Zallevo Blog/Tips & Tricks/5 Facts About Intermittent Fasting

If you’ve ever looked into losing weight or dieting, you’ve probably heard the term “intermittent fasting” thrown around. This increasingly-popular practice has many health benefits associated with it, depending on what goals you are trying to achieve.

“Intermittent fasting” is an umbrella term for strategically fasting as a way to signal your body to burn stored fats and regenerate cells to help you live healthier and longer. In fact, it could be the secret to losing stubborn pounds in addition to transforming your body at the cellular level.

Here are five hidden facts you might not know about intermittent fasting:

1. It's the Healthiest (and Easiest) Way to Burn Fat.

We all know that food is crucial to fueling our bodies. However, when we eat too much or eat foods full of ingredients our body doesn’t know what to do with, it stores it away for use later. But more often than not, we continue to overfeed our bodies, and that stored fuel is never used, which is why many of us struggle to lose those extra pounds. So what do you do? Go on a crazy fad diet that leaves you feeling hungry, unsatisfied, and likely to regain any lost weight? No!

​Your body is naturally capable of burning that fat for you- you just have to let it! When you fast, your body starts a process called ketosis, which is how it burns fat while you fast. The best part about this is that it’s all natural, with no crazy exercising or fad dieting required. You just have to let your body do what it already knows how to do.

2. You Actually NEED Nutrients During an Intermittent Fast.

When you think of fasting, you might not think that you actually need to continue consuming nutrients in order to reap all the benefits of the fast, but you do! While your body has a break from digesting and processing heavy foods, it also begins the process of detoxification if provided with the right nutrients.

Think of your body like a house that’s full of smoke; in order to get rid of the smoke, you need to open the windows. So how do we open the windows of our cells to let all that waste out? Antioxidants! By nourishing your cells with antioxidants while fasting, you allow them to open up and rid themselves of all that extra waste they’ve been carrying around.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “But I’m fasting! I can’t eat anything, so how am I supposed to consume nutrients,” and that’s where a fasting aid becomes your new best friend. But beware, not all fasting aids are created equal. Look for one high in antioxidants that will help your body detoxify, but isn’t flavored with added sugars or anything that is going to cause you to accidentally break your fast!

3. Intermittent Fasting Can Act as Spring Cleaning for Your Cells.

Think of it like your garage: When was the last time you cleaned that out and got rid of all that junk? If you don’t clean it, it all builds up until you feel like you should be on an episode of Hoarders. Well, intermittent fasting is like a garage sale for your cells- as you make space and get rid of all those old cells, your body is refreshed and understands that it now has space to make brand new cells that can help you stay healthier longer. This incredible process of cleansing out and recycling old cells is known as autophagy.

As we all go about our day-to-day lives, our bodies are constantly breaking down old cells that are no longer serving us. But, those old, broken cells don’t always make their way out of our systems. This means we’re left carrying around these old cells that aren’t benefiting us anymore. But when we intermittently fast, we give our body a chance to clean itself out.

4. It's Not a Sprint, It's a Marathon.

While there are benefits as soon as 4 hours after you start a fast, it can take, in general, about 20 hours for your body to get into autophagy. But once you hit autophagy, it’s off to the races! At the 36-hour mark, the benefits of autophagy can increase by up to 300%. At the 48-hour mark, your human growth hormone (the hormone responsible for metabolism)1 increases by 500%!

If you’re not immediately able to do a 48-hour fast, that’s OK! You don’t just wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon, it takes training and practice for both your body and your mind. Fasting is the same way! Give yourself time to get used to this new process of fasting, and make sure to listen to your body- it will always tell you what it needs!

5. It Increases Your Happiness.

No, really! During intermittent fasting, your brain’s cells are cleaned out as well, meaning your brain has more access to serotonin. As we all know, serotonin is the hormone that makes you feel happy. Plus, you may also experience improved mental sharpness and focus. Who couldn’t use a little more happiness and focus in their lives?

Did you know some of these amazing facts about intermittent fasting? It’s not about starving yourself or forcing yourself to make a difficult life change, it’s a simple process that can help your body when you utilize it correctly. So whether your goal is to lose weight or just feel better than you have before, give intermittent fasting a try and see what amazing things it can do for you!

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