Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight
The Secret Behind Intermittent Fasting
There are numerous methods that you can use to lose weight, one such method that has become very popular in recent years is intermittent fasting.
You may have heard of it, but what actually does it mean?
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that involves short term fasts, doing this for short periods of time helps us to eat fewer calories and also boosts essential hormones in the body that are crucial to fat loss.
There are three popular methods, all highly effective as long as you follow the simple rules attached to each one
- The 16/8 method.. this method involves fasting for 16 hours a day and only eating within an 8 hour period… For example, you should skip breakfast and only eat between the hours of 12 noon and 8pm
- The Eat-Stop-Eat method – fast for 2 x 24 hour periods per week, e.g. not eating from dinner time one day until dinner time the next day
- The 5:2 diet.. Possibly the best known and our particular favourite. For two days per week, limit yourself to 600 calories, and eat normally for the remaining 5 days
As long as you do not overcompensate by eating more than normal when you are not fasting, these methods will reduce your overall calorie intake and you will lose weight – Its a fact.
Intermittent Fasting And Your Hormones
Body fat is actually stored energy (in the form of calories) the body simply stores any excess calories as fat when you eat more than you burn… its these reserves that the body turns to for energy when you eat fewer calories
When we eat fewer calories, the body makes some changes so it can access the stored fat reserves, this involves both hormonal and changes in the nervous system.
These changes include:
Insulin – this increases when we eat, when we fast the opposite occurs with levels on insulin dramatically decreasing, scientists have proved that when insulin reduces in our body, natural fat burning processes increase.
Norepinephrine (Noradrenaline) During fasting periods, the nervous system sends norepinephrine to the stored fat cells, breaking them down into fatty acids that are burnt for energy
HGH ( Human Growth Hormone) HGH is a natural hormone that helps to increase fat loss and muscle growth, during periods of fasting, its levels have been shown to skyrocket
To Sum up – Short term fasting leads to both body and hormonal changes that increase natural fat burning processes
Intermittent Fasting, Calories and Weight Loss
The main reason why intermittent fasting works so well, is that it makes you eat fewer calories.. Unless you ‘make up for it’ by over eating when not fasting, you will be taking on board fewer calories
A study carried out in 2014 proved that intermittent fasting was found to reduce body weight by between 3 and 8% over a period ranging from 3-24 weeks..
On average, people also lost 4-7% of their waist size – meaning lost belly fat
On a personal note – I have tried the 5:2 method myself, and found that I lost on average 1lb per day
The other benefit of intermittent fasting is the fact that it does away with the need for that annoying calorie counting, (the issue with regular dieting) as the weight loss is initiated by the reduced calorie intake
To Sum Up – Intermittent fasting is an easier and simpler way of reducing calorie intake – Studies have proved that it will help you reduce body fat
Intermittent Fasting Does Not Cause As Much Muscle Loss
This fact is possibly the most important for anybody who is trying to build muscle in a gym, especially a 6 pack. One of the worst sides of dieting is that the body tends to burn muscle as well as fat.. Intermittent fasting has been shown to effect muscle mass to a far less degree.
One study showed that Intermittent fasting generated similar weight loss to a diet that involved continuous calorie restriction, but the test subjects showed a much smaller reduction in muscle mass… In test subjects who were on a permanent diet, the muscle loss accounted for 25% of the total weight lost, while those on intermittent fasting only lost 10%.
To Sum Up – There is strong evidence that Intermittent fasting will help you retain more of your muscle mass when compared to regular dieting
Succeeding With Intermittent Fasting
Be Patient – As above – Your body might take a little bit of time to adapt, and you might find that you suffer some cravings especially at first, so again – stick with it
The effects of Intermittent fasting can be boosted by working out in the gym, strength training helps you to not only retain muscle mass, but will also help increase it.
To Sum Up – Intermittent fasting takes patience and consistency to be successful, but it has been proven to be an effective way of burning unwanted body fat without the need for lengthy diets and that irritating calorie counting associated with so many other diet plans