Many fad diet followers would understand just how exhausting and disillusioning the process of weight loss can be. Body image is found to be quite closely linked to many dieters’ quality of life, varying from feel-good highs to depressive lows, depending on how well they think the diet is working. Meticulously following weeks of diet plans may result in phases of binge eating in frustration when nothing seems to be working.
Some people follow diet plans quite effortlessly, the key is to find a plan which works for you. Intermittent Fasting is a diet that has been scientifically proven to have great physical, psychological and emotional impact. This diet requires you to eat fewer calories on a couple of days of the week and manage calorie intake on other days. This allows the flexibility to eat food which seems to be fulfilling and satisfying without denying yourself the finer delicacies of life. Many people find this diet sensible and sustainable, they feel full of energy and look great at the same time.
The History of Fasting
Fasting is not a new phenomenon, throughout life-history people have been fasting for various reasons: a sacrifice to the gods, ordained by religion, gaining spiritual enlightenment or merely for medical purpose. In the 5th Century, Hippocrates recommended fasting for patients exhibiting symptoms of certain illness; Judaism emphasizes fasting on certain occasions throughout the year especially on days of penitence, for example, Yom Kippur; in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, a 40-days fasting period is observed before Lent and Muslims across the world fast and make donations during the month of Ramadan each year.
However, particularly in recent years, fasting has also begun to see increased popularity amongst those simply looking to stay healthy and look after themselves. This is partly the result of the many studies done over the last century into the effects of fasting on the body, many of which found positive impacts in a range of different areas.
The Psychological, Emotional and Physical Benefits of Fasting
Fasting has a positive impact on a person’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being. It not only helps them to look good but also feel good, they develop a more positive outlook on life, which helps in developing more deep and meaningful friendships.
Fasting has been linked to developing a healthier body in particular. It detoxes the body through its self-cleaning system, autophagy, and as it cleanses us of toxin build-up, it also repairs any damaged cells. This is beneficial for the efficient functioning of the body and helps ensure that you are feeling your best.
This general bodily state improvement is also effective at improving energy levels as your body is operating more efficiently. With greater energy comes better motivation and a greater likelihood of staying active and healthy. Building on this further, feeling energetic and engaged also helps massively with mental health and social comfort.
As fasting refreshes your body, it consequently improves self-confidence and often happiness too. That’s not to say that starving oneself is good for you, intermittent fasting is exactly as it sounds – intermittent – meaning that it’s more about managing your intake rather than not eating anything at all.
Aside from the energy level increase, fasting has also proven to help with brain and heart function, with some studies even suggesting a correlation between fasting based diets and reduced risk of certain diseases. Regardless, there is definitely merit to living a lifestyle that incorporates intermittent fasting, with its benefits spanning all areas of the body and mind.
Whatever your fitness and health goals, there is a chance that intermittent fasting might work well for you. It’s always important to do your research before undertaking a diet change like this though, so ensure that you acquaint yourself with exactly how the diet works before giving it a try.