Brain Health: Benefits of Intermittent Fasting on the Brain

intermittent fasting - Brain health - Michaelmantz ataxia blog2

Are you ready to improve your brain health? Have you ever considered intermittent fasting? 

Did you know that people have been fasting since at least the 5th century? In the health world, there’s been a big buzz around intermittent fasting and its effect on your weight and overall health lately. To help determine if intermittent fasting may be right for you, we’ll go over everything you need to know about intermittent fasting and its effect on your brain.

First, let me add that making a healthy lifestyle change isn’t about dieting – we all know that diets are not sustainable and don’t work in the long run. Instead, creating healthier new habits is about choosing to eat well for your lifestyle and body. 

There are many ways to do this, and fasting is just one of them. But suppose fasting doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in. In that case, you may be surprised to learn some of the mental and physical benefits it can provide. And if fasting is something you’ve been meaning to try, before you jump in headfirst tomorrow, be sure to read on to discover if this form of brain-based nutrition is suitable for you.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Let’s start with a basic understanding of what intermittent fasting means. 

It is a practice that involves alternating between periods of fasting and eating. If this sounds intimidating, consider how you already fast every day when you sleep. If you finish eating your last meal of the day at 8 pm and then have breakfast at 8 am the following morning, you are already doing a 12-hour fast!

We’ll get into more specifics of how to fast in a moment, but for now, let’s focus on what intermittent fasting is.

First, please know that intermittent fasting is not a diet. It is a lifestyle. 

If you choose to intermittent fast, you’re still in charge of what you eat, so you can customize your eating plan to work best for you.

Your practice of intermittent fasting can be combined with any other eating style. You can eat Paleo, Keto, Pegan, or be on the Mediterranean diet, for example, all while practicing intermittent fasting. 

You can also simply choose to eat healthy while not on a particular food plan and still practice intermittent fasting.

Because you can choose the foods you eat, this may help with diet fatigue or burnout. You may be less likely to yo-yo diet or fall off the wagon if you control the types of food you eat.

It was often a widespread belief that you needed to eat often to keep your blood sugars balanced and your metabolism working. Intermittent fasting, however, works on the principle of metabolic switching. This means your body switches its main energy source from sugars (glucose) to burning fat for fuel.

Entering a fasting period gives your digestive system a break. It allows your body time to digest and time to rest. But if you keep eating every couple of hours, you’re missing out on the benefits of cleansing that metabolic switching can offer.

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