Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss: Does It Work?
There are many ways people have been trying to lose weight over the years, be it fad diets, extreme workout programs, or a combination of both.
You're probably one of the few people who have heard of Intermittent Fasting, and now you're wondering what it is if it'll help you lose weight and if it's dangerous? I've done some research that might help you decide.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Fasting is the concept of not consuming food for a certain period. Usually, one can consume water and any other beverage that does not contain any calories during one's fast.
Intermittent Fasting is fasting on and off for some time. It is usually along the lines of fasting for one day and not fasting the next day.
For example, fasting on Monday and then not fasting on Tuesday. These fasts can last for any period depending on why the person is fasting.
Intermittent Fasting takes an entirely different approach when it comes to weight loss. Instead of traditional low-calorie diets, carb-cutting, and hardcore exercise routines, intermittent Fasting takes a much more subtle approach that requires less effort.
How Is Intermittent Fasting Supposed To Help Me Lose Weight?
- There are a few ways in which Intermittent Fasting is supposed to help you lose weight. Firstly, by fasting for a few days a week, it is believed that your total caloric consumption will decrease, and thus you will lose weight.
- For those who don't understand this, let me explain: If your body burns more calories than you eat, you will have a caloric deficit. (You will lose weight) If your body burns fewer calories than you eat, you will have a caloric surplus. (You will gain weight)
- Intermittent Fasting causes you to have a caloric deficit as you will not be eating for a certain period which lowers your total consumption of food. This, in turn, leads to a caloric deficit, leading to weight loss.
- Here's a calculator that will help you calculate your BMR (The number of calories your body burns each day for your essential survival.)
Intermittent Fasting To Clear Out Bad Toxins
Intermittent Fasting is also helpful for clearing out your harmful toxins and chemical system. If you've tried weight loss programs and diets to no avail, it may be because your body is not functioning correctly.
Some specialists in the weight loss industry believe that the main reason people gain weight and are unable to lose it is due to having a poorly functioning liver, a bad diet, and a clogged-up colon. Intermittent Fasting claims to solve these problems and thus enable us to lose weight.
The Top 5 Reasons Why Intermittent Fasting Is Great For Losing Weight
Reason 1: You Will Generate A Caloric Deficit Easily
As mentioned above, to lose weight, generally, you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns each day, and this is what a caloric deficit is.
To find how many calories your body burns on average each day, use this calculator.
By fasting intermittently, you're almost guaranteed to consume fewer calories and have a deficit, leading to weight loss as you won't be eating anything with calories for an extended period.
For example, if an intermittent fasting program required a person to fast for 24 hours, twice a week, that would be 2 days' worth of calories reduced in the week.
This isn't nearly as hard as it sounds, as when fasting for 24 hours, you still technically eat every day.
For example, if someone fasts on a Wednesday at 7:00 pm, their last meal being before 7:00 pm until Thursday at 7:00 pm and then eat again afterward. They've eaten on both Wednesday and Thursday.
Reason 2: You Do Not Need To Count Calories
Counting calories is incredibly annoying, and if you've ever tried it, you would understand how unsustainable it is.
To effectively count the number of calories a person consumes, they would have to measure out everything they eat to exact amounts and then add it all together to see how many calories they've consumed in a day. This may be easy to do once or twice, but to lose weight, there needs to be consistency, which is where the problem occurs.
With intermittent fasting, there isn't a need to count calories as by fasting 1-2 days per week, you're guaranteed to consume fewer calories than you take in via food. If you binge out and overeat excessively, you won't have a caloric deficit.
Reason 3: You Can Still Eat Your Favourite Foods
Aside from calorie counting, one of the big significant reasons people fail at weight loss is that they completely cut out their favorite foods, replacing them with 'healthy' foods.
This is only practical short-term as sooner or later, people tend to miss their favorite foods, and because they haven't had them in so long, they binge out, which effectively destroys their diets.
This also has a psychological effect as a person will feel like they've failed with the diet and then give up without losing any weight.
With intermittent Fasting, because Fasting will cause a caloric deficit, a person can still eat their favorite foods in moderation. Most intermittent fasting 'diets' do not restrict people from eating their favorite foods. They just require that people are sensible about it.
Reason 4: You Don't Have To Exercise 6 Days A Week
We've come across many weight loss programs that require the users to exercise for 45 minutes, 6 days a week.
Unless you eat like a pig, exercising 6 days a week for 45 minutes each time is 100% going to make you lose weight. The problem here is that not many people have this time to commit to a program like this.
The good thing about Intermittent Fasting is that it promotes resistance training, i.e., training with weights to maintain muscle mass only a few times a week. It is a much more ideal workout program for people with busier lifestyles.
Reason 5: The Main Reason: You Can Be Consistent With Intermittent Fasting
The number 1 most significant problem with all the weight loss programs, pills, solutions, and whatnot that is out there today is that they are just near impossible to stick to.
Counting calories, eating only healthy foods while completely cutting out your favorite foods, and exercising 6 days a week is a tiresome job in itself.
It's challenging to maintain a diet that requires you to do just 1 of those things, let alone all of them.
To give you some insight, imagine being on a diet that forces you only to eat healthy foods and exercise 6 days a week and then going on a 2-week holiday. How would that work out? Could you maintain consistency on your holiday?
Continuing from the point above, consistency is probably the number 1 reason diets fail. People will encounter difficult days where their diets completely fall apart.
This is much less likely with an intermittent fasting approach. The main reason intermittent Fasting has gotten so much attention is that many people have been able to stick to the plan, remain consistent, and thus have managed to achieve their weight loss goals.
Intermittent Fasting Results – Does It Work?
Using an intermittent fasting 'dieting' technique can be very effective for weight loss. One of the main reasons people fail to lose weight is because they select weight loss programs and diets that are impossible to follow, and thus before even beginning, they are set up for failure. Some examples are calorie counting and constant long slow cardio every day.
If this sounds like you, then intermittent Fasting is most likely the best path for you to take next to lose weight.
Intermittent Fasting For Women – Is It Any Different?
In short, Intermittent Fasting for women is no different than it is for men. Weight loss and results can be achieved either way, regardless of gender.
The only difference is that men would probably benefit more from resistance training as they could build muscle mass easier.
Is Intermittent Fasting Dangerous?
There is no scientific evidence currently that even remotely suggests that intermittent Fasting is dangerous in any way.
However, before starting a new diet or exercise program, you should always consult your doctor first. This is even more crucial if you have any medical conditions.
In terms of side effects, most people do not experience any side effects when doing Intermittent Fasting for weight loss.
Side effects like nausea, sleepiness, and difficulty sleeping are most likely to occur if you are Fasting for extended periods, i.e., 24hours+ and not consuming enough water.