Are you considering intermittent fasting? Have you heard about the benefits it has to reap?
Let’s take a look at this kind of fasting and see if it holds the key to breaking through some diet plateaus you might be facing.
Don’t Miss Your Breakfast
The whole struggle of trying to lose weight is that you need to create a calorie deficit, but starving yourself isn’t the answer either. When you are looking to shed the extra pounds, you still have to eat. Even if you are shrinking your portion sizes of meals throughout the day, your breakfast will always hold a great deal of value because it fuels you throughout the day. These are the first calories you ingest in your day and the ones your body will use first. If you’re going to have one large meal a day, breakfast is the time.
When you are looking to lose weight on an easy diet plan, you need to be sure that you begin your day with a healthy breakfast. This helps in kick starting your metabolism in the right manner. And helps fend off hunger between meals.
Some people believe that when your focus is on losing even more weight, you should try and eat six small meals and spread it all across the day as this will you’re your metabolism burning at an increased rate. I would support this notion, but emphasize the importance of a high protein breakfast to start out a successful day of healthy eating.
A few studies have also pointed that people who have their breakfast earlier in the day are more likely to shed the extra pounds. Coupled with exercise, this makes some sense as well, as they people would be kick starting their metabolism early in the day. One study from Scientific American actually suggest that intermittent fasting will lead to you living much longer.
The intermittent fasting diet is a bit controversial on the other hand, but depending on your goals, could pay off for you..
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Now, this is not a diet in the sense that certain foods are restricted. Rather it focuses on timing and triggering your body’s signals to burn fat. Put simply, you’ll be eating food to suffice your calorie needs and fasting for some time. This alternate eating and fasting schedule can trigger the metabolism to use body fat for fuel, and can enhance the rate at which you burn body fat.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Works?
When you choose this form of dieting, your body is going to work differently under the two modes- feasting and fasting.
Just after you had a meal, your body is going to spend some time for the sake of burning the food and converting it into useful energy which will then be processed as well. When you have a diet that is rich in carbohydrates, your body is going to tap the recently acquired food and break that down to energy rather than use the one which is available in your fat reserves.
When you are in the fasting state, your body is deprived of those recent calories, and therefore, will fall back on your fat stores to fuel activity.
This same logic applies when you are working during the fasting state too. When your body already has a ready-made supply of glucose and glycogen which it can use, your body will use that. However, if it is not available, it will fall back upon the stored reserves
Thus, the fat cells are put to use and the amount of stored fat which you have will start to melt down too.
All of this works because there is immense, difference in the way our bodies react to the way energy is consumed. This is linked to the production of insulin in the body. If your body shows a high sensitivity to insulin, you are going to be a lot more likely to lose weight and even build muscles faster as well.
The glycogen which is stored in your body can get depleted. The rate of depletion is phenomenally high when you are sleeping and also fasting. Not only this, if you add workouts and training to the equation, it is going to improve the sensitivity that your body has towards insulin by several notches. For this reason, I recommend that you should have a meal right after your workout because it is going to help your body in ways more than one.
When you compare the insulin activity of your body when you are intermittent fasting to a day when you are working as usual, you will find that the glycogen levels in your body are much more likely to be accumulated in the form of fat.
When you are fasting, you will find that growth hormone is going to increase as well. The dual effect of decrease in insulin levels and increase in growth hormone means that you will be able to enjoy both muscle growth and loss of extra body fat as well.
In simpler words, intermittent fasting can train your body to understand the need to use the food you eat in a more efficient manner..
Are 6 Small Meals Important Too?
Now if you are wondering about the 6 small meals a day approach, there are a few things you need to know.
- Whenever you eat a meal, your body will have to burn a few extra calories for the sake of processing the meal(thermic effect). This infers that when you eat meals all day long, your body will actually be burning calories all through the day. Your metabolism is going to stay high and thus bring you better results. When you are looking to shed the extra pounds, you need to be sure that your metabolic rate stays high and having ample meals all through the day is the best way to make sure that you follow this point.
- Eating smaller meals at frequent intervals is much more likely to ensure that you do not end up overeating a lot. If you find it difficult to get ahold of portion control, it is best advised to eat small portions all through the day. Overeating slows your metabolism and leads to inefficient absorption of nutrients.
Why Intermittent Fasting?
Though it’s not for everyone, it works for many. Not all calories are equal and you still need to be mindful of overall caloric consumption, but this method seems to be effective.
Intermittent fasting can also save you some time. Rather than having six meals a day, all you need to do is eat twice. Preparing meals six times a day is a large task. When you don’t have to prepare 6 meals, it means less preparatory work, less dishes and lot less trouble. Not only do you end up saving time, but it helps in saving money as well. It’s definitely worth a try.
Fasting also improves stronger insulin sensitivity and increases growth hormone production. You may find that these hormones work in tandem and to promote faster weight loss and stronger muscles simultaneously.
Are There Drawbacks?
I know you must be waiting to hear the wrong part of the story. So, what does the other side of the argument say?
A lot of people have concerns about how this form of dieting is going to lead to issues of low energy and problems of focusing. We’re generally used to eating frequently, it can present a bit of a shock to the body to change your habits. Some people report that with intermittent fasting, they feel hungry all the time and because they are fasting, find it difficult to concentrate on work. This is natural and should be taken into consideration. Plan fasting around times when your brain has lower demands to meet.
When you are making a change from eating all the time to intermittent fasting, your body might put up some resistance and transitioning can take some time.
Sometimes you may feel really irritated when you need to skip your lunch and it might lead you to feel hungry and dissatisfied. This can impact your mood and it’s important to keep an eye on this for yourself and others.
When you are practicing intermittent fasting, not only are you going to shed the extra pounds but this method has shown success for building muscle at the same time. You can actually improve the efficiency of your body’s digestion and absorption. So give it a try but don’t skip breakfast, we don’t want you getting too grumpy at work.
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I find that I’m less hungry when I fast. I like training fasted too. I just drink lots of black coffee (with Stevia if I have it) and close to a gallon of water. I’ll take 10-15g BCAA’s before working out and feel great.
I have the same issue… Thanks for your insight everyone should try that out :).