As a result of the rapidly rising numbers of obese and overweight people in society today, many dieting fads have cropped up. However, most of these diets have gotten a bad rap because they are deemed to be unhealthy and difficult to maintain. Intermittent fasting is rapidly becoming popular, especially because it is not particularly restrictive and you don’t have to count calories. It involves fasting for a period of time, then eating normally for the rest of the day. Here are some reasons why intermittent fasting can be a useful weight loss tool.
1. Reduces calorie intake
Our systems are designed in such a way that it might take a while for starvation to take a toll on the body. This is because the body uses up the energy it has stored when you haven’t eaten. The main goal of intermittent fasting is to ensure a reduction in calorie intake over time so that your body has less of these reserves which are what is making you fat. This makes sense because you should generally eat less if you are eating less frequently. When you take in fewer calories, your body will have to use up stored energy and this promotes weight loss.
2. Reduces muscle loss
Most low-calorie diets might help you lose fat but they can also cause you to lose muscle. Unlike some diets, intermittent fasting does not restrict any food group, especially proteins, which are necessary for muscle development. Combining intermittent fasting with resistance training exercises will allow you to lose excess fat without affecting your muscle mass.
3. Regulates hormone levels
Hormones play a very important role in weight control. Insulin levels increase as soon as we eat, causing fat storage. When you fast, low insulin levels mean that you won’t be storing fat. Also, glucagon levels rise, causing the breakdown of stored fat. Fasting also increases levels of growth hormone. Growth requires energy; therefore, increased levels of this hormone will help you burn fat.
Healthy eating and exercise will make intermittent fasting more effective. If you can avoid overeating during the normal eating periods, you should be able to lose about 2 pounds every week.
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