The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Intermittent fasting appears to offer many of the same benefits as calorie restriction, the most common form of dieting on the planet. Calorie restriction is apparently helpful towards living a longer life, reduced stress, better insulin production and sensitivity (the ability to regulate insulin has a huge influence on the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes and in curbing hunger pangs. That 3pm slump after lunch? Down to the sugar you ate leaving your system and the insulin telling you you're still hungry when you're not). However, who wants to spend every day for the rest of their lives counting calories and avoiding foods and drinks they like and never, ever cracking under the pressure? Why bother, when you can intermittent fast instead and still gain the benefits that come from calorie restriction, but without restricting the calories? Longevity A scientific study in the 1940s found that intermittent fasting in rats prolonged their lifespan, whereas calorie restriction did not. Intermittent Fasting helps with cholesterol and weight loss in obese and overweight people, as well as improving cardiovascular fitness, all of which contribute to a longer, healthier, more enjoyable life. Mark Sisson of www.marksdailyapple.com has produced this research with attached links on the benefits of intermittent fasting on cancer: The notion of IF reducing cancer incidence and improving survival is compelling, but little evidence in humans exists. Ketogenic diets may also offer exciting potential for cancer patients, and both IF diets and ketogenic diets share something: fat (either dietary or from your own adipose tissue) as primary fuel sources. But, while ketosis isn’t exactly desirable or optimal as a lifelong dietary regimen, IF is sustainable, simple, and can be integrated into your current diet. As of now, most of the evidence for IF’s protective effects against cancer exist in animal trials, mostly using mice. Still, fasting seems to confer so many other benefits that working it into your life for its anti-cancer potential is probably worth it. Some of the evidence: Calorie restriction is proven to fight cancer cell proliferation in mice, but researchers found that intermittent fasting was just as effective. In fact, here’s a review of most of the animal anti-cancer evidence. It’s quite compelling. Some researchers are speculating, based on substantial evidence, that fasting before and during cancer treatment should result in reduced morbidity, better tolerance of chemotherapies, and higher cure rates. This is refreshing news. A preliminary study in human cancer patients found that fasting during chemotherapy reduced the negative side effects of the treatment. The authors are quick to point out that the results are in no way a prescription for fasting in chemotherapy patients and that controlled trials are needed to change official recommendations, but that doesn’t mean you – the individual – can’t experiment. Autophagy Autophagy is where the body's cells recycle waste and repair themselves. It is essential for maintaining health and muscle mass. It is also essential in anti-ageing. Fortunately for us, intermittent fasting stimulates autophagy and therefore keeps us young, as well as healthy and fit and muscular. Fitness People will constantly tell you that exercising on an empty stomach will result in you burning your muscles for energy and you will simply waste away. However, studies conducted on Muslim athletes who train and even compete during Ramadam show zero effect on performance despite their fasting during daylight hours. Basically, exercising during a fasted state results in the body breaking down less glycogen (blood sugar) for energy; instead, it burns more fat. This leaves you with more glycogen for final sprints or the last thirty seconds of an intense martial arts bout, and with less body fat. Of course, care must be taken when training in a fasted state and any weakness or dizziness must be dealt with expeditiously.