The weather is getting warmer which means that summer is right around the corner. For many, this means crunch time for getting into shape and looking your best. If you’re looking to shed some weight quickly and in a healthy way, intermittent fasting may be a good diet plan for you. Let’s take a look at what this eating plan involves and if it can help you achieve your body and health goals.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a scheduled eating plan which involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating. While there are many different intermittent fasting methods, the ultimate goal is to allow your body’s insulin levels to decrease low and long enough to begin burning off fat. One of the most popular schedules is the 16/8 method which states that you should fast for around 16 hours each day, leaving 8 hours for eating.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
By fasting throughout part of the day, individuals usually have an overall decreased consumption of calories allowing them to lose weight. Along with being an effective weight loss plan, intermittent fasting has been shown to have other health benefits, as well. Periods of fasting give your GI tract time to rest and properly digest eaten food. One study also found that intermittent fasting can improve cardiovascular function and even protect against diseases.
Is it Safe?
With unhealthy fad diets constantly promoted by the media, it’s smart to question whether intermittent fasting is safe. When implemented correctly, this diet plan is safe and effective for many. However, it’s important to keep in mind that intermittent fasting is not about skipping meals or depriving your body of food. It’s also not an excuse to use the eating period as a time to binge on junk food. Instead, during eating periods, focus on choosing foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.
How your body will react to this change?
When fasting, your insulin levels will decrease and cells will begin to release stored glucose as energy. This process helps to increase your metabolic rate and allows you to burn more calories, ultimating leading to weight loss. Some research suggests that it may take a few weeks for your body to adjust to the new eating schedule, so patience during the first couple of weeks is key.
Intermittent fasting can be a great way to lose weight for some, but it may not work for everyone. If you’re struggling to lose weight in general, there may be underlying medical causes preventing you from shedding the pounds. Before starting any rigorous diet plan, it’s a good idea to talk with your general practitioner to make sure that the diet would be safe and effective for you.