The reason so many struggle with their weight (aside from eating processed foods that have been grossly altered from their natural state) is because they’re in continuous feast mode and rarely ever go without a meal.
As a result, their bodies have adapted to burning sugar as its primary fuel, which down-regulates the enzymes that utilize and burn stored fat. Fasting is an excellent way to “reboot” your metabolism so your body can start burning fat as its primary fuel, which will help you shed your unwanted fat stores.
Once your insulin resistance improves and you are normal weight you can start eating more frequently, as by then you will have reestablished your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel—that’s the key to sustained weight management.
The amount of research around fasting and particularly intermittent fasting is growing exponentially. Let’s explore what the research is saying.
How & Why Intermittent Fasting Works
One 2013 review found a broad range of therapeutic potential in intermittent fasting, even when total calorie intake per day did not change, or was only slightly reduced. Studies included in the review produced evidence that intermittent fasting may:
Improve circulating glucose and lipid levels
Reduce blood pressure
Improve metabolic efficiency and body composition, including significant reductions in body weight in obese individuals
Reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels
Help prevent type 2 diabetes, as well as slow its progression
Reverse type 2 diabetes
Improve pancreatic function
Improve insulin levels and insulin sensitivity
Reproduce some of the cardiovascular benefits associated with physical exercise
Protect against cardiovascular disease
Modulate levels of dangerous visceral fat
The reasons for these health benefits relate to the fact that the human body appears to be designed to thrive in a cycle of “feast and famine.” By imitating the ancestral conditions of cyclical nourishment, your body enters into a state of optimal functioning. Three major mechanisms by which fasting benefits your health include: