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By Olivia Janisch

Do you feel that?

The days are longer, the air is saltier, and your social calendar is booked. It’s summer. Are you ready?

Whatever your answer, I’ve got the perfect tool to make sure you’ve got tons of energy, a glowing complexion, and a banging bod for the balmy days ahead: intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to help you reach your fitness goals and can be modified to suit your lifestyle and personal regimen. It helps you create discipline and will power around your diet, and does so much to nourish and heal your system.

Here are some specifics:

1. Detox

By eating less, you give your body the ability to deep clean and restore areas that have been neglected or overworked. Digestion is the most energy intensive process our bodies endure, so when we ease that burden by reducing food intake the body has a lot more energy to do the necessary maintenance it needs to strengthen and heal. This process enables for toxins to be flushed and for your system to cleanse more efficiently.

2. Encourage weight loss

Yes, taking in less calories leads to weight loss, but more efficient weight loss comes from ridding your body of toxins. When a toxin enters your system, the body creates a fat cell around it to protect your organs. So even if you’re eating a low fat diet in the first place, if your system doesn’t have the chance to properly detox you can still hold onto weight. Also, By fasting, we stress the body, which spikes levels of cholesterol. When cholesterol is released, your body doesn’t want to burn glucose for energy, it wants to burn fat.

3. Slow down and reverse aging

From cognitive decline to wrinkles to sun damage, oxidative stress is the root of accelerated aging. Oxidative stress comes from toxins in our environment and food, and from stress. By resting your digestive system through fasting you can reverse oxidative stress and create a more alkaline environment in your system. This accelerates cell regeneration and promotes beautiful skin overall.

4. Contributes to mental clarity

The typical American diet is packed with sugars and processed foods that create brain fog and reduce our energy to focus and stay attentive and alert. By cutting them out and letting our bodies tend to themselves, we create much more mental clarity and efficiency. Also, because fasting you should be drinking a lot of water during the cleanse, your brain gets really well hydrated which greatly improves cognitive functioning.

You can fast until lunch, until dinner or for a full day. All of these options have positive benefits and create a higher awareness around your diet and health. When you fast, drink lots of water and organic herbal tea. It will help flush your system and will amplify all of the benefits listed above. If you feel hungry or crazed try taking a walk or changing your environment, and if you must you can always eat a piece of fruit very slowly. Fruit is very light on the system and will give you a boost of natural sugar to help satiate your pangs. Take the opportunity to really pay attention to how you feel, and make sure to listen to your body. You’ll feel the benefits quickly and will create more mindfulness and control in your daily routine.

Photo By Pierre-Olivier Bourgeois

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