Every religion in the world has certain customs and rituals that can help you lose weight.
Muslims fast from dawn till dusk during Ramadan. Christians restrict their diet to plain food and drinks during Lent. And Hindus are famous for fasting practically the entire year for one festival or another.
So if you have been fasting for Navratri, then read on. Because in this article I am going to reveal the 7 mindblowing benefits of intermittent fasting on your health.
But before I tell you its benefits, it's important that I tell you what intermittent fasting is in the first place.
Well, intermittent fasting is a technique where you fast for 12 - 18 hours in a 24-hour period (including sleep time), and eat only during the remaining hours. And the following are its benefits.
#1 You Burn a Lot of Fat
Fasting cuts off your body's regular source of energy, which ultimately causes it to seek fuel by tapping into your abundant fat reserves.
That's the reason why it is said that fasting is even better than dieting at burning fat.
#2 Speeds Up Your Metabolism
When your stomach is empty, your body has more time to regulate your digestive tract and promote healthy bowel movements. This, in turn, improves your metabolism, and thus, helps you burn fat even when you are not doing any rigorous activities.
#3 Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is the hormone responsible for decreasing your blood sugar levels. And it does this by stimulating glucose uptake by the cells of your body.
This is known as insulin sensitivity.
Unfortunately, those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes lose this ability and become resistant to insulin, which increases their blood sugar drastically.
That's why intermittent fasting is considered a great way to stave off type 2 diabetes as it improves your body's sensitivity to insulin.
Also read - How to Control Diabetes: The Top 5 Ways
#4 Makes Your Day Simpler
When we are not eating, we worry about what we are going to eat. And when we do eat, we worry about how much we are eating.
Intermittent fasting makes this equation easier since instead of eating 3 meals a day, you essentially eat only 1 or 2. So it frees you up to be more productive the rest of the day and not waste time worrying about your meals or cooking them.
#5 Improves Your Eating Habits
Some of us have the bad habit of binge eating throughout the day. While others tend to skip their meals or forget to have food because they are too busy working.
Neither of this is a good idea as it puts your body under a lot of unnecessary stress (both from overeating and irregular-eating). But that's not the case when you are intermittently fast.
This is because when you are fasting intermittently, your body knows that it will only receive nourishment during a set number of hours every day, and so it makes sure to alert you only when it's time to eat.
Furthermore, since this technique involves fasting for 12 - 18 hours a day, you can pretty much decide when to fast and when not to, according to your daily schedule and convenience.
Also read - Indian Food Habits That Are Healthy
#6 It Improves Your Brain Function
Intermittent fasting is known to boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) in your body, which improves the health of your neurons and nerve pathways, and also protects your brain from developing Alzheimer's disease or Parkinsonism.
#7 Improved Immunity
When you are fasting, your body is not preoccupied with digesting food and regulating its movement through your intestines. This frees it up to attack the free radicals in your body and detox you from within, which prevents cancer and other diseases from taking you down.
What Should I Do?
If you have never fasted before, don't try fasting for 18 hours a day. You will inevitably fall sick.
Instead, start with just 12 hours, and keep this period at night so you can have an early dinner by 7 and then fast throughout the night until breakfast next morning.
You can slowly increase this duration and add more hours later according to your inconvenience.
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