Intermittent fasting is at its peak of popularity with hundreds and thousands of practitioners who have tried it, succeeded in their losing weight goals and now have a few words to write online for those who are yet to give it a try. The popular intermittent fasting is not a diet, but rather a lifestyle. It is a specific pattern of eating, but not in terms of specifying what to eat and what to avoid. You can eat everything you want, but only in a specified time window, let’s say a window of 8 hours, and then fast for the following 16 hours. Intermittent fasting is that simple.
However, the uniqueness of intermittent fasting makes many people doubtful about its effectiveness. According to both traditional and modern standards, playing hunger games can be dangerous for your health, but the science is here to dig out the truth. There is evidence that indicates that, when practiced properly, intermittent fasting can be the key to getting rid of those super-stubborn pounds. The obvious fact that you’re skipping a meal every day suggests how does it work, but there is more to it than meets the eye.
The reason why many people struggle with extra weight is that they are giving their bodies a lot of carbohydrates (or sugars) to use as fuel. When your body is burning sugar as its primary fuel, the stored fats, the ones you badly want to get rid of, remain untouched. But that’s not the case with intermittent fasting. Since you’ll be keeping your appetite in check for 16-24 hours, your body will be forced to use those stored fats as their primary fuel, because you’ll be providing no carbohydrates.
During your fasting period, your body is going through a lot. First off, the blood levels of growth hormone increase, which when on a high level, promotes fat burning, muscle increase and a lot of other health benefits. Second, your insulin levels drop greatly. Then, your body works harder to remove waste materials from your cells. Lastly, the molecules, genes and hormones related to longevity and disease-protection are renewed.
In addition to reducing your daily intake of calories, intermittent fasting boosts your metabolic rate and helps you burn more calories, even during rest. In simplest words, this fasting method works on both sides of the calories equation: increases the calories you burn and reduces the calories you take. That being said, it’s safe to say that intermittent fasting can provide quicker results than most fasting methods. But unlike other diets, intermittent fasting doesn’t cause muscle loss, because it burns only the stored fats from the muscles.
For maximized efficiency, it is suggested to exercise right before you have your first meal after the fasting period of 16-24 hours. Even our ancestors used to perform most of their tasks hungry. The science behind this theory is that the less food you have in your body, the more stored fats your body will use as primary fuel, the more fat you will lose. But if you’re exercising with a goal to increase your speed, stamina or strength, this is not a good idea for you, because you might be lacking energy to complete your training.
Before you start planning when you will have each of your meals, keep in mind that it might take a while for your body to adjust on the dietary changes. Once it adjusts, you’ll start burning all the stored fats in your cells and finally reach your physical peak.