Wanted to talk about the benefits of fasting for the longest time. Los of people ask me about food, my diet (I don’t diet, I just eat healthy), and my overall food habits. Fasting is one of my habits. Now when you say fasting, that’s by no means not eating for days and days, the type of fasting I do is called – intermittent fasting.

This type of fasting is also called the anti-aging diet, but don’t let the word diet fool you here; this is not a diet. It not about WHAT you eat but WHEN you eat! Let me break it down for you. Intermittent Fasting is simply a sporadic fasting. You eat certain period of time, then you fast for certain period of time. It’s a great way to reset your body system! Fasting is a message to your body that you’re embarking on a new beginning, flushing out the old and bringing in the new.

Now if this is confusing you with that played out mantra of eating 5 meals a day in order to be healthy and stay fit, its scientifically proven to be false. The latest endocrine science tells us that eating every three or four hours sets us up for not only exhaustion and premature aging, but also less fat burning. Why? When you eat, you begin the six-hour process of digestion, which requires your body to expend a lot of time and energy to break down food into molecules that can be absorbed and utilized. This process includes insulin, the storage hormone, that can last in the bloodstream for 6 to 8 hours post-release, preventing fat breakdown.

How does the intermittent fasting work? Since the body is unable to get its energy from food during fasting, it dips into glucose that is stored in the liver and muscles. This begins around 8 hours after the last meal is consumed. When the stored glucose has been used up, the body then begins to burn fat as a source of energy, which results in weight loss. Detoxification process also occurs, because any toxins stored in the body’s fat are dissolved and removed from the body. After a few days of fasting, higher levels of endorphins (feel-good) hormones are produced in the blood, which can have a positive impact on mental well-being.

In another words, your body needs TIME of not eating to process food. Now, if you think the intermittent fasting means not eating for days, don’t fret. It doesn’t. You can chose your own intervals of time. These are the most common way of intermittent fasting:

  • Some people fast from dinner to lunch, which means they skip breakfast.
  • Others fast for the whole day per week; for example they finish dinner on Sunday and their next meal is breakfast on Tuesday.
  • Some people commit to a 8 hour eating period per day, and fast the remaining hours. You can chose when your 8 hour period starts and ends based on your lifestyle habits, it doesn’t matter when you start your eating period.
  • And then there’s the 5:2 fasting. This one is great for people who can’t go without food. You eat regularly 5 days a week and you take 500 calories (600 for men) 2 days of the week.

I know what you’re thinking right now: this is hard. I need food! Trust me you will get used to this! And when you read about the benefits of the intermittent fasting, it will be even easier for you. Remember, you can have coffee, tea and/or water during your fast! If you absolutely can’t, you can work up to it and add more hours of fasting each day or each week!

The Anti-Aging Diet

And why is the intermittent fasting dubbed the Anti-Agin Diet? Because of the benefits it has on your skin. But if you want to age better you have to focus not just on your skin, but where the aging problems begin: the cellular level. The natural cleansing of your body is called autophagy and it is part of the process of helping ensure you don’t look older than your age.

Autophagy helps you repair injuries, makes your brain function a little better, helps with muscle growth and fat loss, and even assists in your ability to walk and breathe. So what happens when your internal repair is slow and lazy and doesn’t get the job done? You don’t want any of this. Which brings us back to hormones, and in particular growth hormone, which helps the natural process of autophagy. And lower levels are the real reason your reaching for the wrinkle cream.

What’s the best way to pump up the autophagic process? Strategic eating and variations of intermittent fasting. This isn’t about specific foods or how much protein, carbs, and fats you eat. It’s simpler than that. This is about when you eat. Or more specifically, when you don’t eat. The more time you spend eating, as in actual hours during the day eating, the less time you spend enjoying the benefits of autophagy. Intermittent fasting fires up the process and cleanses your cells.

The upside is that this type of eating still offers you the freedom to still eat the foods you love, and follow the diet of your choice, whether it’s low carb, vegan, or meat, if that’s your preference. If you can work the intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, it might be one of the best health maintenance strategies you can add to your life.

Skin Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Acne sufferers know that one of the best ways to control bothersome skin conditions is through diet, eating only unprocessed foods and limiting consumption of dairy products. It’s no surprise, then, that regular intermittent fasting can offer impressive benefits that can be seen all over a person practicing is – glowing, radiant face. Remember, while you’re fasting, you are detoxing your body, which shows on your skin. You also drink much more water while fasting, which is the #1 skin benefit!

Intermittent fasting also has a positive effect on your hair and nails, helping them grow healthy and strong. Not only will you feel good after incorporating intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, you’ll look great, too.

The Other Benefits

Losing weight and belly fat

If you go without food for six hours or more, your body starts burning fat for fuel. That’s probably why researchers at the University of Illinois have found that people who fast every other day lose 90% or more of their weight from fat stores on your thighs and hips. The fat loss is a good 15% higher than what people attain on traditional, diet-every-day plans. The same study found that after eight weeks of alternate-day fasting, participants lost three inches from their waists, regardless of whether they consumed a high-fat or low-fat diet on their feast days.

Retaining more muscle

Anytime you shed pounds through dieting, you lose a combination of fat and muscle. But with fasting (at least when you do it every other day) you lose less muscle. That matters because your muscle dictates your metabolism: the more lean tissue you have the more calories you’ll burn day in and day out, giving you a built-in buffer against weight regain.

Boosts mood and motivation

Studies show that fasting and calorie restriction improves anger, tension, confusion, and overall mood. High levels of ghrelin (hunger hormone) are associated with anti-depressant effects.

Improves brain function

Studies by researchers at the National Institute on Aging have discovered that periodic fasting protects brain cells from routine damage. The nerves and synapses in our brains are important to care for. The more efficient they are, the better. Fasting has been shown to increase the growth of new nerve cells in the brain (more). This will improve how your brain functions, with memory and focus! Not just that, it also increases the production of the brain protein (BDNF).  This protein protects against Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s (more).

Improves sleep

Periods of fasting can lead to decreases in arousal during sleep (more). Intermittent fasting has proven to benefit daytime performance and quality of sleep.

Improves your immune system

Intermittent fasting can help keep the body from getting sick. By reducing inflammation, the body becomes more resistant to common illnesses (more). Fewer colds and a stronger immune system; not only does fasting improve health in the short-term, but the long-term as well.

Its beneficial for your heart health

Fasting reduces your risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure, according to a number of studies.

Resistance to stress

Chronic stress has been associated with heart disease, premature aging, poor skin quality, and just about every major disease known to man. Multiple studies have shown that using intermittent fasting helps to enhance the body’s resistance to harmful stress.  It helps to fight free radicals by improving the body’s protective chemicals.

Cellular repair

When we fast, the cells in the body initiate a cellular “waste removal” process called autophagy. This involves the cells breaking down and metabolizing broken and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time. Increased autophagy may provide protection against several diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Reducing cancer risks

Intermittent fasting’s impressive ability to stimulate growth hormone production is also important for reducing a practitioner’s risk of developing a number of types of cancer. Regular eating triggers the body to produce more and more new cells – which can inadvertently speed up the growth of certain cancer cells. Fasting, however, gives your body a bit of a rest from this activity, and lessens the possibility of new cells becoming cancerous. In addition, studies have indicated that when combined with chemotherapy, a “fast-like diet” can help tear down the protection that prevents the immune system from attacking breast cancer and skin cancer cells.

Extending your life span

Research from University of Chicago scientists revealed that intermittent fasting can delay the development of the disorders that lead to death, meaning that regular practitioners can enjoy a longer, healthier life than people who eat a regular three meals a day or follow a traditional restricted-calorie diet. A theory on this, according to head of the National Institute on Aging’s neuroscience laboratory Mark Mattson, is that the mild stress that intermittent fasting puts on the body provides a constant threat, increasing the body’s powerful cellular defenses against potential molecular damage. Intermittent fasting also stimulates the body to maintain and repair tissues and has anti-aging benefits, keeping every organ and cell functioning effectively and efficiently.

Slowing down the aging process

Research shows that intermittent fasting can mimic the affects of very low-calorie diets, which are good for anti-aging. Fasting can delay aging and help prevent and treat diseases. It revealed that fasting triggers adaptive cellular stress responses, which result in a better ability to cope with more stress and counteract disease.

Tip –

For weight loss:

If you want to use the intermittent fasting for weight loss, the best way is to do a 5:2 diet! What you do is you take only 500 calories (600 for men) on a day 3 and 5 of a 7 day week period. Caloric restriction to 500 calories for women, 600 calories for men give the best weight loss results. For more details and what to eat with this type of fasting, visit The 5:2 Fast Diet.

(4-hour fast, 3 times per week can actually produce weight loss of 7-to-10 pounds per month; or more, depending on your body makeup and what you eat!)

For health (popular form of fasting):

Restrict all eating to an 8 hour window. An example of this is to eat from 10 AM to 6 PM or noon to 8 PM – this just depends on your choice, your hunger rhythms & your lifestyle!