Intermittent Fasting – Effective Weight Loss Weapon or Fad Diet?
We’re heading full force into the eating season. Yup, it’s that time when apple pies, turkey dinners, and comfort food are plentiful. So how can you fend off those extra pounds that are looming after every tasty bite?
You might be tempted to turn to fad diets to drop some weight quickly. That elusive magic number on the scale seems only one three-day diet away. However, these often have the opposite effect in the long term. The scale may drop a few digits, but since your body hasn’t learned to reset its metabolism, your weight springs back up with a vengeance within a couple of weeks after you finish dieting.
What about fasting? Is that a fad diet? In fact, the practice of fasting has been in existence for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. However, you may wonder if it’s safe and if it’s an effective weight loss weapon.
The Principles of Intermittent Fasting
Whether you label it as such or not, you fast every day. Or rather, every night. Yes, between the time you have your last nibble at night and when you have your first bite of breakfast, you have fasted — likely for at least 8-10 hours.
This little break serves to regulate certain hormones, such as insulin. As soon as you take your first bite after fasting, your body starts to release the fat-storage hormone, insulin. By fasting, you prolong the metabolic state of your body where fat storage is at a minimum.
Intermittent fasting also teaches your body to control hunger and use the fuel it has more efficiently, that is, the fuel that is stored as fat. When you begin eating again, your body uses this new fuel as energy instead of the existing fat stored in your love handles, butt, thighs, and other areas.
Fasting also aids your body in repairing and healing. Why is this? Because digestion takes up a lot of energy. When you eat, your body spends its resources on digesting that food and turning it into energy. However, when you fast, your energy is now freed up to devote resources to healing and detoxification, which are essential to weight loss.
How Do You Practice Intermittent Fasting?
To be clear, intermittent fasting is not starving yourself. In a state of starvation, your body will slow its metabolism even further in order to conserve energy. This is certainly counterproductive to weight loss.
Rather, intermittent fasting is just extending your normal nightly fasting a few hours longer in order to continue the benefits of higher fat burn.
Let’s get a clearer picture of this from Mercola’s info graphic:
<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/intermittent-fasting.jpg" alt="Intermittent Fasting" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">"<a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/intermittent-fasting.htm">Intermittent fasting</a>" is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body's ability to burn fat. Embed this infographic on your site to serve as a guide for you to create a healthy eating plan, and reap the many benefits of fasting done the right way. Visit our infographic page for the high-res version.</p>
Clearly, there is no hap-hazard approach to intermittent fasting. In addition, intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Those with certain health problems, such as diabetes, should not practice intermittent fasting. Always check with your health care practitioner before undertaking a new pattern of eating.
However, if you are healthy but need to jump start your metabolism, flush out extra toxins, and drop a few pounds in the process, intermittent fasting may be just the solution!
What if you’ve tried every diet under the sun, and yet you still can’t seem to shed those extra pounds? What if you feel like you just don’t have enough energy to undertake a new diet? Don’t worry. We’ve thought of everything!
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- 7 Diet Myths That Are Making You Fat (atlasdrugandnutrition.com)
- Are Stress Hormones Making You Fat? (atlasdrugandnutrition.com)
- Exercise 101: Why Interval Training Works (atlasdrugandnutrition.com)