Weight Loss Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting includes periods of food restriction, and it has been shown to have positive benefits for weight loss. If the word ‘fasting’ scares you, it is important to know that there is a lot of science to back up the benefits of short term fasting.

There are many different ways to do an intermittent fast. For example, you can skip one or two meals per day, or you can alternate between fasting and eating daily. However, for weight loss, fasting for at least 12 hours is essential. According to Mark Mattson, who is the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on aging, fat doesn’t start to get burned until about this time.

Mark says that glycogen in your liver is where your body takes energy from, and when those stores are depleted, your body starts to burn fat for energy instead. During this time you produce ketones, which simply indicate that your body is read to burn fat.

“It takes about 10-12 hours before you deplete the glycogen stores in your liver.” – Mark Mattson Ted Talk

When you produce ketones, your body is in a state of ketosis. There are many people out there who claim a ketogenic diet plan is what helped them finally lose the weight once and for all.

Intermittent Fasting Affects Hormones

A ketogenic diet affects many different hormones, including insulin. Insulin levels decrease and insulin sensitivity is increased. This is good because too much insulin in the body is an invitation to store fat and, even worse, won’t let the stored fat be used as an energy source. When those issues are fixed, fat can start to melt off the body without the concern of new fat being stored in its place.

Intermittent fasting also helps to reduce your ghrelin levels. Ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone, causes weight gain and makes weight loss hard because it stimulates hunger and increases food intake.

Intermittent Fasting Reduces Inflammation

Intermittent fasting also reduces inflammation in the body, which benefits weight loss in a few ways. First, inflammation negatively affects the brain’s ability to hear messages from hormones, such as leptin, which means that you are less likely to receive the message of being full and more likely to overeat.

Also, inflammation in the body can affect insulin levels, and insulin issues, such as insulin resistance, can cause inflammation. This makes it extremely hard for the body to lose weight.

In addition, digestive inflammation can cause food cravings and thyroid problems, which can result in continuous struggles with weight.

Intermittent Fasting Can Affect Food Cravings

One of the biggest issues people have when losing weight is giving into their food cravings and overeating unhealthy foods. Intermittent fasting has been shown to eliminate cravings for unhealthy foods and promote cravings for more nutrient dense foods. The reason for this is that the body begins to crave nutrient rich foods that it needs to work optimally.

In fact, intermittent fasting has been shown to eliminate sugar cravings, which is a leader in the obesity epidemic and a huge reason for weight gain. Many people are often amazed at how their once intense desires for candy, chocolate, and other sweets is reduced drastically on an intermittent fasting diet.