Fasting can have various beneficial effects on the body, both short-term and long-term, depending on the duration and type of fasting. Here's an overview of what fasting does to your body:
Short-Term Effects (During Fasting):
Decreased Blood Sugar: When you fast, especially during the initial hours, your blood sugar levels drop as your body depletes its glucose stores. This can lead to feelings of hunger, irritability, and fatigue.
Increased Fat Utilization: As your blood sugar drops, your body begins to use stored fat for energy. This is why fasting is often associated with weight loss.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Intermittent fasting, in particular, can improve insulin sensitivity, helping regulate blood sugar levels over time.
Autophagy: Fasting triggers a process called autophagy, where your body cleans out damaged cells and regenerates new ones. This can have potential health benefits.
Release of Ketones: After an extended period of fasting (usually 12-24 hours), your liver begins to produce ketones, which can be used as an alternative fuel source for the brain and muscles.
Reduction in Inflammation: Fasting can reduce markers of inflammation in the body, which may be beneficial for certain chronic conditions
2. Long-Term Effects (After Consistent Fasting):
Weight Loss: Fasting can lead to weight loss by creating a calorie deficit. The body burns stored fat for energy when there's a lack of incoming calories.
Improved Metabolism: Some research suggests that intermittent fasting can help regulate metabolism and support weight management.
Cardiovascular Health: Fasting can contribute to lower blood pressure and reduced risk factors for heart disease, though individual responses may vary.
Cellular Health: As mentioned earlier, autophagy promoted by fasting can improve cellular health and may have a positive impact on aging and certain diseases.
Hormonal Changes: Fasting can affect hormones like insulin, ghrelin, and leptin, which control hunger and appetite. This may help with weight management.
Mental Clarity: Some people report increased mental clarity and focus during fasting, likely due to the production of ketones.