Intermittent fasting is a form of hormetic or “good” stress, which the body often responds to with improvements in metabolic and cellular performance. Theoretically, fasting prompts “self-eating” within the body, helping the body clean up damaged cells and cellular components including proteins that can cause issues when they accumulate later in life. If you are overweight, fasting and losing weight can help you shrink your body in such a way that many damaged and senescent cells are eliminated naturally.
Human research studies on fasting, however, have focused on its potential benefits for people at risk of developing obesity and cardiovascular disease, major health problems in the United States. These studies have revealed that IF can have substantial positive impacts on weight loss, metabolic and heart health.
Dr. Krista Varady has found in human clinical studies that IF is an effective weight maintenance strategy, where people are more likely to stick to fasting regimens as opposed to diets long term, helping them lose weight and maintain weight loss as opposed to yo-yo dieting.