This weight-loss trick makes your skin glow

Dr. Janet Zand

June 5, 2020

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple way to lose weight and make your skin glow at the same time?

Well, here’s good news:  There is!

It’s called intermittent fasting.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to starve yourself. All “intermittent fasting” means is that you don’t eat right before bedtime or right after you get up.  (Much of that time you’re sleeping anyway.)

Here’s how it works...

During intermittent fasting, you typically fast from 12 to 18 hours every day. So, for example, if you finish dinner by 7 pm and then eat breakfast at 9 am, you’d have a 14-hour fast.  

Now, during that 14-hour fast, something interesting happens in your body.

Because your gut doesn’t have to break down food at night (like a midnight snack), it has more time for something else: repairing itself.

What does it repair exactly?  

Tiny holes that can appear in the intestinal wall. Those holes let the contents of your intestines escape into your bloodstream, triggering your immune system to respond. And that immune response creates inflammation. And, as you may have heard, inflammation is terrible for your skin.

Now here’s something else interesting:

Your skin and your gut are very closely connected, in something called the skin-gut axis.

Researchers are still studying how the skin-gut axis works. But one leading theory is that an unhealthy gut biome can produce stress hormones, like norepinephrine. Those stress hormones pass through the gut barrier, get into your bloodstream, and wreak havoc on your entire body. Including your largest organ: your skin.

In fact, your skin is often the first place to show the effects when your gut is not functioning at its best. You’ve probably seen this for yourself, when you eat a poor diet for a few days and then your skin doesn’t look so good.

But studies show that when you give your gut a break at night with intermittent fasting, it can help create a more diverse, balanced, and healthier gut biome. And when your gut is functioning well, your skin looks more radiant and clear.

But there’s more...

It turns out that your skin isn’t the only part of you that can benefit from intermittent fasting. Other benefits include:

1. Fat loss. In one study, participants shrank their waist circumference by an incredible 4-7%, in just a few short months. Plus, a smaller waist means they were losing belly fat, the harmful fat in the abdominal cavity that causes disease.

2. Heart health. Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve several risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and blood sugar levels.

3. Brain health. Studies in animals suggest that intermittent fasting may protect against neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's.

4. Cancer prevention. Intermittent fasting has been shown to help prevent cancer in animal studies. One paper in humans showed that it can even reduce side effects from chemotherapy.

5. Longer lifespan. Studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting helps them live longer. In one dramatic result, rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats that didn’t.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Now, before you try intermittent fasting, here are a couple of things to know. First, if you are pregnant or you’re nursing, don’t try fasting right now.

It’s also probably not a good idea to try fasting if you’re in the middle of a stressful situation, have trouble sleeping, or have a history of disordered eating. If you have questions about whether intermittent fasting is right for you, consult your doctor first.

But for most people, intermittent fasting can be an easy way to boost your health ... and make your skin glow, too. Give it a try let me know how you do!

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