Intermittent Fasting; Is It Effective For Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals?
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet. It is a timed approach to eating. Unlike a dietary plan that restricts where calories come from, intermittent fasting does not specify what foods a person should eat or avoid. Intermittent fasting may have some health benefits, including weight loss, but is not suitable for everyone.
Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. At first, people may find it difficult to eat during a short window of time each day or alternate between days of eating and not eating.
How effective is intermittent fasting
Fasting has several effects on a person’s body. These effects include:
- Reducing levels of insulin, which makes it easier for the body to use stored fat.
- Lowering blood sugars, blood pressure, and inflammation levels.
- Changing the expression of certain genes, which helps the body protect itself from disease as well as promoting longevity.
- Dramatically increases human growth hormone, or HGH, which helps the body utilize body fat and grow muscle.
- The body activates a healing process doctors call autophagy, which essentially means that the body digests or recycles old or damaged cell components.
Fasting dates back to ancient humans who often went hours or days between meals as obtaining food was difficult. The human body adapted to this style of eating, allowing extended periods to pass between food intake times.
Intermittent fasting recreates this forced-fasting. When a person undertakes an intermittent fast for dietary proposes, it can be very effective for weight loss. In fact, according to one study, most people try intermittent fasting to help lose weight.
Other research backs up the claims that fasting can help a person lose weight. For example, a review of studies shows that many people who fast see a higher loss of visceral body fat and a similar to slightly less reduction in body weight compared with people who follow more traditional calorie reduction diets.
Research also shows fasting to be beneficial for the management of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, extending lifespan, protecting neuron function, and shows promise in those with digestive diseases.
Effects on exercise
For healthy individuals, intermittent fasting should not affect their ability to exercise except during the period when the body is adjusting to the new eating schedule. After the adjustment period, a person should not feel any ill effects from fasting on their exercise routine.
Those worried about losing muscle while fasting should be sure to consume enough protein during eating periods and participate in resistance training regularly. By keeping protein intake up, a person is less likely to lose muscle mass from fasting.