Intermittent Fasting: How This Eating Pattern Helps You Lose Weight
May 23, 2019
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of switching between periods of eating and fasting to utilize all resources stored in your body before replenishing – just like eating everything in your fridge before going to the store. Makes sense, right? Most people think calories are what drives weight gain and loss…FALSE. Hormones actually drive weight changes and IF provides the most beneficial hormonal changes.
What happens when we eat?
When we eat, our body breaks down food and utilizes the glucose for immediate energy needs. However, the amount of glucose we get from one meal is much more than we need. So, where does the excess go? There are two storage units:
- We break down food into special glucose molecules (glycogen) that’s stored in the liver and muscles. But these areas have limited storage space.
- Next, your body turns excess glucose into fat which is mainly transported to bigger, less accessible, fat storage areas (think belly, hips, thighs).
How Does it Work?
We have two states – “fed” and “fasted.” The fed state – eating, digesting & absorbing – lasts up to 5 hours after you eat, while insulin levels remain high. In the fasted state, or lipolysis, insulin levels decrease, signaling your body to pull insulin from somewhere else – typically your inaccessible fat storage. As you can imagine, this is good news for weight loss.
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Lowers insulin & blood sugar levels. After the sugar from your most recent meal is depleted, insulin levels naturally start to drop.
Weight & body fat loss. The decrease in insulin levels helps facilitate fat burning because it forces the body to use fat reserves.
Increases insulin sensitivity. When you go without a sugar source for so long, you are more sensitive to smaller amounts, which benefits overall health.
Stimulates HGH secretion to maintain muscle, lean tissue & bone mass. We secrete less HGH as we age, which means more body fat, less lean body mass and less bone mass. IF stimulates HGH secretion to help us continuously burn fat while maintaining muscle, tissue and bone mass.
Implements beneficial hormonal, genetic & cellular changes/processes. IF helps turn on genes and raise hormones that facilitate fat burning. For example, adiponectin – the hormone that tells our body to burn fat – is drastically increased. Pairing IF with proper nutrient intake can help decrease cortisol and increase melatonin. This eating pattern also triggers a detox phase called autophagy where cells begin to remove waste and unnecessary debris.
Increases the protein BDNF. This important protein plays a major role in neuroplasticity – producing new brain cells and connections thus, boosting memory, improving mood and facilitating learning.
Fosters healthy blood pressure, cholesterol & blood triglycerides. We pull from our reserves and utilize what we can – including cholesterol and triglycerides which, are commonly found in our blood. Reducing this amount helps balance blood pressure.
Inflammation. Since our cells are starting to detox in efforts to utilize waste, any inflammation decreases and our resistance to oxidative stress (free radical damage) increases. One of our most abundant ketones blocks the part of our immune system that regulates inflammation – reassigning this to our brain fuel helps regulate inflammation.
Additional Benefits. Don’t have time to cook healthy or cook at all? Have a strict schedule? Diet restrictions? IF covers all of this – convenient, cheaper, flexible, simple and anyone (within reason) can do it regardless if you are vegan, vegetarian, allergies, are traveling or simply don’t have time.
Talk to your healthcare provider to see if intermittent fasting is right for you. If you are looking for some extra help to curb appetite, boost metabolism, burn fat or add to your overall regime, check out some of our best weight loss supporters!
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