Intermittent fasting (IMF) is often used as a medical diet to help with diabetes, heart disease, and problems with arthritis. It’s an extensively studied diet concept, that has proven incredibly useful and effective as a weight loss diet.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is best described as a meal structure plan, telling you when to eat your meals. Unlike most diets that change your meal content, IMF is primarily concerned with when you eat.
To intermittent fast each day, you would separate your day into blocks of time. A typical, and easy, schedule is 12 hours of eating, and 12 hours of consecutive fasting.
In this example you would choose twelve consecutive hours to consume all of your calories for the day. You would then fast, and avoid all calories, for the subsequent twelve hours.
You would repeat the eating and fasting cycle the next day.
See Also: How to intermittent fast
Why Intermittent Fasting Works
Intermittent fasting has proven effective as a weight loss diet because of psychological effects, and useful metabolic changes during a short term fast.
When you’re trying to lose weight, the psychological struggle of avoiding high calorie food is just as challenging as exercising everyday. You’ll often struggle with “should I eat this”, and “how bad is this for me”.
Intermittent fasting has concrete rules about when to eat giving you the answer to those questions. “I’m not in my eating time frame right now”, is a powerful statement giving you a sense of control over your food.
One of the more powerful benefits of intermittent fasting is its positive effect on glucose, blood sugar, and insulin sensitivity. The weight lost during an intermittent fasting schedule is often attributed to changes to insulin use or production and the cascading benefits it causes.
Growth Hormone Secretion
During the later stages of a daily fast you’ll experience short bursts of increased growth hormone secretion. While this increase isn’t enough to add significant amounts of muscle mass, it is enough to help preserve and prevent muscle destruction during calorie restriction.
Why is this important?
Your metabolic rate is heavily influenced by your muscle mass. On most diets, it’s very common to lose muscle mass thus lowering your metabolic rate. This reduces your daily calorie burn, and your rate of weight loss.
Using Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting has shown value as a meal structure to help reduce weight without making significant changes to content or calories. Meaning people have lost weight simply by changing the time they eat, and how long they fast and avoid food each day.
Intermittent fasting is often combined with other diet concepts to help speed up weight loss, however. While it’s entirely possible to lose weight by fasting each day, without changing what you eat, you’ll lose weight faster if you combine IMF with an effective content diet.
The most popular combination for weight loss is to use a low carb diet within the intermittent fasting meal structure.
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