Updated: May 27, 2020
You've probably seen Intermittent Fasting mentioned in tons of health articles as an amazing tool to heal your gut and initiate fat loss. Or maybe one of your friends or family members have experienced incredible healing results such as reduced GERD/acid reflux (like Kitty), balanced hormones (like Xiomara), reduced bloat (like Elizabeth) or weight loss (like Lane).
...but why is it good for you? How does Intermittent Fasting work?!
In today's article, I'm sharing the 10 benefits of Intermittent Fasting and exactly what's going on in your body!
1. Kickstarts cellular clean up ~ aka Autophagy.
This is where a ton of the amazing benefits of Intermittent Fasting stems from. Autophagy is a natural process in the body where you cells begin to clean out the waste. This waste removal allows for your cells to become more efficient at all of its cellular processes, including producing energy and tapping into fat burning mechanisms. This is a very abbreviated explanation of autophagy and what is happening at the cellular level.
Learn the detailed science with my free Intermittent Fasting workshop HERE.
2. Repairs the gut lining.
If you're working out, you know to give your muscles a break so that they can repair and become stronger, right? Same goes for your gut. If you're eating all throughout the day (even if it's just a snack), this allows zero time for your gut to go in and repair its own intestinal cells. This can result in IBS, bloating and even SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). Intermittent Fasting allows for the time needed to boost your own internal gut healing mechanisms.
Love snacking? Get the details behind why it's actually harming your health HERE.
3. Gets rid of dysfunctional mitochondria.
Mitochondria are the organelles responsible for creating energy for your cells (and entire body). If you're used to eating often throughout the day (especially if you're eating processed carbohydrates, protein bars or high carb in general), this can lead to dysfunctional mitochondria that aren't efficient at utilizing fat as fuel. This causes low energy levels, fatigue and brain fog.
Intermittent Fasting allows for autophagy to kick in which gets rid of those dysfunctional mitochondria and leaves behind the highest performing mitochondria instead! Helloooo high energy and increased fat burning!
4. Flushes out bad bacteria that can lead to SIBO/bloating.
Remember how I mentioned that gut rest is important? If you don't allow for that gut rest, then you're shutting off an important pathway called the Migrating Motor Complex or MMC. When the MMC is turned on, it flushes out left behind food and bacteria in your small intestine. If the MMC is turned off (from eating too often), then that bacteria and food are left behind in your small intestine (where you aren't supposed to have much bacteria). The bacteria then rapidly ferments the remaining food which leads to bloating, further bacterial growth (and potentially SIBO) and even pressure on your stomach which can cause acid reflux or GERD.
Intermittent Fasting stimulates your MMC pathway and allows for the bacteria and food to be flushed out of your GI and therefore reduces bloating (and potentially acid reflux) as a result!
Check out the video below for information on the MMC pathway.
5. Shifts the body into fat burning mode.
As you get rid of dysfunctional mitochondria, your body becomes better at burning fat as fuel. Cue increased fat burning mechanisms!
This is also due to becoming metabolically flexible - get the deets HERE.
6. Improves insulin sensitivity.
Insulin sensitivity is important for pre-diabetics and diabetics, but it's also extremely important for general health as well. Improved insulin sensitivity is often utilized as a marker of longevity. In fact, a study done on pre-diabetic men found that IF increased insulin sensitivity, decreased post-prandial insulin, decreased blood pressure and decreased oxidative stress!
7. Increases growth hormone.
Growth hormone is needed to help protect your muscles from breakdown and tap into fat burning mechanisms. If you're looking to lose fat and gain muscle, then you're looking to increase your growth hormone. Growth hormone is also generally considered an "anti-aging" hormone.
Turns out, that being in the "fed state" (meaning once you've eaten) effectively shuts off growth hormone production in the body. On the flip-side, fasting has been found to increase natural growth hormone production by up to 2000%.
8. Reduces sugar cravings.
When your body begins to tap into its own fat stores, this results in a more stable blood glucose level because you aren't relying on your blood glucose as fuel. This stable blood glucose results in less incidences of hypoglycemia which in turn reduces your insatiable sugar cravings!
9. Increases energy levels and improves sleep.
Due to IF getting rid of dysfunctional mitochondria, your energy levels will go way up. But how does this effect sleep? When you pair Intermittent Fasting with proper Nutrient Timing, you begin to hone in on balancing your hormones and your natural circadian rhythm. This helps to reduce your cortisol (stress hormone) and increase your melatonin (sleep hormone) at night ~ resulting in high quality, deep sleep.
Get the details on sleep, IF and Nutrient Timing HERE.
10. Reduces hunger hormones.
Because your body is getting better at utilizing fat as fuel, your body is supplied with the energy it needs without having to rely on eating every few hours. This increased fat burning also helps to lower your hunger hormone, ghrelin, which is why you get less hungry with IF!
Want more info on how IF reduces hunger? Get the science-y deets HERE.
Ready to get started on your Intermittent Fasting journey?! Join hundreds of #AENpeeps around the WORLD who are utilizing The Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle protocols to turn on fat burning mechanisms, heal the gut, increase energy levels and get AWESOME sleep! Head over HERE to get started today!
Autumn Elle Nutrition