Intermittent fasting has become a popular method for people to lose weight and shed a few extra pounds. Different from certain diet programmes and other weight loss efforts, intermittent fasting does not revolve around what you eat, but when you do. The concept revolves around juggling between eating and fasting.
There are different methodologies of intermittent fasting. One example would be to restrict your food intake to just eight hours per day and fast for the remaining sixteen. Other more extreme forms of intermittent fasting include not eating for a whole day for just once or twice a week. Another method is to reduce calorie intake substantially during certain days and eat normally for the remaining.
Most people opt for intermittent fasting simply for the purpose of losing weight, however the practice has been associated with other health benefits. These include the reducing of blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
With respect to weight loss, intermittent fasting can achieve this through different mechanisms. Having a restricted time window of when to eat will help in reducing intake of calories, thus contributing positively to weight loss. It can also lead to a boost in metabolism which contributes to increased calorie burning. This pattern of food consumption can also reduce levels of insulin. There is some research which indicates that intermittent fasting can help the body retain muscle mass rather than calories.
Effective when combined with keto
Intermittent fasting can be highly effective when combined with the ketogenic diet. This is due to the fact that it can speed up ketosis and optimise weight loss. In a nutshell, the ketogenic diet is very high in fats and low in carbs. This automatically programmes the body to burn fat instead of carbs. For this to work effectively, the body needs to be deprived of glucose.
A number of benefits
Together with the obvious weight loss benefits, there are other positive impacts which are brought about by intermittent fasting. These include improved heart health due to the decreased levels of bad cholesterol. There is still an extensive amount of research required, however initial evidence suggests that intermittent fasting can increase your lifespan and slow ageing. It is also associated with improved brain function, combatting conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Although most people can adopt intermittent fasting as part of a healthy lifestyle, some might not react well to it. Like other regimes, it is not suitable for everyone. People with chronic illnesses and pregnant or breastfeeding women would do well to speak with their doctor before adopting this dietary approach. Those who suffer from diabetes should also be careful, as intermittent fasting is correlated with lower blood sugar levels and can thus be incompatible with certain medications.
Have you ever tried intermittent fasting as part of your dieting approach? Let us know your experience in the comments section below.