Benefits of Fasting!

Aimee Duffy, M.D. Physician / Lifestyle Architect / Wellness Mentor                                                                     February 2023

A New You!

Let’s talk about your clothes dryer. I know, you’re wondering what laundry has to do with our bodies, but here’s the thing; if our body was a clothes dryer and the filter was never cleaned, bells and whistles are likely to set off. Or worse, a dryer fire, right?

I share this scenario with you because your body requires the same care. True, we already have various filters built into our anatomy, like our kidneys and liver, but sometimes our bodies require a reset phase. You’ll recognize this with fatigue, digestive problems or an overall feeling that things aren’t working as well as they had been.


Intermittent fasting is one of the most potent ways to remove toxins from your body. While fasting, your body burns fat for fuel (lipolysis). Most fat-soluble toxins will store themselves in your fat, and it is essential to excrete these toxins through your sweat, urine, and stool. The Reishi mushroom in your coffee, tea, or spray helps to flush out these toxins so they do not recirculate through your body. 

Autophagy, meaning "self-eating," is a process of your body digesting damaged cells. It's a vital cleanout process (like taking out the trash) that helps detoxify your cells and results in cells behaving more youthfully. It also destroys foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. Because of this activity, fasting can assist in the prevention or even treat cancer and support positive influences on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. 

Science has found fasting to boost mood, improve memory, and trigger the generation of new neurons. It is also known to lower the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

Weight Loss

We are bombarded daily with internal and external stressors. We can begin to crave carbohydrates or go back and forth between sugary and salty foods, as our bodies need energy. And when we’re tired, we’re less motivated to exercise or cook healthy meals, and our health deteriorates. 

When fasting, insulin levels will reduce, and your body no longer receives signals to store extra calories as fat. As this occurs, a reduction in visceral or abdominal fat will occur. Secondarily, abdominal fat stores are known to be directly related to cardiovascular disease, so there's heart health work done there. Finally, raising your metabolic rate through fasting helps train your body to burn fat and assists in preserving muscle mass. The outcome is a leaner and stronger you!

Reducing Insulin Resistance

Resistance fasting lowers insulin and blood glucose levels. It gives your pancreas a chance to produce less insulin since it isn't needed. Studies have shown that fasting reduces insulin more powerfully than any other action plan currently in use. Insulin resistance is the precursor to diabetes, obesity, heart, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and many chronic diseases. Insulin, the primary hormone, tells your body to store energy or burn it. 

Your blood glucose levels increase when you eat, especially high-carb and processed foods. The body's insulin increases to lower glucose levels, and high insulin levels or insulin resistance are far more severe than elevated blood glucose. Lowering insulin and glucose can be done with a lower carb intake. Insulin resistance results in weight gain because higher insulin levels signal your body to store energy as fat. Insulin receptors in your cells begin to desensitize, so more insulin is released to move glucose out of your bloodstream and into the cells. During a fasting phase, your blood glucose levels fall, and your pancreas produces less and less insulin. With lower insulin levels, your body gets the cue to release energy, and fat storage begins to burn.

Enhanced Sleep

When you take a break from eating, you give your circadian rhythms a chance to normalize. When you stop eating three hours before bedtime, your energy requirements focus on your sleep and insulin sensitivity, and any stored energy is less likely to occur. Additionally, there is a link between insulin sensitivity and poor sleep habits.

Immune Function

Chronic stress can lead to your immune system always running in high gear. The free radicals produced by an overly active immune system spill over to disrupt other areas of your body. Stress also decreases the production of stomach acid, which throws off your digestive system. A vast population of microbes lives in your gut. Eighty percent of your immune system lives in your digestive tract, so when there's a disruption in your gut microbiome, you also impair your immune function. Your microbiome is primarily influenced by diet (what and when you eat) and by stress. Fasting helps to reset your gut microbiome and helps to reduce gut permeability (leaky gut).

Fasting benefits your body's stem cell production. Stem cells help to maintain and repair your tissues. It also helps to improve your intestinal stem cell function helping to support the lining of your gut and the sacred gut barrier.

Optimizing Our Bodies Through Fasting

We have established that fasting isn't just about abstaining from food. The benefits move far beyond our digestive tracts and into our vital organs and regulating processes. Weight loss, inflammation, insulin, and heart health are only a portion of the benefits of fasting. Protecting against chronic conditions, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders also optimizes the overall state of our bodies.

Aimee Duffy, M.D. is board certified in Family Practice and a nationally recognized speaker on Wellness and Functional Medicine. #1 Bestselling author of "Normal Does Not Have Side Effects" Get your copy today! Click the link below:

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