8 Life-Changing Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting


Intermittent fasting involves alternating periods of eating and fasting and is gaining popularity due to its proven health benefits. It is worth mentioning that intermittent fasting does not prescribe specific foods or restrict certain foods like a traditional diet. However, it is generally advised to adopt a healthy eating plan alongside this pattern of eating for optimal outcomes. If you’re interested in the effects of intermittent fasting on your body, here are 10 confirmed health benefits to consider.

1. Weight Loss and Fat Reduction
Intermittent fasting is known for its ability to help with weight loss and reducing body fat.  Several studies have demonstrated that intermittent fasting can lead to a significant decrease in body weight and body fat percentage. It works by depleting glycogen stores and promoting the burning of fat for energy[1]. Unlike traditional diets, it does not require strict calorie counting and instead focuses on when you eat, making it a more sustainable approach to weight management[2].

2. Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Intermittent fasting can enhance insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and helping manage blood sugar levels. Fasting periods promote better glucose regulation, decrease insulin resistance, and support overall metabolic health[3].

3. Enhanced Heart Health
Intermittent fasting has been linked to various advantages for heart health. It can lead to improvements in lipid profiles, including reductions in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Additionally, intermittent fasting may contribute to lowered blood pressure, reduced inflammation, and enhanced heart health[4].

4. Increased Longevity
When fasting, a process called autophagy occurs in our cells, where damaged cells and components are eliminated. Autophagy is important for keeping our cells healthy, preventing aging, and reducing the likelihood of diseases like neurodegenerative disorders[5]. Animal studies have shown that intermittent fasting may increase lifespan by improving cellular health, lowering the chances of age-related illnesses, and improving the body’s ability to handle stress. Although further research is necessary in humans, the possibility of living longer looks hopeful[6].

5. Cognitive Function and Brain Health
Intermittent fasting has the potential to protect the brain and improve cognitive abilities. It can stimulate the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein associated with improved cognitive function, memory, and learning[7].

6. Reduction in Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a driver of many chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce markers of inflammation in the body, leading to a lower risk of inflammatory diseases[8].

7. Hormone Regulation
Intermittent fasting can positively impact hormone levels, including increased secretion of norepinephrine and human growth hormone (HGH). These hormonal changes can support fat-burning, muscle preservation, and overall metabolic health[9].

8. Simplicity and Sustainability
One major advantage of intermittent fasting is that it is easy to follow because it doesn’t involve complicated meal planning or counting calories. Instead, it simply focuses on the timing of meals, which makes it more feasible for people to incorporate into their daily routines. This simplicity increases the likelihood that people will be able to sustain the fasting routine[1].

Intermittent fasting is a transformative dietary approach with numerous health benefits that can positively impact various aspects of well-being. From weight management and improved insulin sensitivity to enhanced heart health, cognitive function, and increased longevity, the evidence supporting intermittent fasting continues to grow.
It is important to note that intermittent fasting may not be suitable for everyone, and individuals with certain medical conditions or unique dietary needs should consult with healthcare professionals before adopting this dietary pattern. Nonetheless, for many, intermittent fasting offers a sustainable and life-changing path to better health and overall well-being. As research continues to unfold, it is clear that harnessing the power of intermittent fasting can lead to profound and positive changes in one’s life.

(The article is reviewed by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor)


1. Harris, L., Hamilton, S., et al. Intermittent fasting interventions for treatment of overweight and obesity in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, 16(2), 507-547. Published online 2018.
2. Gabel, K., Hoddy, K. K., et al. Effects of 8-hour time-restricted feeding on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in obese adults: A pilot study. Nutrition and Healthy Aging, 4(4), 345-353. Published online 15 June 2018.
3. Tinsley, G. M., & La Bounty, P. M. Effects of intermittent fasting on body composition and clinical health markers in humans. Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, 8, NMI-S33207. Published online 15th Sep. 2015.
4. de Cabo, R., & Mattson, M. P. Effects of intermittent fasting on health, aging, and disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 381(26), 2541-2551. Published online 26th Dec. 2019.
5. Levine, B., & Kroemer, G. Autophagy in the pathogenesis of disease. Cell, 132(1), 27-42. Published online 11th Jan 2008.
6.Wei, M., Brandhorst, S., Shelehchi, M., et al. Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Science Translational Medicine, 9(377), eaai8700. Published online 15 Feb 2017.
7. Mattson, M. P., Moehl, K., et al. Intermittent metabolic switching, neuroplasticity and brain health. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 19(2), 63-80. Published online 19th Feb.2018.
8. Longo, V. D., & Mattson, M. P. Fasting: Molecular mechanisms and clinical applications. Cell Metabolism, 19(2), 181-192. Published online 2014.
9. Norrelund, H. The metabolic role of growth hormone in humans with particular reference to fasting. Growth Hormone & IGF Research, 15(2), 95-122. Published online 15th April 2005.

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