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-Mind Your Damn Fitness-
When it comes to losing weight, the trendiest diets tend to get all the attention (it’s like high school all over again). But if you’re looking to keep weight off, diets that restrict calories or limit food options often fall short. One of the best kept secrets for achieving and sustaining optimal body weight is to use intermittent fasting for weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between fasting intervals (periods of no eating) and feeding intervals (unrestricted eating).
There are lots of ways to schedule the fasting and feeding intervals when using intermittent fasting for weight loss. Some methods consist of fasting for a portion of each day, with fasting intervals lasting anywhere from 12–18 hours. Other approaches include fasting a full 24 hours (or more) one or multiple days per week. Read this for more information on two of the most popular intermittent fasting schedules.
Here are 8 no-brainer reasons to try intermittent fasting for weight loss:
1) It naturally reduces caloric intake
By eating within a narrow window of time, you can effortlessly lower the number of calories you eat without the hassle of calorie-counting.
In fact, findings from a recent study suggest that intermittent fasting can naturally reduce daily caloric intake by roughly 300 calories.
2) It increases your body’s fat-burning power
One of the main benefits of using intermittent fasting for weight loss is that it increases fat-burning hormones, including norepinephrine. This particular hormone boosts your metabolic rate to help shed pounds through fat loss, with an added benefit of decreasing belly fat.
If you struggle with harmful excess belly fat, strongly consider intermittent fasting or other strategies that can reduce belly fat.
3) You produce Ketones without giving up carbs
Heard of the keto (ketogenic) diet? Is that even a question? Of course you have.
The main objective of the keto diet is to shift your body to burning fat, in the form of ketones, as the primary energy source. Ketones are an alternative fuel that your body produces and uses when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. With the keto diet, this is achieved by with a drastic reduction in daily carb (carbohydrate) consumption – roughly 20 grams – compared with 225-325 grams in a “standard” 2000-calorie diet.
Most people don’t realize that intermittent fasting is one of the simplest ways to increase your body’s ketone levels. When you fast, the increase in fat-burning hormones breaks down and releases fatty acids from stored fat that can be used for ketone production, just as with the keto diet. However, unlike the keto diet, you can eat all of the carbs you desire with intermittent fasting.
Learn more about ketones and getting in to ketosis here.
4) You lose weight while maintaining muscle mass
Weight loss can come in the form of fat loss, muscle loss, or both. On the surface, it may not seem to matter HOW the weight is going away (just go away already). But research has shown that the more lean muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will be. And a faster metabolism means more fat-burning at rest, which aids in further weight loss!
Evidence suggests that, when you use intermittent fasting for weight loss, you maintain more of your muscle mass than with diets that restrict calories.
5) You can still eat your favorite foods
One of the biggest reasons traditional diets fail is because they restrict your eating in some unnatural (and impractical) manner – usually with limits on the types of foods you can eat or the amount of calories you can consume in a given day.
Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, allows you to eat what you want and in the quantities that you want during feeding intervals. This goes a long way for occasionally indulging in your favorite sweet treats and savory foods without feeling guilty!
However, keep in mind that, for optimal weight loss, you’ll want to generally eat well-balanced meals that provide good nutrition and help control hunger during fasting periods. Check out this article to learn more about the best foods to eat when intermittent fasting for weight loss.
6) There’s flexibility in how you schedule your fast
When intermittent fasting for a portion of each day, you have the flexibility to schedule your fast however you wish.
Many people find it easier to fast during the earlier part of the day instead of later in the day. For example, those performing a daily 16-hour fast tend to schedule their 8-hour feeding interval to be 12:00 PM through 8:00 PM. This is because most people find it easier to fast upon waking up in the morning and prefer to go to bed feeling somewhat full. In addition, lunch and dinner tend to be prime social interaction times, so this schedule accommodates that.
Regardless of the schedule, the consistency is key to being successful in using intermittent fasting for weight loss. So pick a schedule that you can stick with 80-90% of the time. This will help your body adjust more quickly to the intermittent fasting eating pattern.
7) It can reverse insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic state
Carbs provide energy that fuels muscle contraction and other bodily functions. After you eat them, your body breaks carbs down into glucose. With the help of insulin, glucose can enter your cells and be used as energy. Any glucose not used right away gets stored in muscles and the liver in the form of glycogen. But once glycogen stores are filled up, your body converts extra glucose to fat that is stored in adipose tissue (fat cells).
Insulin resistance is a state where your cells, for one reason or another, don’t respond to insulin. When this happens, glucose is unable to enter your cells, and so it stays in the bloodstream and, after a while, is stored as fat. This not only leads to weight gain, but also increases your risk of developing diabetes.
8) It may make you live longer
Most evidence supporting the positive effect of intermittent fasting on longevity comes from animal studies. However, experts believe this benefit may translate to humans.
The mild stress of intermittent fasting boosts your body’s cellular defenses against molecular damage; this has been associated with anti-aging benefits. And anything that has the potential to increase life span is clearly positive!
Learn more about a novel intermittent fasting weight loss program that will help you CRUSH your weight loss goals!
Intermittent fasting is a powerful weight loss tool that offers flexibility and practicality that make it a great option for long term weight management. Despite this, intermittent fasting is not for everyone. As with all dietary changes, discuss intermittent fasting with your doctor to make sure this weight loss approach is right for you.