Intermittent Fasting – Is It The Best Diet For Losing Weight?
Usually, skipping meals without a consistent plan can make one gain weight instead of losing it. Intermittent fasting is, however, an effective technique that can help one lose weight since it is done in a healthy and planned manner.
Intermittent fasting allows you to lose weight since it puts you in regular fasts for a short duration. Through the process, you tend to reduce the number of calories you have been consuming or eat nothing during specific periods.
It involves alternating between a period of abstaining from food and consuming few calories at particular times.
How does it work?
This is a form of short term fasting which is beneficial in weight loss. It promotes your metabolism and facilitates fat burn which in turn leads to weight loss.
The fasting that is unhealthy is long term fasting since this can have adverse effects on your body as it suppresses the metabolism. Here is how intermittent fasting helps you lose weight.
It is not a crash diet that many people make it out to be. Crash diets are harmful to your body and must be avoided at cost.
It affects body hormones
Short-term fasts lasting for up to 48 hours has positive effects on the body. The period allows various changes to occur in the body. The levels of key hormones such as growth hormone, insulin and norepinephrine change. They are the hormones that are responsible for weight control in the body.
During the fasting period, the levels of growth hormones increase while those of insulin decrease. This is what leads to fat burn and muscle gain. Norepinephrine also finds its way into fat cells so that it can break them down in fatty acids to burn them for energy.
Short term fasting reduces your calorie intake
You also get to lose weight from intermittent fasting because you restrict the hours you eat. It also makes you consume fewer calories which leads to weight loss. The different methods of this type of fasting involve skipping some meals as you fast.
You should not compensate by trying to feed more when you are not fasting. Such discipline can help you lose weight by maintaining a low-calorie intake. Experts believe that intermittent fasting can help your body burn fat quickly and even get rid of the belly fat due to the elimination of unhealthy fats in your diet.
Apart from supporting metabolic health, intermittent fasting can expand your lifespan by preventing you from chronic diseases. Unlike other weight loss techniques, this does not necessarily need you to count the calories you consume during the regular feeding pattern.
Easy For You To Retain Muscle
Dieting makes the body burn down fat as well as muscle. Intermittent fasting is different since it allows you to preserve muscle even as you lose fat. This is what leads to a toned physique from dieters who are consistent with this type of fasting.
Helps You Practice Healthy Eating
Once your body is used to short term fasts, it becomes easy for you to eat healthily. Techniques such as the 16/8 are easy to follow since you only eat during a particular feeding window. You only eat two meals a day. This makes it easy for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy diet comes with long term benefits including weight maintenance.
Provides Additional Health Benefits
It also enables a decrease in systolic blood pressure so that your body can metabolize fat rapidly. Intermittent fasting lowers the level of cholesterol in the body and helps you get rid of excess fat on stubborn areas such as the belly.
Restricting your diet within a specific time frame helps you regulate appetite hormones such as leptin for you to control how much you eat. It extends the natural cleaning process of the body. This can improve your attention and lower inflammation.
Intermittent fasting also reduces the risk of getting illnesses and promotes a healthy life. It helps you be mindful about how you eat so that you can stop poor eating habits. It facilitates weight loss and enables you to improve sleep quality.
Intermittent fasting can get in the way of your social life. Some intermittent fasters also find it challenging to go for an entire day without food. It can cause a lot of snacking which may not be healthy for your weight loss journey.
Different Types Of Intermittent Fasting
People conduct intermittent fasting by following different techniques as discussed below:
The 5:2 diet
This is an effective fasting technique. It involves maintaining a normal eating diet for five days in the week then fasting for two days. During the normal eating pattern, you should restrict your calorie intake. During the two days of fasting, you can take less than 500 calories.
Here, you need to forego breakfast every day and eat between 12-8 pm. The method involves feeding during an 8-hour window when your body is more active. It does not advocate for eating dinner late during the night since the body is preparing to go to rest.
You can also fast for 24 hours for one or two days a week. For instance, you can decide not to eat anything apart from dinner in a day and continue fasting until the next dinner on the next day.
If you are finding 24 hours a long time to go without eating, start with a few hours then increase the fasting period gradually till your body can adjust. It is also easy to follow since you don’t have to keep on weighing food or restricting the diet.
For intermittent fasting to work for you, you must remain consistent and committed. You should also consult a physician to ascertain that your body is a good condition for the adjustment. Diabetic patients should refrain from intermittent fasting.
You can also lose more weight from conducting strength training as you continue fasting. Maintain a good diet, get lots of exercise, invest in a good fat burner like Ultra Omega Burn and most of all, be patient. It may take time to notice changes, but it will definitely help you lose weight.