Intermittent fasting is all the rage these days. But what exactly is it, how does it work, and are there any real life health benefits associated with it?
First let’s define what intermittent fasting is…
Intermittent fasting is a weight loss protocol that involves periods of fasting followed by periods of eating.
While there are different variations of the intermittent fasting diet, the most popular version is the 16:8.
With the 16:8 you will fast 16 hours out of the day and eat only during the other 8.
The interesting thing is most of us already fast for about 12 hours a day without even realizing it. The time between your last meal and when you wake up the next morning is usually around 12 hours.
It is not until you eat breakfast the next morning that you break that fast.
With intermittent fasting you will extend that fast by 4 hours. By fasting for 16 hours instead of 12 you will open yourself up to experience some benefits that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you.
Here are 3 reasons you should consider intermittent fasting:
You Will Lose More Fat
This is probably one of the biggest reasons so many people turn to intermittent fasting. According to a study done at the Yale University School of Medicine, when you are following an intermittent fasting eating regimen your metabolic rate increases.
This basically means your body burns more calories throughout the day when you are doing intermittent fasting.
This is because intermittent fasting supports your gene activity. When you fast your genes get turned on.
This in turn produces proteins that cause your body to be less efficient. This process it what turns your body into a fat burning machine.
When your body has a lowered efficiency it burns more fat when you are doing your normal everyday activities.
For best results with intermittent fasting add in a little interval training several times a week. Doing so will help you burn more fat without sacrificing the muscle you have worked so hard to build.
A convenient diet is a diet that you will be more likely to stick with. With 16:8 intermittent fasting breakfast is no longer a meal you have to worry about.
You also don’t have to worry about lunch as your first meal won’t be until 4pm. With your first meal coming so late in the day you won’t have to worry too much about meal prep.
Even better is the fact that intermittent fasting is pretty flexible when it comes to what you can eat. That means you don’t have to worry too much about tracking calories or macros.
Intermittent fasting is great for those who travel a lot as eating out won’t ruin your results. And while you still want to keep your calories within a reasonable range, there is no need to be anal and measure out everything when you are doing this type of diet.
As long as you only eat within the recommended 8 hour window you will lose weight and get amazing results.
It Improves Your Overall Health
Intermittent fasting is not just good for helping you lose fat, it will also help you improve your overall health and wellbeing.
One such way intermittent fasting can help improve your health is by reducing insulin resistance and lowering your risk of diabetes.
As you very well know, diabetes has become far too common in recent decades.
High blood sugar levels is the main culprit of diabetes. If you can lower your blood sugar levels you will lower your chances of developing diabetes.
The good news is intermittent fasting has been proven to have many benefits when it comes to insulin resistance.
Human studies have shown that individuals who follow intermittent fasting reduce their fasting blood sugar levels by up to 6%, and their fasting insulin by up to 31%.
If you are at risk for developing diabetes it may be to your benefit to give intermittent fasting a try.
Other ways intermittent fasting can improve one’s health is by helping you lose belly fat, improving how your cells, genes and hormones function, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in your body, improving various factors associated with heart disease, inducing autophagy which removes waste from the cells, and much much more.
Intermittent fast also support immune health which ultimately protects you from getting sick.
So as you can see, there are a lot of really great health benefits associated with intermittent fasting.
It basically addresses all of your needs without being overwhelming or too restrictive.
With that being said, intermittent fasting is not something the everyone should do. If you don’t need much improvement to your health then this may not be a good option for you.
If you do decide to give intermittent fasting a try, keep in mind that calories still count. While you are free to eat whatever you want, if you overdo it you will gain weight and not reap any of the health benefits.