Fasting is a discipline in which you deprive oneself of food for an extended period of time. There are several different types of fasting, such as intermittent fasting, and each has unique health advantages.
If done correctly, 24-hour fasts—during which you refrain from eating for at least 24 hours—can benefit your body and general health in a number of ways.
Additionally, these fasts don’t have to be performed frequently; simply once a week is sufficient to enjoy some of these health advantages. We’ll look at 10 lifestyle advantages of 24-hour fasts in this article.
Benefits OF Fasting for 24 Hours Once a Week
Long-term fasting may seem to the uninitiated to pose health concerns similar to those associated with famine. The truth is that the human body can fast for 24 hours without any problems and even gain from it. Some of the most significant health advantages of fasting include the following:
1. Fasting Can Help with Fat Loss
Fasting for longer periods of time can help you lose weight because you are ingesting fewer calories. You need to be in a calorie deficit—consuming less calories than you are burning—in order to lose weight and reduce body fat.
By significantly limiting your caloric intake once each week, you are putting yourself in an energy deficit that will help you lose weight.
Additionally, your body will use fat reserves for energy during this fast rather than the sugar you would typically obtain from food, which will further aid in weight loss.
2. Blood Sugar Control
Hours of fasting on a regular basis can help your body become less insulin resistant, which will benefit your blood sugar levels. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes rises if you have a high level of insulin resistance, which also causes your blood sugar levels to stay high.
Your body can become more responsive to insulin by reducing insulin resistance, which is beneficial. As a result, glucose can be transported from your bloodstream to your cells much more effectively.
You can prevent spikes and crashes in your blood sugar and insulin levels by fasting, which can also help you maintain your energy levels.
3. Get Your Hormones Under Control
It’s almost like your hunger hormones and energy balance are restored when you fast one day a week. The food we eat has a significant impact on the hormones leptin, which alerts us when we are full, and ghrelin, which controls hunger.
Obesity often results in greater leptin levels, which may be a sign of leptin resistance. This indicates that you are overweight but your brain simply cannot detect it.
On the other hand, ghrelin levels are frequently lower. Overconsumption and bad dietary decisions may result from this.
The research demonstrates that alternate-day fasting or 24-hour fasting has a favourable impact on ghrelin and leptin without affecting hunger levels. So, even when we are fasting, our hunger levels can be low and we can yet feel full.
4. May Boost Your Immune System
You could expect that because of a lack of nutrients, eating less would have a detrimental impact on our body’s capacity to fend off infection.
However, as a species, humans have evolved to survive brief times where access to normal food was limited. Therefore, it has been asserted that “being hungry” is a normal element of our bodies’ physiology.
Short-term consumption of less calories has been found to directly correlate with the body’s tissue immunity, according to a study. In other words, a reduced appetite can trigger an immune response that protects against common infections.
5. Fasting Can Reduce Inflammation
The majority of chronic diseases are now known to be correlated with chronic inflammation. Around the world, 350 million people experience diseases like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Monocytes, which are created as a result of poor eating habits, release chemicals in our bodies that lead to inflammation.
According to studies, fasting can induce monocytes to go into “sleep mode.” Monocytes that have been fed are far more inflammatory than those that have been fasting.
6. Boosts Metabolism
Fasting can actually increase your metabolic rate, in addition to assisting in weight loss owing to daily calorie limitation (how quickly your body burns calories). Despite the fact that calorie restriction is the only way to lose weight, a higher metabolism will enable your body to burn through more calories each day.
Your metabolism can improve over time if you gradually include a 24-hour fasting habit into your weekly schedule, perhaps a couple of times a week.
7. Enhances Heart Health
It has been demonstrated that fasting, particularly alternate-day fasting, is good for your heart’s general health. Nearly a third of all deaths are caused by heart disease, which ranks as the world’s greatest killer.
According to research, certain fasting practices can lower your blood triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol, which lowers your chance of developing cardiovascular illnesses. Such dietary modifications can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and prevent diabetes.
8. Boosts Brain Function
Studies have also suggested that fasting may improve brain function and provide protection against neurodegenerative diseases, among other potential health benefits. Even while these studies have mainly involved animals thus far, they have proven that fasting enhances cognitive function in mice, and researchers think that this may also apply to people.
Studies on some of these animals have demonstrated that fasting can help protect against illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s since inflammation can also result in these conditions.
Naturally, improving cognitive function will have a variety of effects, such as enhanced performance, increased awareness, and quicker nerve-to-cell reaction times.
9. Fasting Makes You Smarter
That’s accurate. Eat less to become smarter! Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a protein whose production is increased by fasting.
A protein called BDNF promotes the growth of neurons that are good for the health of your brain. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that this potent protein can reduce Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
10. Fasting Can Help You Live Longer
Our bodies tend to “clog” up with old proteins and poisons as we age and develop, which accelerates the ageing process and can cause health issues. Periodic fasting, however, can thwart this process and encourage autophagy, a defence mechanism.
These old poisons are essentially cleared out of the body during this process, enabling the body to regenerate and repair cells. This slows down ageing in addition to assisting in the battle against diseases like dementia.
How Do You Begin Fasting?
So you want to enjoy all of your favourite dishes without having to worry about the calories? Here are some suggestions for someone who is first thinking about it:
- Delay breakfast by two hours: if your typical breakfast time is at 8 am. Make it 10 am. If your last meal was at 7 o’clock the night before, you’ve already been without food for 15 hours! As you grow acclimated to it, you can delay your first meal even longer.
- Drink green tea and black coffee: During your fasting window, drinking black coffee and green tea will aid to speed up your metabolism. They both contain no calories, so you shouldn’t be concerned that they will end your fast.
- Drink a lot of water: You must hydrate yourself as much as you can. If your stomach starts to grumble, try sparkling water. You’ll feel filled thanks to the bubbles.
- Make sure to work out regularly: Fasting is not an excuse for not working out. For an even larger boost in fat-burning, try performing your cardio while fasting!
Should You Work Out During a 24 Hour Fast?
Although you can work out while you’re fasting, it’s recommended to avoid really demanding workouts because your body won’t have as much energy to spare and this could result in damage.
Try to plan your day of fasting as a day off from activity, or else engage in only relatively easy forms of exercise.
It is worthwhile to think about including a 24-hour fast into your weekly schedule because intermittent fasting can have an unexpected amount of positive effects on your health. It can do wonders for your heart, brain, metabolism, and immune system and is comparatively easy to put into practice.