Intermittent fasting (IF) refers to any eating pattern that cycles between a period of caloric consumption and a bigger period of no or very limited caloric intake.
There are some popular ways to do it. However, the most common one involves eight hours of eating and 16 hours of voluntary fasting.
IF has been established to be mighty effective in weight loss. In other advantages, it lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure and reduces inflammation.
We went on a research spree and detail below our findings on why intermittent fasting actually works.
1. Reduced Caloric Intake
Although intermittent fasting does not specify any number of calories to be taken, you invariably end up intaking less calories.
Isn’t it logical to say that you will eat fewer calories in eight hours than if you had been grazing all day?
Reduced caloric intake has been known to be at the core of any weight loss strategy and has other health benefits such as slowing the aging process.
2. Triggers Fast Burning
After around 12 hours into any fast, the body shifts from consuming glucose to burning fat.
This shift is triggered by lowered insulin levels in the body. Fat burning leads to decreased fat masses within the body and eventual weight loss.
Intermittent fasting has been known to effectively decrease belly fat.
3. Boosts Metabolism
Studies have shown that fasting leads to increasing your metabolic rate.
An increased metabolic rate means that the body’s working requires more calories. This increased demand for calories leads to glucose consumption at first and then the body resorts to body fat.
This is one of the reasons why intermittent fasting is an effective strategy for weight loss. However, it must be noted that fasting for too long can lead to muscle loss rather than fat loss.
4. Lowers Insulin Level
Insulin is the hormone responsible for driving glucose into the cells. Insulin levels are regulated to match the amount of glucose in the blood. So, it is high after a meal and low between meals. As it is secreted after a meal, eating throughout the day keeps insulin high most of the time.
Constantly high insulin levels may desensitize body tissues causing insulin insensitivity. This is the hallmark of prediabetes and diabetes type 2.
In intermittent fasting, the insulin levels are kept low and this reduces diabetes risk.
Intermittent fasting is convenient to do. As opposed to other forms of diets and eating strategies, IF does not necessarily require you to stop eating any specific kind of food.
You can essentially continue to eat whatever you have been eating. You just need to change your routine.
We sometimes do intermittent fasting unintentionally, such as when we ate the night before and didn’t have time to do breakfast before going to school or work. However, to achieve real benefits from IF you need to be consistent, no one-time thing.
There is no hard and fast rule and you can tailor it according to your preferences.
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