What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
When it comes to losing weight, everybody knows that weight loss is very simple, as it’s basically a matter of eating less, and exercising more, right? Wrong! If weight loss really was as easy as patronizing nutritionists and “influencers” would have us believe, we wouldn’t be in the midst of an obesity epidemic like we are now.
The simple fact of the matter is that losing weight is difficult, but certainly not impossible, you just need to know what works and what doesn’t.
Intermittent fasting, or IF as it is also known, is not a fitness trend or fad, and it certainly isn’t a quick fix, it is a lifestyle designed to promote weight loss and optimal health and wellness.
Experts have found that IF is beneficial, not only from a weight loss perspective, but also from a health and wellness perspective, which is why personal trainers, nutritionists, fitness coaches, and even doctors are advocating its use.
Want to learn more about intermittent fasting? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
What is intermittent fasting?
Firstly, we should really start things off today by looking at what IF really is.
Basically, intermittent fasting is a unique eating pattern in which those following it will alternate between periods of feasting and fasting. Rather than specifying which foods you should and should not eat like other diets, instead, IF specifies WHEN you should eat them.
Therefore, it isn’t a diet, but rather, it is an eating pattern.
Isn’t fasting dangerous?
One common argument that people make against IF, is that fasting is dangerous and shouldn’t be done. In reality, though, we all fast every single day. From the time we eat our last meal at night, until we eat breakfast in a morning, we are fasting. Heck, the clue is in the name Break-Fast, as you are literally breaking your fast.
Fasting has been done for thousands of years by human beings, and has been an integral part of human evolution.
Providing you stay hydrated, and you fast correctly, intermittent fasting is not dangerous at all.
What are the benefits?
A few key benefits of IF, include:
One benefit of intermittent fasting is the fact that it is so versatile.
There are plenty of different fasts you can follow, so you can find one which will work for you. 16/8 for example, is popular, and is performed every day. Here, for 16 hours a day (including when you sleep) you will fast, and will be allowed to eat sensibly for 8 hours.
The 5:2 diet is another popular choice, whereby you will eat normally 5 days a week, and consume just 500 – 700 calories on 2, non-consecutive days.
The main benefit of IF has to be weight loss.
With IF, because you are limited in terms of when you can eat, you cannot physically consume enough calories to force yourself into a surplus. Therefore, you will lose weight as you will create a moderate deficit which, over time, will equal impressive rates of weight loss.
IF helps promote weight loss hormones
Another reason why IF is so popular is due to the fact that it can alter your hormone levels in order to facilitate fat loss.
For example, IF boosts growth hormone levels and reduces insulin, while also increasing the production of norepinephrine, which is a hormone with thermogenic effects, meaning it boosts the metabolism and burns fat.