Several months ago, a friend of mine started doing intermittent fasting. She claimed that it has done wonders for her body and health. In a previous post, I also discussed what a 24-hour fasting is and how it can benefit those who are doing it or are planning to do it. I also enumerated the different kinds of fasting.
Anyway, going back to my friend. I finally decided to try out intermittent fasting. I have been doing it for almost a month now. I love how easy this kind of fasting is, contrary to the claims that it is almost impossible to do fasting. There are three methods of doing intermittent fasting.
- 16/8 method - This is 16 hours of fasting and an 8-hour eating window. You basically skip breakfast. For me, my eating window is from 1 pm to 9 pm.
- Eat-Stop-Eat - This is one or two days of fasting each week. You don’t eat dinner tonight until next day’s dinner.
- 5:2 Diet - This is also another simple fasting method. For two days of the week, you can only eat 500 to 600 calories.
I am currently trying the 16/8 method. So far, I am having no problems doing it. In fact, it’s very easy. It’s just like skipping breakfast and eating a slightly late lunch and just making sure that you stop eating by 9 pm. So far, the primary changes I have noticed is that I feel less bloated in the morning. I also do not give in to food hankerings that easy anymore.
But how does flexible intermittent fasting help us in losing weight?
1. Fat First, Sugar Second
Here’s the thing about our body: when we eat, our body will burn carbs first, fats second. But if we fast, our metabolism is shifted. From burning blood sugar, it will start burning mostly fat. You see, when we eat, any extra fat that your body cannot burn within the next few hours after you eat, it will be stored as body fat. So if you fast, to be able to function, your body would have no choice but to burn the body fat you stored from the night before. After 24 hours, your body will be burning a whole lot more fat than you usually would when you eat regularly.
2. Kill More Calories
Another thing I noticed when I started doing intermittent fasting is the spike in my energy levels. You would think that without food intake, feeling sluggish is sure to follow, but no. I actually have the energy to work and focus better.
As if that’s not good enough, I also noticed a significant improvement in my metabolism. I have no trouble going in the morning anymore. It’s always on schedule. This goes without saying: the more calories we kill off, the faster we say buh-bye to the pounds!
3. Hello, Fat-Burning Enzymes
Fat-burning hormones need the helping hand of fat-burning enzymes to successfully do their job. When you fast, it helps the activities of the two key fat-burning enzymes to shoot up. Adipose tissue HSL or hormone sensitive lipase is the enzyme in-charge for permitting your fat cells to release fat and be burned as energy in your muscles. Muscle tissue LPL or lipoprotein lipase allows your muscle cells to receive fat and be converted into energy or fuel. Fasting doubles the activity of both these enzymes.
4. Doubles the Production of Fat-Burning Hormones
The most important fat-burning hormone in our bodies is the growth hormone. When we fast, it doubles the production of this very crucial hormone in our body. This will make your fat-burning furnace run ablaze and work twice as hard. Building on this fact, fasting also decreases your insulin levels, which makes sure that you burn fat instead of storing it.
5. Eat Guilt-Free
Probably what makes intermittent fasting bearable is that you can eat anything you want, lose weight, and burn fat. As long as you eat in moderation and within your feeding window, you are good. There is no need to deprive yourself of the food you love. But I still encourage you to discipline yourself. To help keep my food intake in check, I take my favorite natural supplement.
6. You Become Conscious
Conscious and not in a bad way. Another benefit I noticed when I started fasting is I am aware why I am eating. Am I really hungry or just bored? Knowing your motivations for eating is the most effective way to permanently get rid of your bad eating habits. Getting rid of them will make a way to establish good and healthy eating habits.
7. Feel Good!
The good thing about intermittent fasting is the confidence it builds. Whenever I accomplish a day, I could not help but think, “Hey, you can do this. It’s not so hard. Do better tomorrow.” you don’t feel deprived because you can still eat whatever you want, but at the same time, you subject yourself to discipline by eating within a specific time frame. You don’t want to render your efforts useless, so you make wise choices when eating. You feel good about yourself and food in general.