast to snacking before bedtime. This means that your insulin levels never drop down to zero and your body isn’t able to draw energy from the fat stored in your body.
According to a study (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180319091120.htm) fasting can also help clear fat from the blood quicker after eating meals than a calorie restrictive diet would. In this study (although it was conducted on a small sample), two groups were tested against each other, where one of them fasted and the other group ate less calories. The goal for both was to loose 5% of their body weight. The fasting-group reached the goal significantly faster than the calorie restricted diet group.
Live longer and healthier.
A study from MIT (2) showed that fasting could mean great news for those who want to slow down the ageing process. Ageing is a result of intestinal stem cells beginning to lose their ability to regenerate. The same study even argued that fasting can have benefits for people healing infections and even cancer.
According to this research, a 24-hour fasting found a dramatic increase in reproduction of intestinal stem cells, in both young and old mice. Cell renewal in your body is not just a matter of slowing down ageing. More importantly, it is a matter of healing and helping your body improve its healing abilities.
The cells in your body have widely different renewal rates. Some take a few days and others take many years (3). With faster cell regeneration, your body will heal faster. Wounds will close up faster and any internal battles and injuries you have might also get the help they need. This becomes ever more important as you age.
## Simpler days
In my opinion, I would say that intermittent fasting is easier than not fasting. My eating window is between 11am – 7pm. I skip breakfast and have my first meal around lunch. I normally have a smaller meal in-between my first and final launch + fruits through out the day.
Intermittent fasting provides more simplicity to my life, as I get to ship breakfast and have a valid reason for it. I just grab a water, a coffee and get on with my day.
2) [Fasting boosts stem cells’ regenerative capacity | MIT News](http://news.mit.edu/2018/fasting-boosts-stem-cells-regenerative-capacity-0503)
3) [» How quickly do different cells in the body replace themselves?](http://book.bionumbers.org/how-quickly-do-different-cells-in-the-body-replace-themselves/)
4) [Intermittent fasting may have ‘profound health benefits’](https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321690.php)