Intermittent fasting does a great job of helping you lose weight, and weight loss has a positive impact on your health, improving chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
But that’s not where your health benefits end. Intermittent fasting (IF) also affects the health of your cells and DNA, making changes that may extend your lifespan by offsetting cellular aging.
At Pacific Rheumatology Medical Center, our expert Dr. Behnam Khaleghi teaches patients how to engage in healthy IF and offers the ProLon® Fasting Mimicking Diet®.
The ProLon program gives you the benefits of intermittent fasting while providing special foods so you can keep eating. But before we explain more about ProLon, let’s talk about how intermittent fasting works.
The effects of intermittent fasting in your body
IF works by triggering several different activities in your body:
Intermittent fasting switches your metabolism. Instead of using sugar for energy, your body breaks down stored fat and uses the resulting ketones for energy. While fasting automatically reduces calories, you also burn more fat, which may substantially boost your weight loss.
Using ketones for energy helps you lose weight by improving and stabilizing your blood sugar. Ketones also support weight loss by balancing the hormones that make you feel hungry. As a result, your appetite goes down and it’s easier to eat less.
Restricting calories reduces cellular damage and supports the health of your DNA. This slows down aging, because cellular changes lead to chronic disease and aging accelerates as your DNA naturally wears down.
IF promotes a longer and healthier life by:
- Enhancing cellular repair
- Boosting DNA repair
- Increasing cellular waste removal
- Decreasing cellular inflammation
- Increasing antioxidant activity
The practice also helps you maintain healthy mitochondria, which are the energy-producing “factories” inside your cells.
These cellular changes carry over and continue to improve your health even on the days when you eat a normal diet.
Types of IF regimens
When you follow a typical intermittent fasting regimen, you cycle between brief periods of fasting and eating a normal, healthy diet. During your fasting phase, you may not eat any food, or you may dramatically reduce your caloric intake.
There are several variations of intermittent fasting. Some people alternate days, fasting for one day, eating a typical diet the next day, and repeating the cycle. Others fast for two days in a row, then eat normally the rest of the week.
Another method of IF simply limits the amount of time you’re allowed to eat each day. In this regimen, you eat all your meals within a specific 8-hour period and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
While you can follow the type of intermittent fasting regimen that works best for you, we recommend ProLon, and here’s why.
Benefits of the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet
The ProLon diet offers all the same weight-loss and anti-aging benefits of other IF regimens -- but without fasting. When you follow the ProLon program, you eat only their prepackaged foods, snacks, and supplements for five days -- your “fasting” period -- then you eat a healthy diet for at least three weeks before going on ProLon for another five days.
Their foods provide all your essential nutrients with minimal calories. But one of the greatest advantages of the ProLon program for many of our patients is that they get the satisfaction of eating instead of fasting.
Whether you want to start the ProLon program or any other IF protocol, it’s important for us to review your medical history and perform a thorough physical exam to be sure you don’t have an underlying health problem that might make fasting too dangerous.
If you qualify for the ProLon diet, we offer all the foods and supplements in our office, so you can immediately start your new path toward weight loss and better health.
If you’d like to learn more about intermittent fasting or find out if you’re a good candidate for ProLon, call one of our offices in Laguna Hills or Orange, California, or book an appointment online.