Intermittent Fasting - The Best Strategy for Weight Loss
In just 8 weeks, you could shed those last stubborn 10 lbs., and keep it off. The only requirement is that you just have to eat less often. The style of eating less often is called intermittent fasting, and it’s an effective tool for addressing so many health problems, including excess weight.
Intermittent fasting is a very simple concept. The idea is to do a short daily fast. For example, you might stop all food intake after 8pm, sleep, wake up the next morning, and, except for non-sugary drinks (pure water, organic coffee, tea, etc.), you continue the fast until mid-day, or that evening. Food for that day is consumed between the hours of 2 and 8pm. Some prefer to eat earlier in the day instead of the evening hours, i.e. 9 to 3pm, and that works too. The key is consistency and finding what works for your schedule and lifestyle.
Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that we see historically and archaeologically all over the world. The standard American diet has strayed very far from this approach with disastrous results. Chronic inflammation is on the rise, leading to problems like immune disorders, hormone dysfunction, thyroid disease, cancer, and even weight loss resistance. Intermittent fasting is known to be a fantastic tool for managing these issues, but here are a few reasons why it’s specifically beneficial for weight loss.
1. Efficient Fat Burning: Let’s say that you eat small, frequent meals throughout the day in order to lose weight. If this is the case, your body uses the energy from the food you are eating and will not be tapping into your fat stores because there’s no need to burn stored fat for energy. In weight loss, you’re trying to shed excess fat stores and you want your body to burn through its own fat, right? But if you are eating small meals throughout the day, when does your body get the opportunity to burn stored body fat? It does not.
Intermittent fasting solves this problem by forcing your body to burn its own fat - using fat as cellular fuel. If you’re only eating within a compressed window of time in the day, your body will switch to using its own fat stores as an energy source until you eat. In addition, over time you become very efficient at burning fat for fuel. This is one of the healthiest ways to promote true and lasting weight loss, and it can help maintain weight once you’ve reached your desired goal.
2. Increases Growth Hormone - If you want to age quickly or gain weight, eat sugar and processed carbs throughout the day. There is no better way to age yourself. When you spike glucose levels, it causes oxidative stress to your cells, effectively aging them, speeding up cell death, and robbing you of energy. Intermittent fasting, has the opposite effect. Growth hormones and testosterone levels rise, stimulating your body to regenerate itself. You can feel better, look younger, and have more energy by incorporating Intermittent fasting into your lifestyle.
3. Makes you feel fuller - Contrary to popular belief, you can feel full and more satisfied with a lifestyle that includes regular intermittent fasting. If you are following a restricted calorie diet, and have a long list of foods that are forbidden, you will feel guilty indulging in some rich tasting foods. On the other hand, if you are intermittent fasting and it’s time to eat, then enjoy it and eat to fullness. While it’s never good to say that it doesn’t matter what you eat, considering how contaminated the standard American diet is with pesticides, glyphosate, GMOs, unhealthy fats, and more, there is a lot more freedom in what you eat using intermittent fasting as a tool instead of a highly restrictive diet, which only promises to get more restrictive as weight loss plateaus and your metabolism slows down.
It’s important to work with a trained practitioner to determine what diet strategies and what eating and fasting windows will work best for you. Remember that intermittent fasting is not starvation, nor deprivation. You’re not eating less; you’re eating less often. You hold off eating to allow your body to burn its own fat, and then eat until you are full.
Larisa Belote, INHC, AADP, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach is a strong believer that your body is a smart machine and can heal itself given a chance and the right set of tools. Contact Larisa to set up an appointment to determine what Intermittent fasting windows and diet strategies will work best for you. 732.490.5770, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit stepbystep-wellness.com.