How does intermittent fasting work?
Intermittent fasting is a trend that is surely on the rise. This topic sparks many conversations with those who are into dieting and fitness. Here is a quick guide to what exactly it is, what are the benefits and how will it impact your day-to-day lives.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It does not specify which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them. With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time of the day. Fasting for a certain number of hours every day or eating just one meal a couple of days a week can help your body burn fat.
How does intermittent fasting work?
There are many ways to practice intermittent fasting, but all of them are based on choosing regular periods to eat and to fast. For example, you may try to eat only for 8 hours every day and fast for the remainder of the day. Or you might even choose to eat only one meal per day for two days of the week. There are so many different forms of intermittent fasting, you should find the one that suits you the best.
Studies indicate that after hours without any food, our bodies exhaust their sugar stores and start to burn fat instead. This is often referred to as metabolic switching. Ultimately this is the end goal of any diet, to allow your body to run on excess fat. While this is the ultimate goal, many of us fail dismally. If you are someone who eats three meals a day, plus snacks, morning coffee with two Ouma rusks and you are not working out at all, then your body runs on the calories that you consumed and will definitely not be burning excess fat. And whatever your body does not burn from your daily food intake, it stores on your body.
Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through those calories you consumed during your last meal and begins to burn fat.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
We know now that the first great benefit of intermittent fasting is that it forces your body to run on excess fat. But there are also many other benefits to this lifestyle.
Here are some intermittent fasting benefits research has revealed so far:
Thinking and memory. Studies have discovered that intermittent fasting can boost working memory in animals and can even boost verbal memory in humans.
Heart health. Intermittent fasting can improve blood pressure and resting heart rate.
Physical performance. Young men who did intermittent fasting for 16 hours showed fat loss while maintaining their muscle mass. They even found that mice who were fed on alternate days showed better running endurance.
Diabetes and obesity. Studies have found that intermittent fasting prevented obesity in animals. And we have already established that humans have also been found to lose weight when fasting.
Tissue health. Intermittent fasting reduced tissue damage in surgery and improved results in animals.
Is intermittent fasting safe?
While many people practice intermittent fasting for weight loss or to remedy chronic issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, or arthritis, intermittent fasting certainly is not for everyone and can be harmful to some. Before you try intermittent fasting, talk you a healthcare professional about it first.
Intermittent fasting is not recommended for the following:
- Children under the age of 18
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems
- Those who have a history of eating disorders or dysmorphic disorders
Intermittent fasting can be great for weight loss, but this should not be the only way you try to lose weight. If you combine healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and occasional fasting you can rest assured that you have the recipe for success. Ask a trainer at Fitness Fables about intermittent fasting recommendations. For more detailed information on how to do it right, buy our E-book on Intermittent fasting today.