How Does Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?
For many people, losing weight is a real struggle. There are so many ways to lose weight advertised it can become confusing and even overwhelming to choose which one would be the most effective for you. Sometimes different diets seem to totally contradict one another, so so how can they both work?
One method to lose weight, and it has become popular, is intermittent fasting. It’s an eating strategy that involves short-term fasting, such as alternate-day fasting, time-restricted eating, or whole day fasting.
What makes this weight loss method attractive is that it does not give a restriction on what you can or can’t eat, nor does it require your counting calories. Moreover, aside from losing weight, intermittent fasting comes with other benefits. It reduces insulin resistance, decreases inflammation, improves heart health, protects against Alzheimer’s disease, and slows the apparent aging process.
However, intermittent fasting is not for everyone. If you have certain health issues or conditions such as diabetes, an eating disorder, if you are breastfeeding or pregnant, or if you are already underweight, this weight loss plan is not for you. It’s best to consult your healthcare professional before you start your intermittent fasting journey.
There are various ways to do intermittent fasting, such as the 16/8 method and only eat in an 8-hour window you set for yourself.
Then there’s an Eat-Stop-Eat method where you fast for two consecutive days and resume normal meals on the remaining five days of the week.
There’s also the 5:2 diet, which entails eating up to 600 calories on two days and then continuing with normal calorie intake on the other five days.
How Intermittent Fasting Works for Weight Loss
Let’s take a look at how fasting helps you to lose weight.
- intermittent fasting helps you reduce calorie intake.
Calories are a measure of the amount of energy in the foods you eat when your body breaks it down. The more calories the food has, the more energy your body gets. However, when more calories are consumed than are needed, your body stores the excess as body fat, which is why people gain weight. When you don’t eat anything, your body uses your stored fat for energy.
With intermittent fasting, you end up eating less food than you normally would, so you are automatically reducing your calorie intake. Or at least you should be. Just don’t eat more during your eating periods to compensate for the lesser hours or days you fast.
- intermittent fasting boosts your metabolism.
Studies have shown that fasting for 48 hours could boost your metabolism by up to 14 percent. When you do short-term fasting, there are changes in your body that make fat burning easier.
These include decreased insulin levels in the blood (which facilitates fat burning), increased human growth hormones (that aids fat loss, and muscle gain), and enhanced norepinephrine signaling (to make fat cells break down body fat into free fatty acids to be transformed into energy).
- Intermittent fasting makes healthy eating simpler.
As they say, the best weight loss program or diet program for you is the one you can stick to long term. Intermittent fasting helps you to stick to a healthy diet, which is very beneficial in terms of maintaining your health and weight.
Now, it takes more than skipping your meals for intermittent fasting to work.
What You Need to Know to Succeed with this Weight Loss Method
- hoose a method that works best for you based on your schedule, your eating habits, and even your personality. This will make sure that you can be committed to your weight loss journey.
- While intermittent fasting does not dictate what food you can or can’t eat, the quality of the food you take is still important for you to succeed in losing weight. So remember to eat healthy food options, such as whole foods, not fast foods.
- It is important to eat normally on your non-fasting days because calories still count.
- It takes consistency and patience before you see any results. Be consistent in following the method you decide upon and stick to it. Your body needs time to adjust to your new eating schedule, so be patient. It will get easier over time.
- Strength training is recommended as an add-on for your intermittent fasting. This is important in burning your body fat while holding on to and increasing muscle mass.
Intermittent fasting can be a beneficial method of losing weight, but it should be done correctly to get the greatest benefit. Like any other weight loss strategy, it has certain guidelines and protocols you need to adhere to in order to be successful.
To make it work, follow your designated eating and fasting windows. Commit to your schedule and be consistent about it.