Does Intermittent Fasting Help With Weight Loss?
Posted on August 19 2016
Ok, you know you need to get fit. Remember your New Year’s resolution way back on January 1st or maybe New Year’s Eve? Now we are looking at closing in on September. So how are you doing? Well, you’ve adopted somewhat of an exercise regimen and you fell off the wagon a few times but for the most part you’re sticking with it. Good for YOU!
But even though you’re getting up early or walking a bit at night after work, you’ve lost a few pounds but you’re not really seeing the results you thought you would have by exercising more.
Well, if you’re still eating the same as you did prior to your “Get Yourself Fit” resolution for the New Year that can be a big part of your problem. You heard your friends talking about fasting or just doing without a meal to get themselves jumpstarted. Even Jimmy Fallon has admitted that he does not eat 2 days out of the week, except for some protein shakes or supplements, but this can have some side effects to it.
Intermittent fasting for weight loss is not a new concept: skip a meal every once in a while or eat next to nothing several times a week may sound like a good way to shed some pounds. But before you say “no thanks” to your next meal, it’s important to note that there is limited research to back up the fasting-for-weight-loss claim, and nearly all of the studies conducted have been done on animals. Existing research doesn’t look at the impact fasting has on sleep and physical activity of a normal person.
There are different types of intermittent fasting:
Alternate Fast Days with Eating Days
This type of intermittent fasting (on eat days, you find a balance between not restricting calories and not eating everything in sight) has been shown in animal studies to have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels and may lower cancer risk. In human studies, there has been weight loss, but people experience considerable hunger on fast days, which carries through the cycle. There is also the side effect of people seem to get cranky or are prone to be more irritable when they adopt this program, so be aware.
The Modified Fasting or 5:2 Diet
This involves severe calorie cutting on two non-consecutive days with the remaining five days eating normally. Animal research shows positive results, again, there is limited information when it comes to human effects. People have experienced weight loss and some improvements in metabolic measurement, but they are also plagued sleeplessness and low-energy.
Common in some religions for prayer and reflection purposes, fasters don’t consume food during set times of the day, for example, from sunrise to sunset. This type of daytime fasting has shown mixed results, and has been tied to weight gain due to overeating when the fast period is over.
Animal studies suggest intermittent fasting regimens that constrain eating to daytime—in line with human’s biological clock and may improve metabolic health. Studies in humans note that consuming most of your calories earlier in the day is linked to having a lower body weight and improved health. Naturally, this is an accepted lifestyle improvement and makes sense that if you digest your food early in the day, you have all day to turn that food into useable energy. If you are in the habit of eating a late dinner with your family or business dinner, most of it will stay in your body until you decide to turn that food into useful energy by doing physical exercise.
So what’s the key to weight loss? The age-old reduced-calorie diet paired with increased physical activity remains king when it comes to losing weight and improving health. That being said, there are some habits from intermittent fasting that can be used to aid in weight loss. Which we listed here below for you to check out. But again, before starting any drastic change to your eating habits, make sure you speak with your physician and explain what you are looking at doing.
KEEP YOUR WAISTLINE IN CHECK - SOME RECOMMENDATIONS
Consume most of your calories earlier in the day so your body is able to use it for energy and prevent overeating later in the day.
Pick a certain time (i.e. after dinner, before your favorite TV show, two hours before bed, etc.) to close the kitchen. This will prevent mindless nighttime snacking, especially when watching TV.
Listen to Hunger Cues
When you feel yourself reaching for the box of crackers, ask yourself: Am I really hungry or is it something else? If you’re tired, stressed, upset, or all of the above, put the crackers down and go for a walk, a run, or move some other way to help boost your mood.
Water is Your Friend
Make sure you start your day with a glass of water and end it the same way. Water, besides your body needing it, is a great way to ward off the hunger cravings and can help you feel less hungry. It’s also a good idea to have a glass of water about 15 minutes before you eat your meal.
But as we mentioned before, cutting back on what you eat, while essential to helping you shed the pounds a structured exercise program is still the best companion to your diet intake. We will be posting more information about the best types of food to fuel your body, especially since the farmers are now getting their harvest of healthy fruits and vegetables. But while you're exercising, to help you keep motivated we also recommend tracking your progress by using a pedometer or activity monitor/watch. It's been established that making a goal for yourself and keeping to it is a great motivator to help you stay with your weight loss program. So what are you waiting for? Now that you have a few tips on what and how much to eat to help you get past that plateau you’re on, go ahead and get yourself to the next level and remember to set yourself a goal of staying physical with a pedometer or activity monitor today, and remember to eat smart today and every day!
A majority of the information regarding the recommendations were provided by By Liz Applegate, Ph.D