Benefits of Intermittent Fasting – Dr. Norman Swan

by | Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Hormone Health


Dr Norman Swan

Physician, journalist & broadcaster

Intermittent Fasting stresses our metabolic system causing it to work more efficiently. The benefits range from deep detoxification at a cellular level to burning stored fat as energy.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a thing and it actually has got a good scientific basis. Now, what we’re talking about here, maybe the 5:2 diet, where you go for five days and you have two days under 500 calories a day. It could also be the 16:8 diet, which is where you don’t have anything after maybe eight o’clock at night, you skip breakfast and your first meal of the day is lunch.

Physiological Effects of Intermittent Fasting

It creates a metabolic stress in your body. Now, stress sounds like a bad word, but in this case, metabolic stress is good for you. It’s where your body gets a bit stressed the way it evolved to have stress. We didn’t evolve to eat three meals a day. We evolved where maybe we didn’t eat for a day or two before we actually had a feast when we’d killed an animal.

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

The evidence from laboratory experiments and animal experiments says that when you have frugal days where you don’t eat as many calories, your body’s metabolism starts to work a bit better. Your tissues don’t age quite as quickly. So the evidence from animal studies and laboratory studies is this. If you have days of frugality, very low calories or fasting or hours of fasting, then your metabolism starts to work better. The oxidative stress, in other words, internal body rusting which causes ageing, inflammation, that goes right down. The hormones that can provoke cancer or make cancers grow more aggressively, they go down as well. You can lose weight as well.

Intermittent Fasting and Exercise

And if you’re associating that with muscular exercise, you’re strengthening your muscles, as well as getting aerobic exercise, that adds onto the effect of fasting. So it is a thing, but many people find it hard to maintain.

Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist