This month we’ve been going through the what, why and how of Intermittent Fasting. Today we’re going to talk about biology first then show how all this matters in enhancing your performance.
When you eat, a lot happens in your body:
- Depending on what you’ve eaten, your blood glucose (sugar) levels will rise.
- Your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin.
- Insulin tells your cells to fuel up on glucose as your gut breaks down your food.
- Your body releases hormones like cholecystokinin (CCK) and leptin, which signal when you’re full.
However, when you eat a lot of carbs and sugar, ignore your body’s “I’m full!” signals and eat frequently without burning off all that energy, your body struggles to keep up. Your pancreas must work overtime, and any extra glucose gets stored as fat.
Over time, those factors can increase your risk of weight gain, insulin resistance and diseases like diabetes and cancer. Yikes.
Thus, Intermittent fasting gives your body time to reset. When you take a break between meals, your glucose levels remain stable, your insulin levels drop, and your body has a chance to clean up shop — all of which can support major benefits like weight loss and longevity.
Let’s summarize three major areas that improve when you fast intermittently:
- Weight management – in fasting, you use up glucose and your body transitions to burning fat – a process called ketosis. This will support good overall weight management. It’s also good for leveling out blood glucose levels, therefore improving insulin resistance.
- Autophagy – this is a cellular waste removal process that happens when you fast. The result in simple terms is your body functions better from the improved cellular efficiency.
- Healthy aging – fasting protects your cardiovascular system, blood sugar management and brain cellular performance. Animal studies support anti-aging effects of intermittent fasting.
Overall, if you can build a habit of intermittent fasting a few times a week, you should experience improved cognitive function, energy levels, alertness, immune function and long-term reduced risk of life-threatening and shortening chronic diseases.
These benefits lead to better day to day performance and likely give you more time, better time for enjoying your family, future children and grandchildren and more time to advance your goals.
Work with your concierge to build this performance-enhancing habit into your life!