2017 was full of weight loss fads like “souping,” drinking apple cider vinegar and using coconut oil/milk to get healthy. Although almost every dietary trend has at least some value, most don’t produce significant weight loss results and end up fading out.
One weight loss trend that has taken off recently is intermittent fasting. Unlike other weight loss trends, intermittent fasting has been around for years. Intermittent fasting is an ancient way of eating that was around as early as 360 B.C. There are many benefits of intermittent fasting and the intermittent fasting diet. Read below to find out more about the advantages of intermittent fasting and how using intermittent fasting for weight loss can lead to success.
History of Intermittent Fasting
There are a couple of different ways to “do” intermittent fasting (I’ll talk about those below), but to understand how an intermittent fasting diet can aid in your weight loss, you must know its origins. Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating in which you cycle between periods of eating and not eating (fasting).
Through this model, those on an intermittent fasting diet can significantly reduce the number of calories they consume. I’ve personally used this pattern of eating for the past eight years and when combined with my Daily Slim tea, intermittent fasting for weight loss has been a success for me!
But it turns out, that many people before me used intermittent weight loss to improve their health. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed intermittent fasting for sick patients, hence the adage “feed a fever, starve a cold.”
The ancient Greeks also believed that an intermittent fasting diet could improve your energy and thinking skills. I could definitely see this being true even before looking at the evidence on intermittent fasting. Try pigging out on a carb-filled diet and see if you’re energetic or exhausted. Sleepiness and food coma from eating too many carbs is a thing!
Other well-known people who recognized the benefits of intermittent fasting include Benjamin Franklin, Philip Paracelsus (the founder of toxicology) and Buddha. Although for spiritual reasons and not weight related, Jesus Christ was said to have practiced fasting as well.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
While using intermittent fasting for weight loss, you will only eat during a 6-8 hour window. Intermittent fasting can be accomplished in several different ways, but usually, people go 5 hours or so upon waking before having their first meal of the day. Over the next six 6 to 8 hours, those practicing intermittent fasting are allowed to eat, but all meals must be consumed at least two hours before bedtime.
For example, when you’re using intermittent fasting for weight loss you might not eat until 12-1 P.M. (no breakfast) and then cut off all eating after 7 P.M. By not eating in the morning, you can force your body to break into fat stores and fuel itself instead of burning food. Although some people fast every single day, this can be difficult for some, so “every other day” intermittent fasting is common.
This goes against standard advice to eat several small meals per day, but for a good reason. Science has shown that by practicing intermittent fasting, one not only reduces their calorie intake for the day they are fasting but also the day after (if they decide to eat unrestrictedly). This can help with the “deprived feeling” that is common when starting a new diet or way of eating—and it works!
The same research on intermittent fasting mentioned above cites that something happens when using intermittent fasting for weight loss that doesn’t work with other diets. Though scientists aren’t exactly sure, research is emerging to prove that something changes in the body on the fasting days that stops people from binge eating the next day.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
After a week of intermittent fasting, even if you’ve only used intermittent fasting for weight loss a few days out of the week, you will have eaten fewer calories. And fewer calories = more weight loss.
But it’s not just weight loss that can come from intermittent fasting. In fact, intermittent fasting benefits abound! Intermittent fasting can lower blood lipids and blood pressure, reduce the chance of developing diabetes, and strengthens your metabolism. Other intermittent fasting benefits include a reduced risk of developing heart disease and even anti-aging! Intermittent fasting can help you burn fat, have improved appetite control, and normalizes ghrelin levels (also known as the hunger hormone.)
What Makes Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss Work?
It’s not just the calorie cutting that makes intermittent fasting one of the best options for weight loss. Research shows that counting calories and limiting your food options make dieting a chore and causes stress which often leads to abandonment of the diet. Low-calorie diets that require you to cut calories every single day are hard for people with willpower issues to stick to. Instead of feeling like a punishment every day of the week, people with an intermittent fasting routine only feel restricted a few days a week.
One of the things that I love about intermittent fasting vs. eating several (even small) meals a day is that it requires a lot less prepping. The time that I used to spend prepping tons of food, I can now focus on other things.
Things to Consider
Following an intermittent fasting diet can lead to weight loss, especially for people who are overweight or need help “jump-starting” their weight loss once they hit a plateau. But intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. If you have a history of eating disorders such as anorexia, body dysmorphia, or binge eating, you should ask a physician before considering intermittent fasting. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any type of diabetes, intermittent fasting probably won’t be a good fit for you either. Your exercise routine might also need to be “tweaked” if you decide to try intermittent fasting since your energy levels can suffer on the days following your fast.
What intermittent fasting routine do you plan on trying? Reach out on social media and let me know.
And as always, have a beauTEAful day.
Comments will be approved before showing up.