As intermittent fasting grows in popularity, you’ve probably found yourself a little curious about it. You might be wondering if it will really help you reach your weight goals and if it comes with any other health benefits.
What is intermittent fasting?
Humans have been fasting for one reason or another for as long as we've been on the planet. Recently the practice of choosing short, irregular fasts has been gaining popularity and motivating scientists to study the results.
So far it seems fasting for 72 hours is among the most effective approaches, largely because it takes a bit less than a full day for our bodies to burn through glycogen stores and switch into its fat-burning mode, called ketosis. That's when the most benefits seem to accumulate, so giving your body a couple of days in high-gear fat-burning mode makes sense.
So what are the benefits of kicking your body into high gear with a 72-hour fast?
Once your body burns its glycogen stores and enters ketosis you'll begin burning fat tissue, and at a higher rate than usual because fasting increases your metabolic rate. Combine that with the most obvious part of fasting – consuming fewer calories than you're burning – and you have the right conditions for dropping weight. Just take care when you're ready to eat again – overeating could counteract the work you put into a successful fast.
Chronic inflammation plays a role in much of what ails our body when we have diseases. In fact, chronic inflammation seems to contribute to serious health complications such as cancer, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Fasting for 72 hours may reduce inflammation by reducing oxidative stress in your body’s cells, lowering your risk of developing other serious health problems.
Slowed cell aging
Your body naturally replenishes its cells through a process known as autophagy, or more simply, cellular repair. This natural process helps prevent the contraction of disease and delays tissue aging – and since we are a complex collection of cells, longer-living cells can add time to our lives.
Fasting for longer than 48 hours has been linked to improved cellular repair and overall longevity, so you can live a longer, healthier life.
There are more than just physical benefits to be found in 72-hour fasts. Sometimes we turn to food when we don't want to feel our feelings, and committing to a fast can help us be more aware of that habit. It sounds a little intimidating may sound scary, but in the right setting it can be transformative.
Redmond Real Salt hosts 3-day fasting events to give us a supportive group of people who are experimenting with the physical and mental health benefits, many for the first time. Discover all the benefits for yourself with Redmond Real Salt’s 3-Day Community Fasting Challenge, and don’t forget to replenish your body with minerals to keep your body hydrated during your fasting adventure.