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Intermittent Fasting: Does it help detox your body?

Intermittent fasting is certainly not new. People have been doing short but planned fasts for many years for a variety of purposes. People use intermittent fasting for a variety of purposes, and detoxing is one good use for intermittent fasting. 

Intermittent fasting would seem to lend itself to the detox process. Simply allowing your body to flush out toxins and impurities without introducing more things into your system logically works. Intermittent fasting can easily lend itself to the overall process of detox. 

Even though intermittent fasting has caught on among fitness and wellness enthusiasts, it is possible that many people know little about the process. In some ways, intermittent fasting appears self-explanatory. However, in order to do intermittent fasting safely and effectively, there are some things you should know. 

What is more, to achieve the right results with intermittent fasting for the purposes of a detox, you need to make sure you are following the correct protocols to get the results. So, while intermittent fasting is fairly straightforward, there are some nuances to the process of intermittent fasting that you need to know. 

What is intermittent fasting? How does one go about intermittent fasting? Is intermittent fasting safe? And can you do intermittent fasting for the purposes of a detox? This guide will give you the information you need to safely take on intermittent fasting and detox. 

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting, or IF as it is sometimes called, is simply a pattern of eating that cycles between periods of fasting or not eating and periods in which you do eat. This is essentially a diet plan that does not regulate what you eat but when you eat. 

Some of the more common patterns of intermittent fasting involve 16 to 24-hour fasts about two times a week.

The idea behind intermittent fasting is based on an evolutionary model. The idea is that before human populations had easy and instant access to food at grocery stores and with refrigeration, people would necessarily go without food for short periods of time. As a result, the theory goes, the human body is biologically prepared to go for short periods of time without eating. 

This presupposes that the human body is naturally prepared to go without eating from time to time, and that eating 3 meals a day (or more) is not natural. We will be more in tune with the natural mechanisms of our bodies if we go without eating for short periods of time.

Intermittent Fasting Health Benefits

The benefits of intermittent fasting run from the body to the brain. Numerous scientific studies have supported the practice of intermittent fasting. The benefits of intermittent fasting include:

Weight loss

One of the most obvious benefits of intermittent fasting is weight loss. It can specifically reduce belly fat. 

Insulin resistance

Research has shown that intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance. This is a crucial factor in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Reduces inflammation

Intermittent fasting has been clinically shown to reduce the key markers of inflammation. Chronic inflammation is one of the main causes of many serious illnesses and diseases. 

Heart health

Intermittent fasting can reduce the so-called bad cholesterol, or LDL, and triglycerides. These are the primary drivers of heart disease. 

Reduce the risk of cancer

There is abundant laboratory evidence to show that intermittent fasting can prevent multiple forms of cancer. 

Brain health

Intermittent fasting stimulates the production of a hormone called BDNF. This is associated with growing nerve cells. Researchers now believe that intermittent fasting can prevent the onset of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. 

Anti-aging

There is some clinical evidence to show that intermittent fasting can extend life span. 

Types of intermittent fasting

There are several methods of intermittent fasting. The process of intermittent fasting is not one simple thing. Each method of intermittent fasting will produce specific results, and not everyone is well-suited to every method of intermittent fasting. But all methods of intermittent fasting can help your body detox. Some of the more common methods of intermittent fasting include: 

The 16/8 method

This involves fasting for 16 hours, then allowing yourself to eat within an eight-hour window. Within these eight hours, you can eat as much as you want. Most people can only eat two meals, so over-eating is not likely.  

This method is easy for many people because you can simply skip dinner and breakfast, then eat as much as you want for lunch. The idea is that for approximately eight hours you are asleep. This method can be difficult for people who tend to wake up hungry. But for people who tend to skip breakfast, the 16/8 method is ideal.  

You are allowed to drink water and coffee. You can also indulge in zero-calorie beverages. These can help reduce the feelings of hunger during the fasting period. 

You must eat healthy foods when you do eat. Processed foods and excessive calories can negate the detox benefits of the intermittent fast. 

The 5:2 method

This method allows you to eat a regular (but healthy) diet for 5 days out of the week. For the remaining two days, you restrict your diet to no more than 600 calories per day. It is recommended that on the fasting days, you restrict your diet to 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men. 

Practically speaking, for five days, you can eat regular healthy meals. Try doing this each day, but Mondays and Thursdays. This will break up your fast days, so they do not become laborious and self-defeating. On fast days, eat small meals of no more than 250 calories. 

Drink plenty of water, no matter if it is a fast day or a day for regular meals. This method will help detox your body. It is also great for weight loss. 

Eat-Stop-Eat Method

This method simply calls for a 24-hour fast twice a week. You simply fast from dinner to dinner for 24 hours, two days a week. You can choose to go from breakfast to breakfast for 24 hours. It is really up to you how you go about this intermittent fast. 

You are allowed to drink coffee and zero-calorie beverages during the fasting period. You should be drinking plenty of water during all days of your intermittent fast.  

Some people find this method difficult. Some practitioners recommend easing into this program by fasting for 12–16-hour periods as you work up to a full 24-hour fast. 

Finally, it is important that you do not rebound after fast days. You need to take care that you eat normal meals after you come off a fast day. 

The Warrior Diet

Since intermittent fasting is at least partially based on the ways early humans ate, one of the first intermittent fasting programs is based on this idea. For the warrior diet, you simply eat small, low-calorie meals throughout the bulk of the day. There is then a four-hour window when you can eat regular meals. 

Throughout the day, you eat nothing but raw fruits and vegetables. This is believed to mimic the ways early humans ate. Then, during the four-hour window, you can eat a full meal. Beyond these simple instructions, it is up to you when you time your main meal. 

Does intermittent fasting release toxins in the body?

The research shows that intermittent fasting can offer a host of important health benefits. Intermittent fasting is known to help with weight loss, it can reduce blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides. Intermittent fasting is also a great way to reduce chronic inflammation, which is often a symptom of excess toxicity in the body. 

Even more, intermittent fasting has been shown to help inhibit the aging process and can optimize cellular repair and regeneration. 

Intermittent fasting can also help enhance the production of specific enzymes that are involved in the processes of detoxification. These enzymes are specifically involved in the natural detoxification processes of the liver. 

The science shows that intermittent fasting is a great part of a healthy overall detox program. 

Does intermittent fasting help detox?

By drastically reducing your caloric intake, intermittent fasting helps promote natural elimination processes since the body no longer needs to metabolize anything else. Simply by reducing what goes into your system, you maximize the natural systems of detoxification.

Much of this is simple math. If you reduce the levels of toxins that come into the body, you allow the body to more efficiently remove toxins that are already present. In essence, you give your metabolism, liver, and kidneys a break. 

What is more, as stated above, intermittent fasting can stimulate the production of enzymes that are essential for the natural detox processes. Liver enzymes allow your body to process and remove toxicity. This leads to a reduction in things like chronic inflammation—a common symptom of toxicity in the body. 

How to safely intermittent fast

If you stick with one of the intermittent fasting methods described above, you should have no problems with intermittent fasting. Make sure you eat healthy meals when you are in the eating phase of your intermittent fast. Always drink plenty of water no matter what phase you are in during an intermittent fast. And avoid processed foods. 

That said, some people will want to consult their doctor or another healthcare provider before taking on intermittent fasting. Certain conditions can make it difficult to adjust to intermittent fasting. And some medical conditions can become aggravated as a result of intermittent fasting. 

If you live with any of the following conditions, take special care and consult a doctor before taking an intermittent fasting protocol: 

  • Have diabetes
  • Have problems with blood sugar regulation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Take medications
  • Are underweight
  • Have a history of eating disorders
  • Are a woman who is trying to conceive
  • Are a woman with a history of amenorrhea
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

All this said, intermittent fasting has been evaluated for safety. Healthy people with no underlying medical conditions will have no significant problems during an intermittent fast. 

Intermittent fasting FAQs

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting, or IF as it is sometimes called, is simply a pattern of eating that cycles between periods of fasting or not eating and periods in which you do eat. This is essentially a diet plan that does not regulate what you eat, but when you eat. 

What are some health benefits of intermittent fasting? 

Intermittent fasting can help with weight loss, can promote insulin resistance, promotes heart health, reduces the risk of cancer, reduces inflammation, and can help detoxify the body. 

Are there different methods of intermittent fasting? 

There is the 16/8 method, the 5:2 method, and the eat-stop-eat method. Consult the guide for full details. 

Can intermittent fasting help with detox? 

Intermittent fasting can help enhance the production of specific enzymes that are involved with processes of detoxification. These enzymes are specifically involved in the natural detoxification processes of the liver. 

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting has been around for quite some time. It is not a new practice. Some form of fasting has been a part of cultural life for many years. People have understood the benefits of fasting even before science provided the hard and fast reasons for why it can be healthy. 

Some obvious reasons people turn to intermittent fasting are weight loss and general wellness. But intermittent fasting is now known to help with the detox process. On a basic level, intermittent fasting allows your natural detox processes to catch up and rest. Simply by removing the metabolic load, your liver and kidneys can eliminate most toxins. 

But intermittent fasting has even more profound benefits for the detox process. Intermittent fasting can increase the levels of enzymes that help process and remove toxins from your body. 

Most people have no problem with intermittent fasting. It is just a matter of allowing yourself to get used to the changes in calories. Of course, like all things of this nature, check with your doctor if you have any underlying health issues.

Intermittent fasting, when down correctly, can contribute to your overall health. Intermittent fasting can also help eliminate toxicity in your body and may help you live a longer and healthier life.

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