1. GLORIOUS FOR BLOOD SUGAR MANAGEMENT.
If you are frequently eating back to back and not allowing your body to stop digesting food, the variability in your blood sugars is going to be ever changing. While spacing your meals and snacks 3 hours apart will help keep your blood sugars normal (give your bloodstream a break from constant glucose flowing in), extended fasting will offer normal blood sugars for an extended amount of time.
2. YOU ARE BURNING THROUGH FAT.
The downfall of constantly snacking, or eating various meals a day is that your body is constantly burning through glycogen instead of fat.
“Glycogen stores are the first fuel source the body will turn to for energy. In general it takes between 6 to 8 hours for the body to burn through its glycogen supply. When glycogen is depleted the body will then turn to the energy stored in fat cells.” Extending the time between eating will force your body to tap into the fat you have stored in your body.
You eat less: fasting generally involves consuming 30-40% less calories than usual everyday for an extended period of time.
Autophagy literally means “self-eating”. When in a fasted state, your cells create membranes that hunt out scraps of dead, diseased, or worn-out cells! This process recycles molecules for energy or triggers the body to make new cell parts. —> Hello happier/healthier body!
Dr. Colin Champ, a board-certified radiation oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center states: ”Think of it as our body's innate recycling program. Autophagy makes us more efficient machines to get rid of faulty parts, stop cancerous growths, and stop metabolic dysfunction like obesity and diabetes.” —> Fight disease and inflammation.
4. HORMONE REGULATION
Increased insulin sensitivity—this is so crucial as a diabetic! Stress on the body leads to increased insulin resistance (i.e. you need more insulin to normalize blood sugars). During fasting, our cell membranes actually become more sensitive to insulin!
A quick explanation of being resistant to insulin is when your “cells essentially ignore insulin as it rings the door bell trying to deliver its package of energy (glucose).” This is a primary contributing factor associated with nearly every chronic disease. Fasting, especially when combined with consistent exercise, is one of the most effective ways of normalizing insulin sensitivity. —>Respond better to your insulin.
Leptin—the hormone that regulates fat storage as well as hunger signals, and ghrelin, another hormone that tells your brain the body is hungry, are also normalized by routine fasting. Fasting combined with decreased sugar/carbohydrate consumption, allows the brain to clean out its ears and properly hear leptin’s signals!
5. GET HAPPY!
A study by Michaelson et. al. in 2009 showed that therapeutic fasting alleviates depression symptoms and improves anxiety scores in 80% of chronic pain patients after just a few days…other research has found that fasting boosts the levels of available serotonin in the brain.
We are bombarded with countless foods and snacks that trigger inflammation, erratic blood sugars, and insulin spikes. These choices greatly affect our mood because of the internal stress our body is taking on day after day!
DISCLAIMER//REASONS NOT TO TRY FASTING:
1. As a Type 1 diabetic, and managing your blood sugars (i.e. acting like an ACTUAL pancreas 24/7), you must be mindful in this process. If your basal insulin is incorrect, you could discover more frequent high OR low blood sugars. (A 24 hour fast is actually recommended by Dr. Schiener to determine/master your dosing).
2. If you are chronically stressed or dealing with irregular cortisol levels, consider other options before fasting. If your body is already in a stressed state, causing a new stressor (fasting) is not ideal.
3. You are not already practicing wise food choices. Working on cleaning up your diet, i.e. limiting sugary foods and grains while increasing fat and protein, should probably come first!
So that’s a wrap!
What do you think? Are you intrigued practice a little self-cannibalism?
SOURCES: https://draxe.com/intermittent-fasting-benefits/; https://greatist.com/live/autophagy-fasting-exercise