You may have heard of the new diet plan that includes intermittent fasting, but does it actually work to help you lose weight? Well, that depends. Let’s take a look at the intermittent fasting trend and how it’s supposed to be followed.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is where you follow a specific timeline of eating and then not eating. Sounds simple right? The parameters of doing this type of lifestyle eating requires you to either pick a window to eat in, say four or six hours of the day. Then don’t eat for the rest of that 24-hour period. Many people pick noon to 6:00 PM, for example.
The other way to follow it is to skip two meals one day and then don’t eat for a full 24 hours. So you would eat normally one day and then skip the first two meals of the next day.
The Real Truth
Here’s the kicker. You are going to be hungry. Fasting is not an easy thing to do, especially if you live a full, busy life where you need energy to get through your day. The reason it works for weight loss is that you are just eating less food. Less calories to burn. You can also not fast, and lose weight by practicing healthy eating and committing to a regular workout schedule. So the question is do you really need to intermittently fast? Not really. Unless you enjoy skipping meals in a row or like being hungry. Also every time you eat your body expends energy digesting and moving the food through your system. Reducing the amount of time your body spends digesting your food on a daily helps your body in other areas like reducing inflammation. Also when you sleep your body should be completely at rest. When you eat close to when yo go to sleep your body is spending energy still digesting your food and is not a restful state. There’s a lot of recent studies that point to a number of healthful benefits from intermittent fasting. Some people fast for a day or up to three days at a time. The benefits start much sooner than that (avoiding food for 12 hours).
Intermittent Fasting Does Not Kick Start Your Metabolism
This type of eating lifestyle doesn’t kick start your metabolism. If anything it does the opposite, by causing your body to go into starvation mode. It’s going to attack your healthy muscle first, when you don’t eat before it even gets to the excess fat.
The Bottom Line: You’re probably better off skipping intermittent fasting.