The Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

2/22/15 –


I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding Intermittent Fasting so I thought I would clear up any confusion with some great new studies and guidelines below.   You will still get amazing results without ever trying it – it’s just another tool in your toolbox for health and weight loss.

In addition to removing your cravings for processed foods, sugar, and snack foods – Intermittent Fasting will turn you into an efficient fat-burning machine.   It will make it easier to maintain a healthy body weight, and modern science has confirmed there are many other good reasons to fast intermittently.

For example, research presented at the 2011 annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans showed that fasting triggered a 1,300 percent rise of human growth hormone (HGH) in women, and an astounding 2,000 percent in men.

HGH, human growth hormone, commonly referred to as “the Youth hormone,” plays an important role in maintaining youth, health, fitness and longevity, including promotion of muscle growth, and boosting fat loss by increasing your metabolism. The fact that it helps build muscle while simultaneously promoting Fat Loss and Youth explains why HGH helps you lose weight without sacrificing muscle mass.  The only other thing that can compete in terms of dramatically boosting HGH levels is high-intensity interval training, just like my Toned in Ten Program.

Other health benefits of intermittent fasting include:

Normalizing your insulin and leptin sensitivity, which is key for optimal health

Improving biomarkers of disease

Normalizing ghrelin levels, also known as “the hunger hormone”

Reducing inflammation and lessening free radical damage

Lowering triglyceride levels

Preserving memory functioning and learning


How Intermittent Fasting Benefits Your Brain

There are some groundbreaking studies that show your brain can also benefit from intermittent fasting.

“Mattson has also researched the protective benefits of fasting to neurons. If you don’t eat for 10–16 hours, your body will go to its fat stores for energy, and fatty acids called ketones will be released into the bloodstream. This has been shown to protect memory and learning functionality, says Mattson, as well as slow disease processes in the brain.”

In addition to releasing ketones as a byproduct of burning fat, intermittent fasting also improves brain function by increasing production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).  BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

BDNF also expresses itself in the neuro-muscular system where it protects neuro-motors from degradation. (The neuromotor is the most critical element in your muscle.   Neuro-motor degradation is part of the process that explains age-related muscle atrophy.) So BDNF is actively involved in both your muscles and your brain.

Give Intermittent Fasting a Try

If you’re ready to give intermittent fasting a try, consider skipping breakfast and eating your calories for the day in an 8 hour window.  For example 11am to 7 pm.  In those 8 hours that you do eat, have healthy protein, vegetables, and minimize your carbs like pasta, bread, and potatoes.   Exchange them for healthful fats like butter, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts — basically the very fats the media and “experts” tell you to avoid.  These will keep you feeling satisfied and never hungry and will help shift you from carb/sugar burning to fat burning mode. Once your body has made this shift, it is nothing short of amazing as your cravings for sweets, junk food, and processed foods dramatically decreases – if not disappears entirely.

I don’t recommend Intermittent Fasting if you are just starting to change your eating habits. Once you have been following my Nutrition Guide for 3-4 weeks your body will have officially made the shift to fat burning rather that sugar burning.  That is the time to begin Intermittent Fasting if you wish to, but you will still get amazing results without IF.  You can use IF down the road as another tool in your toolbox for weight loss.  Remember it takes a few weeks, and you have to do it gradually, but once you succeed and switch to fat burning mode, you’ll be easily able to intermittently fast and not feel hungry. The “hunger” most people feel is actually cravings for sugar, and these will disappear, as if by magic, once you successfully shift over to burning fat instead.

Another phenomenal side effect/benefit that occurs is that you will radically improve the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Supporting healthy gut bacteria, which improves your immune function to prevent you from getting sick. You will sleep better, feel energized, and have more thought clarity.

Another great tool in your tool box to help you and your family improve their health, energy, and brain function.