Fasting has more health benefits than just weight loss, it also helps reduce inflammation and keeps the mind sharp.
Increased productivity is what we are all on the lookout for since we lead busy lifestyles with huge demands. Even though many people look for it in technology, most of us have realized the best way to achieve better productivity is to focus on our health.
Our health can benefit from simple things like taking vitamins, walking, and even fasting. Even though fasting can be dangerous if done incorrectly, it gives our bodies and brain an incredible boost.
The science behind fasting
According to scientists, when we fast, our brains can work harder. This is based on the principle that in a fasted state, our ancestors, who were hunter-gatherers, had increased levels of neurotransmitters, allowing them to focus on bringing food.
In their article on how skipping breakfast can help the mind, Well and Good interviewed Dr. Mark P Mattson Ph.D., and he corroborates this theory. He says that so far animal studies have shown that “intermittent fasting—can enhance cognition.” His research has shown that during intermittent fasting, the body burns fat as an energy source, and this may be one of the reasons the brain performs optimally.
Fasting can be dangerous if not done correctly and when it’s taken to the extreme. If the body is deprived of food for too long it goes into starvation mode. This can harm it, and consequently the brain.
Intermittent fasting is considered the best method to boost brain power and other health benefits. It consists of short periods of feeding alternated with a long period of not eating at all. According to the University of East London, there are three ways to fast intermittently, but the most popular is the 16/8.
This entails eating during an eight-hour time-frame followed by 16 hours of fasting. For the average person, this may sound impossible, but it can be done. The 16/8 is easier when it incorporates an early dinner at 6 pm, and then breakfast at 10 am the next day. Liquids like water, black coffee, and tea are allowed, but no milk, sugar, or sweetener can be added.
Another form of intermittent fasting is 5:2. According to Dr. Mattson, who is now researching the effects on humans, it takes the human body up to four weeks to adapt to eating 500 calories on two days of every week.
According to the principle that intermittent fasting goes back to our ancestors, some scientists believe we are meant to be on the move during the day. As we move, we are using up energy. Unfortunately, if we start thinking about food, our minds are side-tracked by an unnecessary distraction. Fasting allows our brains to focus on the task at hand.
Therefore, people who want to reap the benefits of intermittent fasting need to start practicing it for a while before expecting to get any benefits from it. Our bodies need a few weeks to adapt to the primal mechanism which improves our concentration.