According to data compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 40% of adults and about 19% of young Americans are obese. In addition, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state that the medical costs derived from obesity are almost $ 1,500 higher than others. The CDC reports that the medical cost of obesity in the United States currently runs into the billions. In other words, a significant number of Americans have a problem with weight and a properly functioning metabolism.
Fortunately, more Americans have realized that maintaining a healthy weight can positively benefit their health. However, the path to losing weight can often be difficult to navigate.
When it comes to dieting, some professionals require you to give up many of your favorite foods. This can make your weight loss goal more difficult to achieve. But what if you could lose weight without having to stick to an overly restrictive diet?
This note will discuss intermittent fasting, a diet that requires prolonged periods of fasting to lose weight.
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
For those unfamiliar with intermittent fasting, this form of diet is relatively easy to follow. In fact, the National Institute of Health tells us that it is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. Unlike most diets in which you deprive yourself of certain foods, this diet allows you to continue eating the foods you like. However, you must eat less often to benefit from this unique diet. While this may seem challenging, it will get easier once you have some practice under your belt.
According to a study published by healthline.com, a private health information provider based in San Francisco, California, those on an intermittent fasting diet can lose between 3 and 8% of their body weight within 24 weeks or less. The data from this study shows that a fasting diet can be as effective in helping people lose weight as a traditional diet based on calorie restriction. Many researchers and scientists believe that an intermittent diet based on fasting may be more beneficial for those who are obese and trying to lose weight.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT INTERMITTENT FASTING DIET
Studies have shown that a diet that involves strategic fasting can have a positive impact on metabolism and overall metabolic health. However, there is no such thing as a "one size fits all" approach when it comes to this form of diet. There are multiple ways to go on an intermittent diet based on fasting.
One of these options is the 5: 2 diet, which involves fasting for two consecutive days per week or fasting every other day. Another option is the 16/8 method; With this method you only eat for a period of 8 hours and fast for the remaining 16 hours. Before starting a fasting diet, consult a doctor or nutritionist who can recommend the best option.
INTERMITTENT FASTING BENEFITS
From a metabolic point of view, fasting can increase the amount of fat-burning hormones in the body. Also known as chemical messengers, these hormones play a critical role when it comes to body weight. They also perform other functions in the body such as regulating appetite, for example.
Also, hormones can play a decisive role in whether you store or burn fat and the number of calories you can consume. An intermittent fasting diet ensures that your hormones work in your favor as you work towards your weight loss goals. That said, insulin is one of the primary hormones that dictate fat metabolism, the process by which the body breaks down fat and uses it for energy.
The higher your insulin levels, the more difficult it will be for you to lose weight. Strategic fasting can keep your insulin levels low; This, in turn, makes it easier to lose weight. Lower insulin levels can also reduce the chance of developing certain diseases, such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE
Along with insulin, fasting can also increase human growth hormones in the body, which are equally important when it comes to losing weight, especially for men. According to the Oxford University Press, the level of human growth hormones in the body can increase by more than five times for those who adhere to a fasting diet. The study also revealed that increased human growth hormones allow men to preserve more muscle and lose weight. Unfortunately, these benefits do not extend to women; the increase in human growth hormones does not affect your ability to lose weight one way or another.
Another benefit of fasting includes an increase in the production of the stress hormone norepinephrine. In addition to helping you lose weight by prompting the body to release fatty acids, norepinephrine also improves alertness. When it comes to losing weight, the stress hormone norepinephrine can also make more body fat available to burn. This is helpful for those with stubborn fat that tends to linger in certain areas. In general, increasing HGH (human growth hormone), insulin, and norepinephrine can increase your fat-burning potential, which can lead to weight loss.
INTERMITTENT FASTING VS A RESTRICTED CALORIE DIET
When trying to lose weight, deciding on a particular diet can be overwhelming. There are many to choose from, some of which are more over the top than substance. A diet that involves fasting, however, is rooted in science. As such, it can deliver results relatively quickly for those disciplined enough to pull it off. After all, it can be difficult for some people to go hours or days without eating anything. Unlike a traditional calorie restricted diet, fasting does not lower your metabolism as quickly.
Although this may seem counterproductive, strategic fasting can help you avoid some of the negatives associated with weight loss, including the loss of muscle mass and muscle tissue. However, it is important to note that extreme calorie restrictions can accelerate the rate of metabolic rate, which can cause the body to retain fat as a means of preservation.
It's a good idea to work with a doctor or nutritionist who can help you determine the maximum number of calories you can safely restrict from your diet and still lose weight. This recommendation applies to those considering a fasting or calorie restricted diet, as doing so may help you avoid entering starvation mode.
BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
Along with losing weight, you may find several reasons to choose a fasted diet over a traditional calorie-restricted diet. While both can help you shed unwanted pounds, fasting also helps the body rid itself of toxins. In simple terms, the act of fasting triggers a natural detoxification process in the body. This further contributes to weight loss. From a psychological point of view, many people believe that fasting helps improve concentration and focus.
Many people have even believed that fasting has allowed them to achieve a level of enlightenment and spiritual awakening that they might never have otherwise experienced. Additional benefits of intermittent fasting often reported by those who have tried this diet include:
-Increased life expectancy.
-Lower risk of developing chronic diseases
-Improved cell cleaning.
-Healthy cholesterol levels
-Healthy blood glucose levels.
Intermittent fasting benefits your physical and mental health in a variety of ways. This diet is worth considering if you want to not only lose weight, but also improve your overall health.
Fasting does not complicate your life like a traditional calorie restricted diet. Instead, it supplements it by providing clarity and more energy while cleansing the body of toxins and aiding in weight loss. Also, unlike a calorie restricted diet, there are no expensive meal plans to buy or complicated recipes to follow. You can keep eating the same foods that you already know and love. However, you must mentally prepare yourself to endure the rigors of going hours without food. Overall, the benefits are plentiful for those who are willing and able to follow such a diet.