The Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

By | August 28, 2018

Intermittent fasting is now becoming a popular way to reduce weight and stay fit. This expert recommended diet includes specific periods of alternately eating and fasting. Some people may fast for hours each day, while others prefer fasting for 24 – 36 hours once or twice a week. The eating period can include anything from a low-carb diet to even fatty foods. While some people may choose healthy foods during this time, the diet doesn’t restrict any kind of foods. The most common Intermittent fasting programs include Alternate-day fasting, Whole-day fasting and Time-restricted feeding.

 

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One of the reasons why Intermittent fasting is so appealing to people is because of its simplicity and practicality. Preparing healthy food is simple but doing it three times a day can be hectic whereas fasting can help reduce the prep work, cooking, and cleaning required everyday in order to stay healthy.

Another major attraction towards intermittent fasting is that no foods are restricted. The eating plan does not stop you from your favourite foods rather just tells you when to eat them. We all know how hard it is to follow calorie-restricted diets and so this can be a much convenient way to lose weight. You reduce your calorie intake by simply eating fewer meals over time leading to an automatic decrease in calorie intake.

Fasting for upto as little as 16 hours causes profound changes in your body on a cellular and molecular level. Your hormone levels change and signals your body to use stored body fat for energy.

Make sure you are a good candidate for IF as this diet has it’s pros and cons. Here is a list of things you need to know before choosing IF:

 

PROS:

Weight loss and Fat reduction

Intermittent fasting has shown to cause a remarkable reduction in body weight, body fat, and waist circumference in both short and long term.

Many studies reveal that short-term fasting boosts your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, therefore you burn even more calories. IF not only reduces the quantity of insulin released but also elevates the amount of Growth hormone and Noradrenaline in your body. These hormonal changes stimulate your body to use up fats to generate energy. This means that intermittent fasting helps by controlling both sides of the calorie equation. It increases your metabolic rate (increases calories out) as well as decreases the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in).

Statistical evidence reveals that intermittent fasting can help you lose around 3-8% of your body fat with in just 3-20 weeks of doing it. Another 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis, showed that Intermittent Fasting was just as effectual as Continuous Energy Restriction (CER) for weight loss. This means that you can lose weight without having to starve yourself every single day, and with a more practical diet like Intermittent Fasting, you could enjoy the same weight loss results.

 

Type II Diabetes

The alarming prevalence of Type 2 diabetes has led us to try many diets in order to control blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance is the reason why diabetics have high sugar levels so anything that reduces insulin resistance will help in lowering blood sugar levels to normal and protect against type 2 diabetes.

Intermittent fasting has been shown to have a profound effect in improving blood sugar levels in diabetics as it decreases insulin resistance and boosts metabolism . IF can not only help in reducing insulin resistance but it can also lower your risk of developing Type II Diabetes.

More studies show that intermittent fasting causes fasting blood sugar to reduce by 3-6%, while fasting insulin upto 20-31%. These amazing statistics are groundbreaking and definitely worth a try!

Good for Digestive System

Constantly munching on snacks in between meals means your digestive system is working 24×7, which might lead to gut related problems and indigestion. IF provides your digestive system relief, rest and a much needed repair time.

Intermittent Fasting not only burns your body fat but also gives your digestive system enough time to process all the food that was eaten before. This implies that you’ll experience less bloating and better digestion and elimination.

 

CONS:

Binge Eating/No Calorie restriction

Intermittent Fasting could lead to an unsatisfied appetite. When you set a limited amount of time reserved for eating, the “Feasting” period might appeal to you as an opportunity to eat more calories than you need. So you may feel full physically after you’re done eating your meal but your brain will tempt you to eat more. This behavior can lead to overeating and undermine the whole purpose of fasting.

Always keep in mind that the foods you choose during the feasting period will also impact your health. For someone with emotional or psychological eating disorders, IF may not be a good idea at all as it could become a convenient crutch to amplify those issues.

Getting Hangry

Missing meals and staying hungry for 12-16 hours is going to have a negative impact on your work performance, cognition and energy levels especially if you were a snacky person. You might experience drastically reduced energy levels during the earlier parts of the day, feeling lazy and lethargic with reduced concentration levels as well.

In a 2016 review, some studies concluded that participants went through symptoms like feeling cold, constipation, headaches, lack of energy, bad temper and lack of concentration. For regular gym-goers, you will feel low energy and less motivation to be active and do the things you actually enjoy.  

Rest assured that when you have conditioned your body to rely upon food at a certain time, you will be fine after 1-2 week period of adjusting. Once you have adjusted, the desire for food during that time is most likely to disappear. You can also try getting enough food for breakfast and then start your fasting period. Have a healthy meal and drink fresh fruit juices to keep you in good spirits, energetic and productive throughout the day. Get high quality juicer from Zumex at UAE ekuep. Studies on breakfast consumption show that it can help in promoting cognitive and academic performance all the while maintaining your weight loss.

Hormonal Imbalances

Intermittent Fasting can alter the balance of your hormones. A decrease in the hunger hormone leptin (that makes you feel full), and a rise in cortisol (which can result in your body being under more stress) can stop the weight loss process. A Study on fasting published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, showed that the female students leptin decreased by as much as 75% and their cortisol increased by as much of 50% after the fasting period of the study. A rise in cortisol could mean changes in the menstrual cycle for women.

IF may not be suitable for you if you have hormonal, thyroid, and/or adrenal issues, as it increases cortisol. When cortisol levels are elevated, your body starts to store fat and break down muscle, which would be most undesirable during a diet.

Furthermore, if you find intermittent fasting is not for you then check out the 3 week diet system 

 

 

 

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