I have written quite often about the weight loss and weight management benefits of intermittent fasting (IF). But I’ll also be the first to tell you that this nutritional strategy can do a whole lot more than just help you shed some pounds.
IF has shown promise against a wide range of life-threatening conditions, including diabetes, fatty liver disease, and even cancer.
And unlike other “weight loss” techniques—like calorie restriction (which can slow down metabolism and lead to muscle loss)—research shows that IF can help BUILD and STRENGTHEN the body.
In fact, one new study shows that IF can beat back some of the most common health conditions in the U.S., as well as help keep older people on their feet (and away from falls) by promoting muscle growth…
An array of benefits
Even though this was an animal study, the results were too impressive not to share.
Researchers fed rats of two different age groups (equivalent to 20-year-old and 42-year-old humans) a high-fat, high-sugar diet, but restricted eating to nine hours a day.
The researchers compared the outcomes of this form of IF on fatty liver disease, blood sugar control, muscle mass, performance and endurance, and sepsis survival rates. (Sepsis is a very lethal infection of the blood.)
Ultimately, they found that IF offered strong protection against fatty liver—regardless of age, sex, or weight loss.
Of course, fatty liver may begin as benign—but eventually, it could lead to permanent damage like liver scarring or cancer. And considering that around 20 percent of Americans suffer from this condition, this is a benefit worth paying attention to.
Plus, the other findings were just as impressive: Results also linked IF with slower increases in blood sugar and faster returns to normal glucose levels in both age groups, compared to mice who had unrestricted access to food. (Results were particularly significant among female mice.)
In addition, IF protected both male and female mice from death by sepsis. And for a condition that strikes more than one million Americans annually—killing as many as half of them—this is a very big deal.
More than just a weight loss tool
Now, here comes the really exciting part: This study also found that IF helped the male mice to preserve and build muscle mass, as well as to improve muscle performance. And we all know how important it is to retain—and build—muscle as we age. (Not least of all to help keep us on our feet!)
This benefit didn’t apply to female mice. But as I just mentioned above, they still showed a number of metabolic benefits, which can still help keep them healthier and on their feet.
At the end of the day, this study supports my stance that IF is more than just a weight loss tool. That’s why it’s something that I follow in my own life—and why I encourage you to do the same.
There are various ways you can adopt this strategy to your routine—all of which appear to deliver benefits in some form or another. You can choose to fast on alternate days (called alternate day fasting); use the 5:2 approach (where any two days in a single week are your fasting days); or simply restrict your meals to specific eating windows (say, between noon and 6 p.m., like I do).
For more guidance on finding your own fasting style, check out the May 2020 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“Boost your immunity and rejuvenate your metabolism… in 36 hours or less”). Subscribers have access to that article and more in my archives. So if you haven’t yet, consider signing up today.
“Benefits of time-restricted eating depend on age and sex: Not everyone benefits equally from TRE, but TRE has important health benefits for all.” Science Daily, 08/17/2021. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210817111456.htm)