Exactly How Intermittent Fasting Can Simplify Your Life + Optimize Your Health
We are all looking for ways to optimize our health. But with our busy lives, the last thing we want to have to do is add another thing to our to-do list and keep track of. But with intermittent fasting, I can elevate my health with very little effort.
If you haven’t tried fasting before, you don’t have to worry about being hungry and you can ease into a fasting practice and find what works for you. Here are the top reasons why you should try intermittent fasting if you need a simple way to boost your health.
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1. Intermittent fasting keeps snacking at bay
Snacking can easily throw us off track with reaching our wellness goals. Unless you plan out your snacks well, there is the chance you’ll give in to temptation when presented with an unhealthy option. Especially once the dreaded hanger strikes and all you want is sugar and carbs.
If this sounds familiar, first, be should be gentle with yourself. That said, snacking all the time can leave you fatigued, cranky, and constantly craving sugar, especially if you are feeding your cravings with junk food.
Luckily, intermittent fasting can help. By limiting yourself to a daily eating window — which can range anywhere from 12 hours a day to just 1 hour a day (if you’re an experienced faster on the OMAD plan) — you can keep snacking and late-night eating to a minimum.
Intermittent fasting has demonstrated benefits for blood sugar health, metabolic health, and keeping cravings and hunger at bay, which means that you’ll want to snack less. Plus, if you do still want those snack foods, you can enjoy them during your eating window and know that you’re lessening their impact on your metabolism, inflammation levels, and blood sugar health.
2. Intermittent fasting simplifies your life
Intermittent fasting is a great snacking antidote not only because it’s good for your body, but it also simplifies your life — a lot. Instead of keeping track of how much you’ve eaten or even what you’ve eaten, the only question you really need to ask yourself is: “Am I inside or outside my eating window?” If you’re inside your eating window, go ahead and enjoy that snack with zero regrets. If your eating window is over or hasn’t yet begun for the day, put down that snack and make yourself a cup of herbal tea instead. Simple at that.
This simplicity is incredibly liberating. As an added bonus, IF also means less time in the kitchen. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little tired of the “cook, eat, clean” routine. When you limit yourself to an eating window, you get to prep, prepare, and clean up from fewer meals every day. Win-win!
3. Fasting is good for your immune system
Fasting is a great way to safeguard your metabolism, but it’s also a great way to support the health of the rest of your body, including your immune system. Studies have shown (1) that intermittent fasting can upregulate proteins that protect us from obesity, diabetes, and metabolic serum, Alzheimer’s disease, and neuropsychiatric disorders. It can also induce proteins that protect our DNA, prevent cancer, and support our immune systems.
Another study (2) that tested fasting in mice and humans showed that fasting lowered white blood cell counts, which triggered the species’ immune system to produce new white blood cells, which are a critical part of the immune system. In both species, fasting lowered white blood cell counts, which in turn triggered the immune system to start producing new white blood cells. White blood cells (or lymphocytes) are a key component of your body’s immune system. According to the researchers who conducted that study, fasting can trigger the body to recycle immune cells that are not needed.
I don’t know about you, but my family and I are doing everything we can to support our immune systems, simplify our lives, and keep the snacking monster at bay. Luckily, intermittent fasting is a great tool to help you accomplish all three at once.
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- Mindikoglu, Ayse L., Mustafa M. Abdulsada, Antrix Jain, Jong Min Choi, Prasun K. Jalal, Sridevi Devaraj, Melissa P. Mezzari, Joseph F. Petrosino, Antone R. Opekun, and Sung Yun Jung. “Intermittent Fasting from Dawn to Sunset for 30 Consecutive Days Is Associated with Anticancer Proteomic Signature and Upregulates Key Regulatory Proteins of Glucose and Lipid Metabolism, Circadian Clock, DNA Repair, Cytoskeleton Remodeling, Immune System and Cognitive Function in Healthy Subjects.” Journal of Proteomics 217 (April 15, 2020): 103645. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2020.103645.
- Cheng, C. W., Adams, G. B., Perin, L., Wei, M., Zhou, X., Lam, B. S., Da Sacco, S., Mirisola, M., Quinn, D. I., Dorff, T. B., Kopchick, J. J., & Longo, V. D. (2014). Prolonged fasting reduces IGF-1/PKA to promote hematopoietic-stem-cell-based regeneration and reverse immunosuppression. Cell stem cell, 14(6), 810–823. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2014.04.014
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REVIEWED BY DR. WILL COLE
Dr. Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, DC, leading functional medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam and locally in Pittsburgh. He received his doctorate from Southern California University of Health Sciences and post doctorate education and training in functional medicine and clinical nutrition. He specializes in clinically researching underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is the best selling author of Ketotarian and The Inflammation Spectrum.
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