Intermittent fasting, which gives your digestive system a rest, can energize your metabolism to burn fat and help you lose weight. The key is to balance fasting with a healthful diet and exercise, and to not take it to extremes. If you have any health concerns, see your doctor before trying a fast.
"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fasting" notes that one of the ways fasting improves your metabolism is by helping your body eliminate waste and toxins that accumulate from ordinary eating and drinking. By cleansing your internal organs, you increase your metabolism.
Activates Human Growth Hormone
According to the website the Lean Look, intermittent 24-hour fasts are especially beneficial because after you've fasted for about 18 hours your body releases human growth hormone, which allows the body to burn fat and maintain muscle. This means you have six hours of accelerated fat-burning.
If your digestion is sluggish, it affects your ability to metabolize your food and burn fat. "Fasting: The Ultimate Diet" notes that intermittent fasts can regulate your digestion and promote healthy bowel function, improving your metabolic function.
Trains Your Body to Burn Fat
"Perfect Health for Kids" reports that fasting forces your body into fat-burning metabolism by temporarily depriving it of the sugars it would normally burn for fuel. This not only burns fat in the short term while you're fasting, but resets your body to burn more fat for fuel during normal eating.
Regulates Blood Sugar
You might associate not eating with feelings of intense hunger, but intermittent fasting can have the opposite effect, notes "Perfect Health for Kids." Hunger is mainly caused by dips in blood sugar, but when you are fasting your body is burning fat at a steady rate, so you don't feel ravenous.
Improves Eating Habits
According to "Fasting: The Ultimate Diet," regular fasts help change your attitude toward food. Instead of being dependent on it, you can gain clarity about your diet and determine what your body really needs for optimum function. Eating right energizes your metabolism.
By giving your body a rest from normal digestion, fasting can slow the aging process, according to "Fasting: The Ultimate Diet." This is significant because one of the primary effects of aging is a slower metabolism. The younger your body is, the faster and more efficient your metabolism's fat burning potential.
- “The Complete Idiot's Guide To Fasting”; Eve Adamson, Linda Horning; 2002
- “Fasting: The Ultimate Diet”; Allan Cott, Jerome Agel, Eugene Boe; 1997
- “The Lean Look”; Finding a Fasting Plan That Works For You; Tim Downey; June 2011
- “Perfect Health for Kids: Ten Ayurvedic Health Secrets”; John Douillard; 2003