There are so many different diets, diet plans, fad diets and weight loss programs that it’s hard to know which ones are legitimate and which ones are just scams designed to part you from your money. Among the most widely discussed of these options is intermittent fasting, which involves eating all of your calories within a specific time frame, like 8 hours or so. There are many benefits to this method of weight loss, including improved insulin sensitivity and reduced risk of disease. In this article, we’ll look at 10 reasons why intermittent fasting will help you lose weight.
1) Fat Loss
If you eat all of your daily calories in a six-hour window and fast for 16 hours, you can burn more fat than with a typical diet. Studies have also shown that intermittent fasting may help prevent insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which are both linked to obesity. In one study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers fed mice one of two diets—one high in sugar, one without any sugar at all—and found that those who consumed only food with added sugar gained an extra five pounds on average over 4o days as compared to mice who ate only fresh fruit and vegetables. Researchers think intermittent fasting could be used as a form of treatment for obesity-related health problems.
2) Reduces Cholesterol
Research has shown that high cholesterol contributes to heart disease, and intermittent fasting is one of several effective methods for reducing blood cholesterol levels. A 2009 study found that participants with high cholesterol who fasted lost more weight than those on a low-fat diet. Another study reported that long-term calorie restriction resulted in lower overall body mass, reduced fat mass, and lower triglyceride levels—all indicators of improved heart health and increased longevity. If you’re looking to improve your heart health through weight loss, consider giving intermittent fasting a try.
3) Lower Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure will drop if you’re fasting. If your body normally holds high blood pressure, it’s because your heart is working harder than normal to circulate your oxygen-rich blood through your body. By skipping a meal, and therefore decreasing both the number of calories you consume and the amount of time it takes for these calories to hit your bloodstream, you can take some of that strain off your heart. For healthy adults with normal or low-to-normal blood pressure, intermittent fasting can help to control hypertension. However, people with uncontrolled diabetes should not attempt intermittent fasting as doing so could cause even more damage to their bodies. Always consult a doctor before trying any new diet plan.
4) Supports Heart Health
According to a 2011 study published in Metabolism, intermittent fasting was shown to improve cardiovascular health by reducing triglyceride levels and increasing HDL cholesterol levels. Over time, these changes can actually result in reduced heart disease risk. But keep in mind that if you do opt for intermittent fasting, you should still aim to eat healthily. The researchers conclude that while eating only one meal per day is enough to achieve weight loss, you must maintain a nutritionally balanced diet plan when not restricting calories. This will help lower your risk of heart disease and other obesity-related complications over time—and keep you motivated to stay on track with your goals!
5) Better Insulin Control
Research shows that intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance and help with blood sugar control, two primary mechanisms in weight gain. It’s important to note that fasting may not be a suitable option for everyone. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, it’s best to consult with your doctor first. Your dietitian can also help you determine if intermittent fasting is right for you. However, most people can benefit from adding an intermittent fasting routine to their weekly schedule. The easiest way to start is by skipping breakfast one day per week (yes, you read that correctly). This will allow your body time to slowly adjust before diving into 24-hour fasts. From there, try extending your fast from 12 hours overnight until 8 hours during daylight. Once you feel comfortable with 16/8 fasts, try going 24 hours on one day of the week (usually Sunday). And finally, work up to doing three 24-hour fasts per week.
6) Nutrient Efficiency
Intermittent fasting (IF) offers a simple, effective way to lose weight that requires no special products or supplements. Many athletes and bodybuilders swear by IF as a great way to shed fat while maintaining their hard-earned muscle. To get started, simply fast for 14 hours overnight, then eat during your eight-hour feeding window. For example, if you start fasting at 10 pm each night and stop eating at 8 am every morning, you’ll be consuming 500 fewer calories per day than if you ate three meals and two snacks each day. This can also be an easy way to practice portion control. A large dinner means less room in your stomach for breakfast and lunch—which means lower calorie intake over time. Here are ten reasons why IF is so powerful
7) Fewer Calories
There’s no denying that we consume more calories when we consume larger meals. In a study conducted at Brigham Young University, it was found that participants who ate large breakfasts of 700 calories consumed more than those who ate 500-calorie breakfasts, even though both groups consumed identical calorie counts for lunch and dinner. This is why it’s a good idea to try intermittent fasting: Not only will you have fewer calories throughout your day, but they won’t be as high in quantity. For example, if you normally eat three meals per day consisting of roughly 1,000 calories each, intermittent fasting will reduce your daily caloric intake by approximately 300 calories per day.
8) Longer Life Expectancy
Eating more frequently means you have a higher risk of overeating and eating unhealthy foods. That can lead to weight gain and obesity, which are in turn linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. One study found that people who fasted intermittently were 44 percent less likely to die from any cause over a seven-year period than non-fasting participants. Another study found that people who ate a low-calorie diet with five or more annual fast days reduced their overall mortality rate by 5 percent (likely due to lowered insulin levels). An even larger study (that included 1 million subjects) found that those who practiced fasting had a 10 percent lower mortality rate compared with non-fasting participants.
9) Less Hunger and Cravings
In a study published in Journal of Obesity, overweight women who fasted for 24 hours between dinner and breakfast lost more weight than women who ate their regular meals. Fasting also reduced hunger hormones throughout the day. Another study from Appetite showed that making time for three square meals was too much food for people on a 1600-calorie-per-day diet, causing them to feel more sluggish and overeat later in an attempt to catch up with what they’d missed during their fasting period. More frequent eating can lead to excessive hunger and cravings—or feelings of restriction that prompt bingeing later on down the line. Thus, intermittent fasting may help rev your metabolism while keeping you feeling lighter—leading to fewer calories consumed overall.
10) Increased Thermogenesis
It’s pretty simple – your body uses more energy when it’s in a fasting state than when it’s digesting food. One study showed that intermittent fasting increased resting energy expenditure by 14%, and overall energy expenditure by 5%. This means more calories burned, even at rest. As an added bonus, fasting can also increase your basal metabolic rate – that is, how many calories you burn at rest for maintenance. In one study of people following an alternate-day fasting regimen for 8 weeks, resting metabolic rate increased 7%.