|November 29, 2023

The Incredible Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

By Alison Moodie
Reviewed for Scientific Accuracy

The Incredible Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • Intermittent fasting is a type of diet where you eat within a specific period of time, and you fast the rest of the time.
  • The benefits of intermittent fasting include losing weight, protection against disease, improved memory, and lower cholesterol
  • With Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting, you fast for 18 hours and eat two meals — lunch and dinner — within a 6-hour window. You skip breakfast, and drink a cup of Bulletproof Coffee instead.

If you’re new to intermittent fasting, you’re probably wondering what all the hype is about. What exactly can it do for you? The answer — a lot. Intermittent fasting benefits your body and your brain in all kinds of ways. Some are pretty obvious, like weight loss, while others might be more surprising. Read on for the science-backed benefits of intermittent fasting. But first, a quick primer on intermittent fasting and how it works.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is when you eat during a specific period of time, and you fast the rest of the time. There are several different types of intermittent fasting. Some people fast for one or two days at a time, while others fast for 18 hours a day. The Bulletproof Diet adheres to the latter type, known as 18:6, with one key difference. With the Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting method, you skip breakfast, and drink a cup of Bulletproof Coffee instead. This simple hack keeps you in a fasted state while nourishing your body with good fats. Learn more about intermittent fasting and how to do it with this handy beginner’s guide

Health benefits of intermittent fasting

When you switch to an intermittent fasting diet plan, you upgrade your performance in a number of ways. Here are the powerful benefits of intermittent fasting:

Intermittent fasting and weight loss

If you want to lose fat, intermittent fasting is the way to go. Fasting drains your body of its glucose reserves, its main energy source from food. Without glucose, you switch over to burning fat for fuel in a process called ketosis.

A 2014 study found that adult mice who were restricted to eating within a nine- to 12-hour period gained less weight and had less fat mass than mice who ate at all hours. What’s more, time-restricted mice who were allowed free access to food on weekends looked about the same as mice who fasted seven days a week, suggesting that a brief break from fasting won’t mess with your progress.[1]

Another study found that obese adults who followed the alternate-day fasting method (when you eat 25% of your daily calories on one day, and then eat normally the following day) lost roughly 13 pounds over an eight-week period.[2]

Bulletproof intermittent fasting kicks it up a notch. Putting Brain Octane Oil in your Bulletproof Coffee hightails you into ketosis, and keeps you there even if you have some carbs in your diet. 

Intermittent fasting and the brain

As you get older, there’s less blood flow to the brain, your neurons shrink, and your brain volume declines. Intermittent fasting can put the brakes on the aging process, keeping you mentally sharp and healthy. 

Lowers risk for disease: Intermittent fasting can boost brain health and lower your risk for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.[3] For one, it reduces obesity and can help protect against diabetes — both increase your risk for developing Alzheimer’s.

Protects neurons and promotes autophagy: Intermittent fasting also helps the brain by protecting nerve cells from degeneration. A 2003 study found that intermittent fasting helped guard neurons in the brain from excitotoxic stress (neuronal death).[4] It also can accelerate autophagy in your neurons — the process your body undergoes to clean out damaged cells and generate new ones.[5] This helps your body defend itself naturally against disease.

Improves memory: Intermittent fasting improves learning and memory, another protective measure against serious neurodegenerative diseases. A 2009 study of 50 elderly adults found that three months of caloric restriction boosted memory (measured by their ability to recall words).[6]

Eases depression: It could also help with mood disorders like depression. A 2013 literature review found that people with depression reported an improvement in mood, mental alertness, and a sense of peace when fasting.[7]

Intermittent fasting promotes longevity

Studies show that intermittent fasting can protect against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, helping you to live longer.[8]

Lowers cholesterol: A 2010 study of overweight women found that intermittent fasting improved a number of risk markers for chronic disease, including lowered blood pressure, lowered cholesterol and reduced insulin resistance.[9]

Slows down cancer: When done in tandem with chemotherapy, intermittent fasting can also slow the progression of breast cancer and skin cancer by increasing the levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes — cells sent by the immune system to attack the tumor.[10]

Keeps cells resilient: Another way it increases your lifespan and slows aging is by manipulating mitochondrial networks. Mitochondria are the power generators in your cells — they produce most of the energy that’s needed for a cell to survive. A 2017 study from Harvard University found that fasting kept mitochondrial networks fused together. That’s what keeps the mitochondria strong and able to do their job of processing energy — crucial for longevity and vibrant aging.[11]

If you’re wanting to get the most out of intermittent fasting, learn more here on how to boost your intermittent fasting results.

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