More than 60% of the US population is now overweight to some degree, and people are looking to battle this afflicting condition in any way they can. One of the ways that have become very popular in the recent years is the practice of intermittent fasting. Put simply, intermittent fasting means that you fast for the majority of the 24-hour day (16 hours, to be precise), and pack all of your daily meals in the remaining eight.
Programs of this kind have become widespread for one simple reason: they simply work. They focus on actual nutritional science and try to use the very way our bodies work to get you to burn a lot of fat in a short period of time.
If you think about it, this kind of diet is a lot like what it used to be back before mankind was living in caves and didn’t know how to grow its own food. They’d wake up in the morning, spend the rest of the day trying to hunt down some game, and then feast in the evening upon a successful hunt. If the hunt wasn’t successful, they wouldn’t eat at all – and still survive to hunt the next day. It sounds surprising, but from an evolutionary point of view, our bodies were designed to do just that.
Now, though, it’s a very different situation. Not only is there enough food for everyone to eat as much as they please, but because of the way capitalism works, food companies are always trying to make us eat more, because the more we eat, the more they profit. But just because you’re constantly surrounded by food ads doesn’t mean that you should indulge in it whenever you find the chance to (although it can be difficult to resist sometimes, understandably). Further, in this article, I’m going to get into how intermittent fasting works, why it works, and how it affects your body to make you lose fat as quickly as possible.
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas, and its function in your organism is to regulate the metabolism of macronutrients like carbs, fats, and proteins. It does this by promoting the absorption of energy (glucose) from the blood into the liver and into your skeletal muscles. What this does is reduce the concentration of sugar in your blood and make it less likely that you’ll develop a condition like diabetes.
The problem is that the more sugar you consume, the more your body has to produce insulin to regulate the levels of glucose in your bloodstream, and over time your body becomes very resistant to it. This leads to your organism being less efficient at absorbing foods, which in turn makes your body crave food more often.
Intermittent fasting has been proven to has a very positive effect on insulin regulation, which is one of the reasons why it helps you lose fat. Put simply, the more your body is sensitive to insulin, the fewer cravings you’re going to have.
Digestion and Fat Burning
When you consume a meal, it takes a certain amount of time for the enzymes in your stomach to break it down into simpler components, so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and the nutrients and energy can reach the cells in which they’re needed to keep all your bodily processes going.
The problem with eating too often is that it’s very taxing for your stomach and your whole digestive system, leading to a whole array of problems such as insulin imbalance. It’s better to give your digestive system some time to take care of everything you gave it during the previous meal, without adding fuel to the fire every hour or two.
Another advantage of eating less often is that you will give your body an opportunity to tap into your fat reserves. Fat is actually no more than your body’s way to store energy for a rainy day, and the best way to trigger that fat-burning survival mechanism is to put off your meals for a bit.
In fact, most intermittent fasting diets suggest that you should skip breakfast altogether. This is because those few hours of wakefulness before your first meal are the best for losing fat; think about it, your body isn’t asleep anymore, therefore it requires energy, but you haven’t had a meal for at least 8 hours (because you’ve been asleep). Therefore, your body has no choice but to tap into your fat reserves to keep you functioning, and you get slimmer as a result.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to cut down on high-fat and high-energy foods and make healthier meals as well, for which I recommend that you check out Sun Basket (check out these sun basket reviews to see what it’s all about) – an actual healthy meal delivery service that you can use to actually cook some healthy stuff for yourself instead of relying on fast food.
Disclaimer: All images are provided by the author.
Monica Nichols is a 32-year-old fashion designer and freelance writer from Omaha, Nebraska. She’s been writing for www.diet.st since 2014, and in her free time, she likes making pottery and playing with her pet cat.