Intermittent Fasting and Longevity
Is there a link between intermittent fasting and longevity? Research shows that there may just be! From positive effects on the brain to potential prevention of all kinds of disease, intermittent fasting could be the key to unlock your best health yet. Before we get too deep into how intermittent fasting may help you live longer and better, let’s talk a little bit about what it is and how to do it!
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a pretty simple when you look at it broken down. Basically, in order to take part in intermittent fasting, you would need to limit the hours in which you consume foods, and go at least 12 to 16 hours without injecting anything but water (with a very few debatable exceptions, such as black coffee).
When you wake up in the morning after sleeping all night, most people consume some sort of calories. Whether it’s eggs and toast, a bowl of cereal, or just a nonfat latte from your favorite coffee shop, any calories consumed technically “break the fast” from your night’s rest. Anyone catching on here? That’s right, we’re talking about what’s regarded as the most important meal of the day, in its most literal translation: breakfast. Or, if you will, “break + fast.” Get it?
So, what happens when we don’t break that fast right away first thing in the morning? While technically you can set up your eating window and fasting window at any time throughout the day, most people who participate in intermittent fasting prefer to place their fasting window overnight, when most people are not consuming food anyway. An intermittent fast doesn’t actually have to look too extreme— it may be as simple as finishing up dinner at 7pm, and waiting to have breakfast the next morning at 11am. That doesn’t sound too crazy for most of us, but guess what? That’s a 16 hour fast right there!
If this doesn’t seem doable to you, of course you can play around with the timeframe to fit your specific schedule and needs. You may choose to eat a meal at midnight, then break your fast at noon the next day for a 12 hour fast. If you need fuel first thing in the morning, however, don’t make yourself miserable by trying to go without it!
Say you’re going in for a powerlifting session at 8am, and you know that if you don’t have a little fuel in the tank, you won’t be able to perform at your peak level. If you can’t smash out those reps, you won’t be able to hit your muscle building goals! So, what are you to do if you want to crush it in the gym, but also get the potential life-enhancing benefits of intermittent fasting?
You have several options! The first one, and maybe the most doable one, would be to simply move your eating window back a bit the day before. Of course, this might not be possible every single day, but it’s best to look at the big picture of your diet and lifestyle than to get too hung up on one-off events. Basically, try not to get caught up in an all or nothing mentality and completely destroy your social life by never eating dinner with friends again!
Okay, that being said, let’s look at a big-picture fasting window for early gym goers, or those of us who wake up HANGRY.
If you were to finish eating dinner every night by 5, for example, not only will you get the early-bird special prices (tempting!), but you will also be able to eat breakfast at a normal hour and still get in a 12 hour plus fast! If you can hold off until 7, that’s a 14 hour fasting window. If you have until 9, that’s your full 16 hours without going hungry in the morning!
If this doesn’t sound good to you, you can also choose to fast for one full day each week, and eat normally the rest of the time to reap similar benefits. Many people who choose this option like to fast completely on their rest day from the gym. It can be difficult to manage a full day fast, and you would definitely want to speak to your doctor first in case it is not recommended for you. It also can seem a bit too restrictive for some folks, and can set us up for a potential binge the next day. Always check in with yourself and how you feel when you make a diet or lifestyle change to make sure it feels good and sustainable to you!
Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Longevity?
Okay, now that we understand what intermittent fasting is and how we can pull it off without too much hassle, let’s talk about some of its amazing potential benefits!
Of course, people who are looking to lose weight may be pretty excited by the results that intermittent fasting may have. If you are currently on a weight loss journey, intermittent fasting could be a next step for you to try out! When a healthy diet and exercise plan isn’t enough, you may try adding in a product like Semaglutide to give you that extra boost. When you use Semaglutide in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, and maybe even intermittent fasting, you may be surprised by how you crush your goals!
Intermittent fasting has been studied for quite some time, and there is some pretty exciting results out there. Some people choose to try intermittent fasting as a weight loss diet, but actually, there are so many more benefits to it than that! Here are 5 different ways that intermittent fasting may be able to help you increase your longevity.
5 Ways Intermittent Fasting Helps You Live Longer
- Preventing Neurodegenerative Diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease
This is pretty crazy— intermittent fasting may improve how neurons connect to the hippocampus in the brain! How amazing is that? Research by the John’s Hopkins School of Medicine recently showed some exciting and promising results when it comes to the positive impact of intermittent fasting in the brain.
- Reducing Bad Cholesterol
Looking for a natural way to potentially reduce “bad” cholesterol, or LDL? Research shows that intermittent fasting can help to not only lower the bad cholesterol, but at the same time it does not seem to reduce our good cholesterol! Yes, there is such a thing as good cholesterol, just in case you weren’t aware! Often times we hear only about how bad cholesterol is for our health, but we actually want to maintain a healthy level of HDL, our good cholesterol, for good health overall! By lowering LDL only, intermittent fasting may be ideal for people who need to keep their cholesterol in check.
- Managing Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
When you fast for an extended period of time, insulin levels naturally go down. It makes sense, right? Studies on individual with type II diabetes have shown an positive impact on blood sugar levels while undergoing intermittent fasting.
- Reducing Disease Risk and Increasing Life Span
With all of the good that intermittent fasting can do in the body, it’s not surprising that research shows that intermittent fasting may reduce overall risk for both metabolic and chronic disease! In both human and animal studies, results show that certain risk factors for different diseases were reduced, which means that the people partaking in intermittent fasting are less likely to develop the issues over time. Sounds like a win to us!
- Reducing Oxidative Stress and Boosting Detoxification
Oxidative stress has been identified as a possible risk factor for many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. While intermittent fasting is not claiming to be a cure for these, why not try to do what we can to reduce the oxidative stress in the first place, before it can lead to more problems? When you fast, the body is able to focus on cell repair and detoxification. If you give your body more time to be in the fasting state, you may see positive impacts on oxidative stress and detox effects!
Whether or not you choose to begin an intermittent fasting regimen, we hope that this knowledge has helped you learn a bit more about why so many are choosing to partake in this dietary habit.
If you have questions, or you’d like to get an expert opinion on what you can add in to hit your health goals, fill out our form and speak with a specialist today!
We can’t wait to help you achieve your most elite you yet!
Stay strong, warrior!