Everyone today is talking about the many benefits of intermittent fasting – including potentially increasing longevity. But this latest fad isn’t really a fad at all. In fact, fasting can be traced back to the 5th century. Hippocrates, the “father of medicine,” was known to advise food abstinence to people displaying certain health conditions.
What It Is
Fasting is defined as an abstinence from food or drink or both for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes. Intermittent fasting is a specific period in which the individual goes between fasting and eating. There are several different ways to schedule intermittent fasting.
Perhaps the most popular method is the 16:8 method. This involves fasting every day for 16 hours and restricting your eating time to eight hours during the day. Alternate day fasting is another method. You eat normally one day and extremely reduce your caloric intake or don’t eat at all the next day. The 5:2 method is five days of normal eating followed by two consecutive days of 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men. There are many other methods, allowing people to choose the one that best suits their needs and lifestyle.
Fasting is popular. A recent survey found that 10% of Americans say they engage in some kind of fasting. That might not sound like a lot, but according to the same study only 3% identify as vegetarian and 7% as Keto practicing.
The question remains, however, does intermittent fasting have healthy benefits? According to Tzipi Strauss, a physician in the Healthy Longevity Center at Israel’s Sheba Medical Centre, “You don’t need to eat three times a day. Or every three hours. No. We are not babies. We don’t need to grow.” There is a great deal of research to support her claim. It is believed that intermittent fasting can help burn fat and contribute to weight loss, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, reduce stress and inflammation, improve heart and brain health, prevent cancer, and, yes, increase longevity.
During intermittent fasting a metabolic process called autophagy occurs. Autophagy is where your cells clean out the debris that has accumulated, allowing your cells to replenish themselves at a higher functioning level. While this process was originally just seen as “housekeeping,” today scientists realize that it likely plays an important role in preventing and responding to disease.
Right For You?
Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. The only way to find out if it’s right for you is to do your research and give it a try. Remember, you’re not alone. There’s a 100 Year Lifestyle provider near you! They can help you keep your spine and nervous system healthy as you adjust other aspects of your 100 Year Lifestyle. The best is yet to come!