We are conditioned to eat. It doesn’t matter what culture or where we are geographically located, we always set up patterns to eat at certain times of the day. We even do it unconsciously. What if we broke that pattern? What if we broke the pattern for days? Intermittent fasting allows the body to use fat as its primary source of energy instead of sugar and there are five huge benefits.
1. Our Ancestors Did It
Before the development of agriculture 10,000 or so years ago, humans survived on more irregular food intake due to their hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Fasting was a fact of life in hunter-gatherer societies. Humans evolved to function well physically and mentally even amid fasting conditions. So it can be postulated that this system of skipping and even days without meals, has benefited human societies for a long period of time.
2. It Improves Our Metabolism
Intermittent fasting gives your digestive system a rest, and this can energise your metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently. If your digestion is poor, this can effect your ability to metabolise food and burn fat. Intermittent fasts can regulate your digestion and promote healthy bowel function, thus improving your metabolic function. Fasting has shown to have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, allowing you to tolerate carbohydrates (sugar) better than if you didn’t fast. A studyshowed that after periods of fasting, insulin becomes more effective in telling cells to take up glucose from blood.
3. Promotes Longevity
Believe it or not, the less you eat the longer you will live. Studies have shown how the lifespan of people in certain cultures increased due to their diets. However, we don’t need to live amongst a foreign community to reap the benefits of fasting. One of the primary effects of aging is a slower metabolism, the younger your body is, the faster and more efficient your metabolism. The less you eat, the less toll it takes on your digestive system. Restricting calories can double or even triple lifespan. Aware of the profound influence of calorie restriction on animals, some people have cut their calorie intake by 25 percent or more in hopes of lengthening lifespan.
4. Improves Your Immune System
Intermittent fasting improves the immune system because it reduces free radical damage, regulates inflammatory conditions in the body and starves off cancer cell formation.
In nature, when animals get sick they stop eating and instead focus on resting. This is a primal instinct to reduce stress on their internal system so their body can fight off infection. We humans are the only species who look for food when we are ill, even when we do not need it.
5. Fasting Contributes To Self-Enlightenment
Fasting has helped many people feel more connected to life during the practices reading, meditation, yoga and martial arts etc. With no food in the digestive system, this makes room for more energy in the body — the digestive is one of the most energy absorbing systems in the body.
Fasting for self-enlightenment, allows us to feel better both consciously and physically. With a lighter body and a clearer mind we become more aware and grateful for the things around us.
As the body’s digestive system contracts the stomach and digestive system, it changes the consciousness of the human with a sense of greater peace and tranquility. This is especially evident after the first day of fasting.
This article was originally published by Natural Blaze