What Is Intermittent Fasting and What Can It Do for You?

34393113 - wall clock isolated on white background. ten past ten
34393113 - wall clock isolated on white background. ten past ten
34393113 – wall clock isolated on white background. ten past ten

The most challenging aspect of losing weight is maintaining your commitment over time. It’s easy to get started, but much harder to stick to your diet when hunger raises its head. Eating right and exercise are recognized as key elements, but for some people, they are not enough to achieve success.

If you are having trouble reaching your weight loss goals even with a healthy diet and exercise, don’t resort to dangerous supplements or other weight loss fads. Even if you achieve short-term results, the weight is likely to return.

The answer may beĀ intermittent fasting.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is actually a simple concept. It refers to eating within a particular time frame. One commonly used format is to create an 8-hour window for eating, and a 16-hour window for fasting. Water, tea and coffee may be consumed during the fasting period, provided the drink is below 50 calories.

While this concept may seem extreme, remember that you need to get approximately 8 hours sleep every night. If you stop eating four hours prior to bedtime, and wait four hours to eat after rising, you will fulfill the guidelines. Most people find it easier to wait to eat in the morning than they do to avoid evening snacks.

How and Why Intermittent Fasting Works

So what is the science behind this eating pattern?

The chief cause of weight gain in the western world is the consumption of processed food. Beyond that, however, the problem is that may people operate in continuous feast mode, rarely missing a meal. For that reason, their bodies have adjusted so that burning sugar is their primary fuel. This reduces the enzymes that utilize and burn stored fat. Intermittent fasting can “reboot” your metabolism, triggering a process in which your body starts burning fat as its primary fuel. This burns through accumulated fat stores.

When your insulin resistance improves, and you have returned to a normal weight, you can resume your previous eating pattern. By that time, your body will have regained its ability to burn fat for fuel, the key to ongoing weight management.

Bottom line: intermittent fasting moves your body from burning sugar to burning fat, making it easier to lose weight – and keep it off.