How Benefits of Fasting Can Boost Your Metabolism?

You are always told to eat healthy and stay healthy. Of course, certain foods can help your metabolic rate. How about not eating at all? Yes, we are talking about the benefits of fasting. Fasting has a long history and is quite popular these days. Why not! Because it is used to reset the body in an optimal condition that usually seems to be only possible with a balanced diet and regular exercise.


Fasting can help your body in several ways and can renew it inside and out. It can help your gut, heart and brain to improve its function. In short, it has a positive impact on every single crucial organ that helps you survive better. So as we talk about the benefits of fasting let us find out how it can improve your metabolism.


What Is Fasting?

Fasting is a common practice observed for centuries. It can even be a cultural thing or a religious act. It occurs for a specific period to voluntarily abstain from eating or drinking. Many religious texts also mention fasting as a means of spiritual purification and self-discipline.  It might be a common religious ritual but it is gaining popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits.


Technically, Fasting is the restrictive period from the foods or particular food items and drinks. It usually lasts for 24 to 72 hours.


Different Types Of Fasting Methods

It can be performed in different forms to achieve the benefits of fasting. Each one of them comes with its guidelines and objectives:

  1. Intermittent Fasting – 16 hours fast and eating within 8 hours
  2. Water Fasting – only drink water for a designated period
  3. Partial Fasting – eat specific foods or liquids while avoiding others
  4. Juice Fasting – drink freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, no solid food, please!


How Fasting Benefits The Body’s Metabolism?   

The metabolism is the cellular work of a body to maintain physical activities. And the purpose of fasting is not starvation. Instead, it serves as an energy booster to speed up the metabolic rate. Also, the benefits of fasting can boost the body’s metabolism in a lot of positive ways.


Likewise, fasting influences metabolism by:

  • Controlling the secretion of various hormones (insulin, glucagon, growth hormone, and cortisol).
  • Producing ketones which are an alternative energy source for the brain and other tissues.
  • Triggering autophagy where damaged body cells are broken down and recycled.


What Are the Benefits Of Fasting In the Month Of Ramadan?

As we mentioned earlier, fasting is a sort of sacred thing in a particular religion. Specifically, for Muslims, there is a whole month (Ramadan) dedicated to gaining the maximum benefits of fasting. It is not starvation for 30 days. Instead each day the period of fast starts from the sun rises and ends as the sun sets. During this period no food or water is allowed.


Fasting in Ramadan is good for solving digestive issues, and restoring heart and brain health. Plus, it is a complete detox that is good for the skin as it can treat acne scars and promote a healthy complexion. A good point is that Ramadan can help in weight management and can also improve the blood lipid profile (for cardiovascular health). Apart from physical health, the benefits of fasting also comfort mental and emotional well-being. It is excellent for developing self-discipline and compassion for poor communities.


Top 10 Benefits Of Fasting For Health


1. Longevity And Slow Aging

The best thing about fast is that it can slow down the natural aging process and can tighten the loose skin muscles. So, slow aging low-key means promoting longevity. Science also adds to the longevity benefits of fasting. In 2021, a scientific study confirmed that fasting can increase the production of bacteria called Christensenella found in the gut that promotes longevity. It can also decrease the chances of developing diseases and can produce collagen to delay aging.


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Related Article: Nutritional Tips for Longevity!


2. Detoxification

Among the benefits of fasting, it is also a complete detoxification process. It means it can clear out the blood and improve its circulation throughout the body. Fasting is one of the fastest and smartest ways of detoxing (rebooting the body). While on fast your body tends to break down the internal wastes to gain energy, this in turn cleanses the toxins present in the body. Thus, a cleaned digestive system can indeed help the other organs to function properly as well. The better the gut is, so is the body.


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3. Weight Loss

You can also get weight maintenance, control and weight loss benefits from fasting. When your body is in the starving phase, it can break down the already present stored fat in the body especially the fat around the belly area. Break down of belly fat means you get a slim tummy. This fat can now serve the purpose of keeping you going to do the tasks for a fasting day. And if you are fasting with proper and utmost care, you are more likely to lose fatty tissues to get in a better shape. A study in 2015 says that nine percent of body weight can be reduced as you fast for a complete day.


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Related Article: How Pro Athletes Lose Weight?


4. Immunity Boost

One of the best survival skills is to keep your immune system strong. Fasting is known to reduce the unnecessary swelling and inflammation in the body that restricts the immune response. When the inflammation subsides during fasting hours, the immune system can get an instant boost.  Also, the immune system is full of white blood cells (WBCs) that get replaced more quickly as you fast. Upon breaking the fast, new WBCs stimulate the production of red blood cells and platelets to heal the body.


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Related Article: Dietary Secrets For Immune Health!


5. Brain Health And Cognition

The brain is very important to control our daily actions and you have to nourish it well for its better function. Fasting can stimulate cognitive abilities and mental faculties which means you can focus more and achieve mental peace and clarity. The research states that fasting can increase nerve cell production. Also, it protects the brain collapse from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It can also decrease the swelling in the brain area.


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6. Healthy Heart Function

The heart is the centre of the body to control the blood supply. Also, heart diseases are the common reason for the increasing death rate. Many people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2020. Fasting can benefit the heart as well. It actually maintains the correct blood pressure and the pumping of the blood to supply it towards the brain and other organs. Research suggests that fasting can have a good effect on heart health by reducing the bad cholesterol levels and triglycerides that cause death in overweight people.


7. Gut Health

The metabolic rate of the body largely depends on the health status of the gut. A healthy gut can boost the metabolism to support a quality lifestyle. Gut supporting benefits of fasting are increasing the amount of the bacterial community that resides in the gut and making the gut microbiome. Constant digestion puts pressure on the gut thereby fasting gives your gut break and regulates the bowel movements to prevent constipation. Also, it increases nutrient absorption and produces more amount of short-chain fatty acids. Therefore, it can protect the gut from gastric disorders.


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8. Cancer Prevention

Cancer is deadly therefore you can do fasting techniques to protect your body from cancer-related deaths. American Chemical Society published a research paper summarizing the benefits of intermittent fasting which states that it may give protection from toxicity (from Chemotherapy). It can hinder the growth of the tumour cells as well. Fasting may reduce the risk of cancer. However, be mindful of your cancer type and stage before fasting because it can have negative impacts too if practised carelessly.


Related Article: 6 Gym Workouts To Reduce Risk Of Lung Cancer!


9. Support Growth Hormones

Hormones are important for survival, especially the Human growth hormone HGH. This hormone is a major protein that takes part in muscle development, weight maintenance and metabolism boosting. Regulation of hormone production comes under the benefits of fasting. A review study indicates that fasting can increase the production of HGH particularly basal HGH up to 10 times. The higher concentrations of HGH were found to be associated with a fast of 37.5 hours.


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10. Control Blood Sugar

Insulin sensitivity is a crucial factor in controlling blood sugar levels. Fasting can naturally tackle the rising blood sugars by increasing insulin sensitivity. This may prevent the type 2 diabetes symptoms and risk. More sensitivity to insulin can then signal the body to transport the glucose to the cells performing metabolic functions. In other words, we can say that fasting reduces insulin resistance and lets it carry out its function peacefully, which is to control the sugar levels, and its sudden spikes or crashes in the blood.


Related Article: Australian-Meal Plan For Diabetics!


Other Health Tips For Increasing Energy And Metabolism

  • Practice meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises to reduce stress, or spend time in nature.
  • Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day, and eat fruits and vegetables as hydration foods.
  • Include protein in every single meal of a day to maintain metabolic functions.
  • Eat at regular intervals throughout the day to keep your energy levels steady.
  • Do weightlifting or bodyweight exercises to rev up your metabolism.
  • Spend the morning outside to get sunlight for vitamin D production.
  • Take supplements such as iron, B vitamins, and magnesium.
  • Be active throughout the day by playing basketball.


Related Article: Why Is Basketball Healthy? 10 Reasons


Ending Remarks

Fasting is a good practice with deep historical and cultural roots. It offers numerous health benefits beyond its spiritual essence. Plus it has the same effect on the brain as doing exercise for a whole day. So if you are too for gym, fasting is there for you.


You can keep fast for religious observance, weight management, or detoxification. That way you can achieve particular benefits of fasting easily and selectively.


But it should be approached thoughtfully because it is not meant to starve you. With proper guidance, you can gain maximum advantages while not compromising overall well-being. As always, if you are trying new things for healthcare, you have to be cautious.


Also, fasting is a lifestyle change. Therefore you should check individual needs and health conditions to derive the most benefit from this ancient tradition.


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