Intermittent Fasting’s Health Benefits Extend Far Beyond Weight Loss

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Intermittent fasting has become a popular health trend due to its effectiveness at accelerating weight loss. But research shows that intermittent fasting also has numerous anti-aging health benefits because it boosts human growth hormone, curbs disease, and protects brain health.

Celebrity proponents of intermittent fasting (IF) include actor Hugh Jackman, Oscar winner Halle Berry, reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian, and weight loss guru Jillian Michaels, as the Inquisitr previously reported.

Digestion causes inflammation, which in turn fuels weight gain, aging, and numerous diseases, including diabetes and cancer, according to the medical journal Critical Care.

Less Digestion Reduces Inflammation

The American habit of eating around the clock is largely responsible for today’s alarming epidemic of obesity and chronic disease.

By giving your digestive tract a daily break for 12 hours or more, you drastically reduce the inflammation caused by constant digestion.

Studies indicate that people who do IF lose weight more quickly and keep it off longer than those who follow conventional, linear diets.

The most common approach is the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan, which allows you to eat whatever you want during an eight-hour eating “window” and fast the other 16 hours of the day.

For example, if you eat dinner at 6 p.m., you won’t eat again until 10 a.m. the next day, so you’re fasting for 16 hours.

A new mom named Janielle Wright has credited intermittent fasting for her stunning 71-pound weight loss in six months, as the Inquisitr has reported.

Wright has since lost an additional 15 pounds, for a total weight loss of 86 pounds in eight months. And she did it without gastric bypass surgery, diet pills, or rigorous exercise.

The new mom said she was a couch potato who only started to exercise after being encouraged by her dramatic weight loss with intermittent fasting.

She started off by walking on a treadmill for 15 minutes a day, and has since worked her way up to 45 minutes on some days.

While most people do intermittent fasting to lose weight, research from the National Institute on Aging suggests that intermittent fasting can also improve brain functioning and help maintain lean muscle mass.

“Just as exercise makes muscles stronger, fasting makes the brain stronger,” said Dr. Mark Mattson, chief of the NIA’s neurosciences lab.

Mattson said the chemicals produced by fasting also appear to boost people’s moods.

Dr. Mattson said intermittent fasting and fasting for short periods of time like 16 to 24 hours induces a state of stress in the body, which responds by releasing neurotrophic proteins that stimulate neurons and other cells.