You’re likely familiar with the premise of fasting. Fasting refers to not consuming food for a specific timeframe. People have been fasting throughout history, though not necessarily by choice.
Due to food scarcity, humans have evolved to thrive within an intermittent fasting cycle. People have adapted and evolved to consume large quantities of food whenever they want, but that may not be the healthiest way to live. If you want to lose weight, going back to the basic method of intermittent fasting can be extremely effective.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting involves eating all your daily calories within a restricted timeframe. While there are a few different models, it’s typically eating within a window of between 6-8 hours and then fasting for 14-16 hours. There are also companies like Shake That Weight that offer 5:2 intermittent fasting plans where you eat normally for five days of the week and fast on the remaining two. On your fasting days, you’ll consume ¼ of your regular caloric intake.
How does intermittent fasting help you lose weight?
Intermittent fasting has a range of benefits when it comes to supporting your health and weight loss goals.
1. Calorie reduction
Most people eat way more than their daily caloric intake requirement without even realizing it. Even if you plan your meals, you can consume vast amounts of calories in snacks and quick bites when you’re on the go. When you stick to your chosen time period, you won’t be tempted to grab a chocolate bar from the shop or munch on a couple of crisps here and there throughout the day. It may not seem substantial, but the calories add up.
2. Initiates Ketosis
Ketosis is a natural process where your body begins burning your fat stores, thus promoting weight loss. During intermittent fasting, your body first uses up the food you’ve eaten, then it moves on to your glucose reserves. Once it’s burned those glucose reserves, your body will enter ketosis and start burning your body fat for fuel.
3. Gives your metabolism a boost
Intermittent fasting will allow your body to alter the way it metabolizes food. Since it will become used to only receiving food within specified times, it will begin to maximize the energy that it gets from your meals. Boosting your metabolism will allow you to burn increased calories during the day, even when you’re resting.
4. Lowers your insulin levels
Intermittent fasting will increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin which helps to lower your risk of developing diabetes and prevents you from gaining weight. It also lowers your insulin levels which will prompt your body to start using up its stored fat instead of burning glucose.
5. Targets visceral fat
Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways you can target that stubborn visceral fat. Visceral fat is the internal fat that sits over your abs. It is notorious for being hard to get rid of and can also be incredibly harmful to the body. As it sits around many of your important internal organs, it can raise your risk of developing severe medical issues like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high cholesterol.