Hunger is the first thought that comes to mind for most people when presented with the idea of intermittent fasting. The phrase has been tossed around in articles, on social media, certainly overheard in the gym, and perhaps even amongst your friends. In short, intermittent fasting does require a certain amount of restriction however you don’t have to cut any more calories than you would on any other diet. Intermittent fasting has multiple iterations. The most popular and easiest to stick to is the eight-hour method where you eat all your calories in an eight-hour window and fast for the remaining 16. Now before the word ‘hunger’ flashes across your mind again you can rest assured sleep does count towards the hours you’re not eating. The beauty of this form of intermittent fasting is that it works around your schedule. For example, your first meal can be at noon and you can eat until 8 pm. You may not even realize you’ve already been fasting if you’re the type to skip breakfast and lunch is your first meal of the day.
Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss
“It all sounds well and dandy but what’s the point of intermittent fasting?” I’m glad you asked. Intermittent fasting has become very popular in dieting, nutritional and health circles. It has also been studied and written about extensively in medical circles. First, there are the weight loss benefits. The most basic explanation of why intermittent fasting works for weight loss is that it contains calories within a specific period thus limiting the overall amount of calories you will eat. The struggle for a lot of people is snacking. Intermittent fasting cuts out a lot of the random snacking that happens when someone eats all day. Another benefit is the increase of ghrelin or the “hunger hormone’ which reduces overeating. Lastly, it helps your body become “fat adapted” which simply means your energy levels rise from stored fat. Ultimately, several studies have shown intermittent fasting to be effective in weight loss and management.
Long Term Benefits
Many people have used this type of eating for quick results to get ready for a vacation or to squeeze into those pants, that dress or even look great naked, however, intermittent fasting offers significant long term benefits reaching far beyond beach season. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance.1 This translates into overall heart health as intermittent fasting reduces “bad” cholesterol as well as overall inflammation.1 A reduction of overall inflammation can aid in the growth of new nerve cells in the brain which has far-reaching cognitive benefits. Intermittent fasting has been shown in certain studies to have cancer preventative benefits.2 Lastly, a study performed in a controlled lab setting showed intermittent fasted rats lived 36%-83% longer.3 Ultimately, intermittent fasting has shown tremendous overall health benefits. At the very least, you’ll look great on the beach.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S193152441400200X. Adrienne R.BarnoskyaKristin K.HoddybTerry G.UntermanaKrista A.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3245934. Siegel I1, Liu TL, Nepomuceno N, Gleicher N.
https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/212538. Goodrick C.L. · Ingram D.K. · Reynolds M.A. · Freeman J.R. · Cider N.L.