This is the common reaction I get when people find out that I occasionally fast.
Sometimes I fast for 16 hours. Sometimes I fast for 24.
But either way…I’M NOT STARVING MYSELF!
Actually there are lots of good things associated with fasting, including looking super sexy!
I mean have you SEEN Leangains!?! Or the author of Eat Stop Eat, Brad Pilon?!?
I mean shoot! Do you really need any more reasons to try fasting than those pictures!?!
But if looking good isn’t enough, can I also say that I got stronger and WON a powerlifting competition while doing intermittent fasting?!?
Yep that’s right! I did intermittent fasting the couple of months before the competition and increased my maxes enough to win not only my weight class but also Overall Best Female Raw Lifter.
Not too shabby if I do say so myself!
Still not enough to convince you to try “starving yourself?”
How about all of these benefits of fasting, which include:
- Weight loss! Yes this is kind of the same thing as those guys looking good, but it is also the reason most people first go on a diet! For most people, fasting is actually easier to stick to than calorie restriction. Plus you preserve more lean muscle mass by fasting than through calorie restriction!
- Fight cancer!?! Yep fasting may actually help our bodies not only resist but also fight off cancer. More rats who fasted remained alive when injected with cancer – 16 of the rats who fasted survived while only 5 who didn’t survived. In a human study, patients also felt better when undergoing chemo if they fasted before and after. They suffered fewer side-effects when fasting than when they didn’t prior to chemo.
- Live longer. We’ve all heard that calorie restriction can help us live longer. Well if that is the case than fasting will make us live longer too! Of course, fasting doesn’t have the same “side-effects” that calorie restriction does. With fasting you will prevent the loss of lean muscle mass and bone mineral density. Sounds like two great benefits of fasting besides just a longevity!
- Brain health. Mark Mattson, Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program National Institute on Aging and a professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, has released a number of papers that suggest fasting can induce neurogenesis and protect against brain injury and disease. There are also studies showing that fasting may reduce the trauma to the brain caused by stroke and may also help improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Improved workouts. Ok I sort of already said this when I mentioned that I fasted to improve my performance for competition, but here are some studies to back it up! (Improved recovery and Leangains take on fasted training to just site a few!)
Here are some other great studies about the benefits of fasting that you should check out!