Fat Loss, Health, and Immortality – The Ultimate Guide To Fasting. No, really.

By Aadam | November 24, 2016
Fasting diets have become extremely popular over the last 2-3 years as more research emerges on fasting and the benefits seen on fat loss, health, and longevity.
 
While fasting as a choice of diet is a fairly new phenomenon , the act of fasting itself has been around for more than a thousand years – sometimes due to a lack of food and has also been advocated by many of the major religions.
 
Even the great philosophers of antiquity like Plato, Seneca, and “The Father of Modern Medicine” Hippocrates, were extolling the virtues of short periods of abstinence from food.
 
The modern day incarnation of fasting is what has come to be known as Intermittent Fasting, or the shorthand, IF: simply, Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that has the dieter cycle periods of eating and not eating (fasting). While this concept remains at the crux of every new fasting diet, where they differ is on the length and setup of the fasting window.
 
And as we’ll see, there are quite a few.
 
Before taking a look at the fasting diets, we should answer two common questions surrounding fasting: does fasting actually work and is it safe?
 

Is Fasting Safe?

 Absolutely. As mentioned earlier, humans have been practising fasting in some or another throughout evolution; furthermore, when you’re sleeping you’re engaged in a short-term fast.
 
All in all, If you’re a healthy individual, short periods of fasting are not only safe but can be great for your health as you’ll find later in the article. 
 
With that said, if you do have health concerns like low blood sugar, then it’s best to avoid fasting diets. As always, check with your doctor before starting a new diet and exercise programme. 
 

Does Fasting, like, work?

The answer is a definitive yes. Research on intermittent fasting has returned some extremely positive results, some of these including:
  • Improved insulin sensitivity – the more insulin sensitive you are, the better your body utilises glucose (carbs/sugar). The better your body utilises glucose the less chance of developing type II diabetes.
  • Cellular repair – when you fast the body undergoes a cellular repair process that removes any waste and toxic material from the cells.
  • Improved brain health and cognition
  • Helps you differentiate between *actual* hunger and *mental* hunger – there’s a tendency to feel a bit of hunger and immediately rush off to satisfy it. The truth is, this hunger is more often than not just a habit and not actual hunger. Fasting for short periods helps you differentiate between this impulse to eat and actual, physical hunger.
  • Builds Discipline and Mental Resilience  – I’ve spoken about this ad nauseam but I use fasting as a tool to build mental resilience and control impulse. We’ve become accustomed to feeling hunger and immediately running off to satisfy this feeling. Learning to sit and not be controlled by your impulses is going to pay dividends not only to your dieting goals but other goals, too.
  • It can help suppress appetite 
 While fasting does have some pretty amazing benefits to health and longevity; when it comes to body composition total calorie intake still matters more. In other words, even if you’re fasting but eating too many calories, you’re not going to lose fat.
 
I feel this point bears noting as many fasting aficionados tend to make it seem that fasting holds magic weight loss properties, unfortunately, there are none; and calories still count.
 
With all that said, let’s take a look at the popular fasting diets.
 

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