Around the same time that I started the Keto diet (3 months ago), I’ve been doing intermittent fasting every day for 16 hours per day.
In other words, I eat between the hours of 12pm and 8pm and fast outside of that range.
Since I started intermittent fasting, I’ve discovered why it’s raved about by many leading health gurus.
Firstly, when doing the Keto diet, intermittent fasting is effortless.
This is because your body can quite easily use stored fat as energy, meaning you’re less likely to get hungry and fall off track.
(Hunger is a sign that your body needs energy/food. If your body can easily use your love handles for energy, then why would it need more food?)
I also love how flexible intermittent fasting is.
For example, I do 16:8 Intermittent Fasting meaning I fast for 16 hours per day and eat for 8 hours per day, whereas you can change this ratio to fill your needs.
If you want to fast for 23 hours and then feast in a 1-hour period? Great, go ahead.
If family commitments mean you can only fast for 12 hours today? Not to worry, you can just fast for longer tomorrow.
And let’s not forget the long list of health benefits that intermittent fasting has to offer.
Whilst I may cover the many benefits in a future article, this post looks exclusively at using intermittent fasting as a tool for weight loss.
Ready? Let’s go.
5 Reasons Why Intermittent Fasting is Great For Weight Loss
1. Intermittent Fasting lowers Insulin
Insulin is a storage hormone.
When we eat, insulin levels rise which stores the excess energy from food as fat.
From an evolutionary perspective, this was a crucial feature for survival as humans would often go through long periods without food, and hence storing excess energy as fat was beneficial.
But nowadays, the availability of food is like we’ve never seen before.
And since we no longer have to go through periods without food, we’re always in a “storage” state.
The outcome? Obesity.
You may think that’s a bit extreme, but it’s predicted that 40% of American adults are Obese.
(And this number keeps on rising…)
So how do we get out of this “storage” state so that we can use stored body fat for energy?
We lower insulin levels.
Many studies have shown that intermittent fasting lowers insulin levels, which releases fat to be used for energy.
The outcome? Weight loss.
2. Intermittent Fasting reduces Hunger
In the first few days of intermittent fasting, you’ll probably notice more hunger since your body isn’t used to using stored body fat for energy.
However, once your body has adapted, it’s surprisingly easy to go for long periods of time without food.
This helps with weight loss in 2 ways:
- The more “adapted” to intermittent fasting you are, the longer you can go without food resulting in even lower Insulin levels and more fat burning
- By being less hungry, you’ll probably eat less calories per day which means your body will use more stored fat as energy to meet your caloric needs
(Although this article is focused on weight loss, I’ve noticed more stable energy levels when I’m less hungry too.)
3. Intermittent Fasting is Easy to Stick to
What’s the first thing that’s said to someone who needs/wants to lose weight?
You should go on a diet.
Now don’t get me wrong, some diets do work when followed correctly.
But the issue is many diets are hard to stick to.
And if you don’t stick to them? Then you can say goodbye to that smaller waist.
The beauty of intermittent fasting is that it’s super easy to follow.
All you have to do is not eat for longer than usual.
(It really doesn’t get much simpler than this, guys.)
Intermittent fasting is much more flexible than diets too.
For example, if you’re doing Keto, then you know that you have to avoid carbs any minute of any day, each and every day.
But with intermittent fasting, you can choose the hours you fast which suit you.
If you’re spending all day traveling, then why not push yourself out of your comfort zone and try a 20 hour fast?
Or if you know that you’ll need food early doors to fuel a game of Football, then just fast in the evening instead.
4. Intermittent Fasting may help lower daily calorie intake
Although I’ve briefly touched upon this already, I’ll go into a little bit more detail here.
The first thing to consider is that weight loss/weight gain comes down to an energy equation.
Calories in – Calories out = Net Weight Gain
So, if you want to lose weight, then you need less Calories In than Calories Out.
In other words, you need to be burning more calories than you’re eating to lose weight.
So, you can either burn more calories through exercise, or you can eat less calories.
(We’re obviously focusing on eating less calories here.)
Since intermittent fasting reduces the time period between each meal, you’ll be less hungry for your 2nd meal meaning your portion size (and thus calorie intake) will be smaller.
5. Intermittent Fasting is free
You may be thinking What on earth does this have to do with weight loss?
Well the harsh reality is that the obesity epidemic has some economic causes.
Q: Which of the food groups are dirt cheap thanks to manufacturing and processing?
A: Fats and Carbs.
Q: Which of the food groups contribute the most to Obesity?
A: Fats and Carbs.
In other words, the cheapest foods on the planet (which are generally anything processed) are the main drivers of obesity.
So, the truth is, many of us can’t afford to eat an optimum diet.
Which means that in order to lose weight, we need to look beyond what we eat, and start looking at when we eat.
Unlike an optimum diet, which may be too expensive for some, intermittent fasting doesn’t cost a dime, meaning anyone on the planet can do it.
(Disclaimer: Not everyone should do it. For example, Pregnant Women and people who are malnourished.)
By now, you should know that intermittent fasting is an excellent tool when it comes to losing weight.
And like every habit worth doing, it may be difficult at the start but the outcome is oh so worth it.
It’s simple, convenient, free and anyone can do it.
Although we’ve only looked at the science around weight loss, intermittent fasting has so many other benefits too.
So, what are you waiting for?
Please share your intermittent fasting experiences in the comments below 🙂