This article is published for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Please consult a physician or other health care professional for your specific health care and/or medical needs or concerns.
Although fasting has been around for centuries it is just now gaining mainstream popularity and for good reason to! In this article I am going to be sharing with you 5 amazing benefits of fasting and how you can make fasting 24 hours a breeze.
5 Benefits of Fasting:
1. Promotes Weight Loss
Obviously, if you’re not eating, it's going to help you shed a little bit of unwanted weight, but what if I told you that you would be burning mostly fat? When fasting, your body increases the secretion of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) which helps your body burn fat for fuel instead of sugar.
When fasting the digestive system gets a break which helps to regulate digestion and promote healthy bowel function. The increased HGH secretion and improved digestive maintenance helps to raise the metabolism and burn calories more efficiently. HGH also helps support muscle growth and decreases insulin levels, which is why many athletes and bodybuilders are opting out of the six meals a day plan and choosing to fast instead.
Fasting also normalizes Ghrelin levels, a hormone that is responsible for signaling to the brain when we're hungry or not. When Ghrelin levels are normalized, the body becomes more accurate in letting us know when we're hungry and when we're full. x
2. Helps Increase Longevity
The human body was designed to heal itself and be self-sufficient, and fortunately the only thing standing in the way of this healing process is ourselves. Fasting allows the body take a break from digestion and redirects the focus of that energy on other things like improving skin, clearing acne, and removing toxins and metabolic waste from the body.
It helps improve the immune system by reducing radical damage from oxidative stress and increases resilience to future oxidative stress as well. Fasting regulates inflammatory conditions in the body and helps to prevent cancer by starving off cancer cell formation. Fasting also lowers bad cholesterol levels or Low-density Lipoproteins (LDL). Lower LDL's levels decrease triglyceride levels, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
3. Slows down the Aging Process
Reduced oxidative stress and radical damage help slow down the aging process. Low levels HGH production increase aging and because fasting helps increase the secretion of HGH, it also slows down the aging process. Slower metabolisms have been linked to old age; fasting helps increase metabolism, therefore helping the body stay young and vibrant.
4. Improves Brain Function
The increase in HGH and insulation sensitivity coupled with the decrease in oxidative stress improves brain functions and helps prevent diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinson’s. It also boosts the production of a protein named the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF for short. BDNF helps activate brain stem cells to convert into new neurons and create new neural pathways. People deprived of BDNF usually suffer from depression, so fasting can help to improve, decrease, and eventually cure depression as well.
5. Improves Spirituality
Fasting leads to weight loss and improved brain function which leave us with a lighter body and a clearer mind. This state is ideal. It can lead to greater awareness and improved gratitude for the people and things around us. Fasting encourages us to become more present by taking our attention inward, helping us to feel better both consciously and physically. This increased presence makes meditation and prayer easier to concentrate on, allowing us to access higher states with less effort.
Now that you know five amazing benefits of fasting, it's time to learn how to make fasting an easy to stick to routine that you can do anytime you'd like!
How to Easily Fast for 24 Hours
Lets keep this short and sweet, because no one needs complicated instructions for something this easy to do. Fasting might be a challenge mentally, which is why most people say it's hard, but in reality it's simple and straightforward. All you have to do is not eat for 16 hours or more and boom you're fasting. The mental challenge for most people is not getting to eat any food. This life-hack is going to make fasting a lot easier for those of you who aren't quite ready to not eat for a whole day.
The thing I hear most often is "I wake up really hungry in the morning. I can't imagine not being able to eat my breakfast." or "I can skip breakfast, but I get really hungry at night." Well what if I told you, you don't have to give up breakfast or dinner and that you can eat a hearty filling meal and still do a 24 hour fast? Sound too good to be true? It's not.
The way to make fasting a breeze is all about timing. Fasting 24 hours means that if you start fasting at 7pm the night before once 7pm comes around the next day you're done. To make fasting easier for those who can't imagine skipping breakfast or dinner, follow these simple and easy to do plans.
If you don't like or feel like you can't skip breakfast, it's okay; I have a solution. The day you choose to fast wake up, go about your day, and a eat a hearty breakfast. Eat around 30% to 50% of your daily calories in this meal. If you want to lose more weight, eat around the 30% range, but if you just want to experience the other benefits of fasting like anti-aging and increased longevity, eating around the 50% mark will be just fine, plus you'll still lose some weight. Once you ate your breakfast and are nice and full, enjoy it, because now you're done eating for the rest of the day. Go about your day and stay busy. Drink plenty of water and if you want to blunt your hunger drink sparkling water or coffee. The best part is that once you go to bed the hard part is over. When you wake up in the morning your 24 hours fast will be almost or fully completed! Make sure that if you eat your hearty breakfast 9 am that you don't eat until 9 am the next day to ensure you completed the 24 hour fasting period.
If breakfast isn't your jam, but dinner is something you just can't miss, try this solution instead. The day before you fast eat lighter during the day, 30-40% of your total daily calories, and for dinner enjoy the other 60% of your daily calories with a big hearty meal. I recommend eating this around 5 to 7 pm to help make the fasting process easier. Once you're done with dinner, go about your night, watching tv, reading a book, or spending time with your family then go to bed. When you wake up, skip breakfast, drink some coffee or sparkling water to help blunt your hunger and when 5 or 7 pm comes around you're fast is complete. Then you can enjoy a nice dinner that's around 30 to 50% of your calories! You could choose to eat more, but I recommend eating less to get the benefits of weight loss. It's totally up to you and either way the other benefits of the 24 hour fast are already yours to keep.
And thats it! There's not many other ways to fast for 24 hours this easily and if there is some, I would love to hear more about it! Leave me a comment below telling me about your experience with fasting, what you find to be helpful when your fasting, and what you want to read about next!
- Coach K