Intermittent fasting (IF) is one of the most popular ways to lose weight fast and keep it off, but do you know how it works? And are there any other benefits? Find out in this article about intermittent fasting for weight loss, complete with 7 proven benefits. You’ll also find two methods that can help you get started on your weight loss journey today!
7 Proven Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
1) Improves insulin sensitivity
Because intermittent fasting can improve insulin sensitivity, it’s effective in lowering insulin levels, which then leads to weight loss. One study showed that alternate-day fasting resulted in a greater reduction in body weight than daily calorie restriction. This is because intermittent fasting helps prevent overeating on non-fasting days, and also reduces risk factors associated with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Lowering your insulin level makes it easier to lose weight because it does not require as much energy or effort to break down food into usable calories. When your body becomes more sensitive to insulin, you don’t have as many cravings for sugar and processed carbs.
2) Provides better focus and mental clarity
Many people do intermittent fasting in order to burn more fat. And, it turns out that intermittent fasting can help you gain better focus and mental clarity, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who struggles with focus at times. Although it’s common knowledge that starvation is one way to lose weight quickly, it’s not a healthy way to shed pounds.
Some experts believe an effective intermittent fasting diet requires several meals within a short period during waking hours. Once you establish your feeding schedule (typically three meals and two snacks), alternate between eating for about 18 hours each day. At first, keep water intake high—at least four cups per day—and consider drinking tea or coffee without milk or sugar to keep hunger at bay.
3) Anti-aging benefits
While fasting may be primarily known as a weight loss strategy, it can actually have anti-aging benefits and reduce your risk of developing certain diseases. In 2012, a study found that restricting mice’s access to food and allowing them to eat at different times has a slower metabolic rate. While humans aren’t mice, there are clear parallels with intermittent fasting for weight loss: restricting eating times to less-than-usual windows is an easy way to limit calories and lose weight.
Over time, restricting calories every day also reduces levels of insulin in your body, which can help preserve your muscle mass (and slow down any weight gain). Additionally, intermittent fasting has been shown to lead to other health benefits including better sleep and improved digestion. Finally, intermittent fasting is easier than most people think—most plans recommend having one non-consecutive day off per week or limiting yourself to 500 calories only two days per week. If you’re looking for more options, feel free to check out our guide on how to fast without losing muscle.
4) Boosted metabolic rate and fat burning
Doing intermittent fasting boosts your metabolism, which gives you more energy throughout your day and burns more fat as fuel. Not only that, but research suggests it also helps deactivate certain types of bad genes that are linked to diseases and weight gains, like those tied to diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Plus, when you cut calories during your eating window (which is how intermittent fasting works), there’s an increased secretion of hormones like leptin, which signal the body that you’re full and keep appetites in check. Leptin is also anti-inflammatory and its levels rise when you fast. This is one reason why fasting is thought to boost cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure.
5) Increased energy levels
Studies show that intermittent fasting can increase energy levels. One study conducted on non-obese men suggests that it is due to fat oxidation (fat burning). These individuals consumed 25% of their total calories from protein, 45% from carbohydrates and 30% from fat while eating every other day. The constant influx of energy is not believed to be linked to cortisol secretion like with other diets such as caloric restriction and high protein diets.
Instead, it is thought to be associated with levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine, which are also increased when going without food for extended periods. This could mean that people following intermittent fasting for weight loss will have higher metabolic rates overall when compared to those who do not fast regularly.
6) Helps improve sleep quality
Many people who try intermittent fasting notice that they sleep better than before. This makes sense when you consider that intermittent fasting can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce stress hormones, both of which can interfere with sleep. In animal studies, intermittent fasting has also been shown to increase growth hormone, which has been associated with increased sleep quality and better control of body weight, making it helpful when dieting.
Evidence suggests that increasing levels of growth hormone during periods of food deprivation can decrease body fat while also improving cognitive performance. It’s unclear how much human growth hormone is released during intermittent fasting. However, if it does stimulate greater production of human growth hormone in humans, then some researchers believe that intermittent fasting may be a good way to lose weight and burn more calories without feeling hungry or tired.
7) Helps you burn more calories throughout the day
Normally, when you’re fasting and not eating, your body is in starvation mode. When it’s in starvation mode, your metabolism slows down to compensate and burn fewer calories. On intermittent fasting for weight loss, however, your body simply burns more calories throughout the day by changing how it processes energy. That translates into a faster metabolic rate—which means more fat burned during an eight-hour eating period.
When it comes to preventing and managing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, fasting is actually more beneficial than weight loss. Compared to standard calorie restriction, fasting can maintain more steady insulin and blood sugar level and lower high blood pressure. Ultimately, people who practice intermittent fasting for weight loss don’t eat as much food over time because they’re spending less time sitting around eating or thinking about food! This is good news if you have diabetes or are at risk for developing it since frequent hunger can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels.