Let’s be real for a second. We’ve come to a point in time where diet trends are everywhere. In fact, there are so many of them, we’ve already lost count and are starting to have a difficult time keeping track of them. Yet through all of the craziness of the diet and health industry, there’s one diet that’s really taking the health community by storm: intermittent fasting. But what is intermittent fasting exactly and how does this method of dieting help it’s many proponents lose weight quickly?
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is actually better described as an eating pattern than as a diet. It entails eating keeping your food consumption to six or eight hours a day or, if it’s simpler for you to understand, abstaining for from food for twelve to eighteen hours per day. There are other versions of intermittent fasting, which can include severe calories restriction, but time-restricted eating is the most popular version of the diet plan.
Essentially, when implementing this eating pattern, you are helping your body get the most out of your meals. As such, you don’t necessarily change what you eat. Rather, you change when you eat.
Why Do People Prefer It?
If you’re anything like us, then you’re obsessed with food. If you’re not day dreaming what to eat next, then you’re probably already eating something. Or, if you’re exactly like us, then you’re probably thinking of your next meal while you’re having your current one. Our point is that food, at times, is too freaking delicious to just let go of. When you’re fasting intermittently, you lose fat and get lean without having to go on a crazy restrictive diet that will drive you insane.
Most people think that you don’t consume enough calories while on an intermittent fasting eating pattern, but this simply isn’t the case. You actually get the same amount of calories in, it’s just that you’re getting it in a different method. Typically, you’re getting it in two bigger meals and within a shorter amount of time.
How Does It Even Work?
When it comes to eating and digesting, our bodies are in one of three states: the fasted state or the fed state. Your body is in the fed state when it is in the process of digesting food and absorbing the nutrients of the food you’ve eaten.
Our bodies jump into the fed state immediately when you start eating and can last for up to five hours. Unfortunately, when our bodies are in the fed state, it’s much harder for it to burn fat due to high insulin levels. After the fed state, our bodies enter the post-absorptive state, which really just means that your digestive system isn’t hard at work to process a meal you’ve just had.
This state lasts up to 12 hours after your last meal and gives way to your body entering the fasted state. Now, the fasted state is the most important state in the entire process of intermittent fasting as this is where your body can finally start burning the fat that it couldn’t get to while your body was in the fed state.
Simply speaking, intermittent fasting allows your body to stay in the optimal fat burning state that it rarely gets to stay in when someone is eating for 12 or more hours in a day.
What Other Benefits Does It Have?
The evidence is hard to deny. Intermittent Fasting is really going to help you lose fat quickly. But is that the only benefit that this eating pattern has to offer? Absolutely not. One of the most raved about benefits is how intermittent fasting can simplify your day.
If you’re the kind of person that rarely has time to grab breakfast on the go, let alone make time to really prep your meals, then intermittent fasting can take a lot of hassle out of your day. Research has also shown that intermittent fasting can really improve your health and help you live a longer and happier life.
Some studies are also starting to surface in which practicing intermittent fasting can help reduce the risk of cancer. Although studies are still in the preliminary stages, current results are looking very promising with tests concluding that fasting prior to chemotherapy can help minimize the side effects of the treatment while also promoting better cure rates.
Why It Works
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of intermittent fasting, however, is how much easier it is to do than dieting. The reason that most diets fail is because we’re restricting ourselves from the things we like to eat or we start eating the wrong food. When you’re not enjoying your diet, chances are high that you won’t follow through with it in the long term.
The fantastic thing about intermittent fasting is how easy it is to implement in your daily life once you get over the hurdle of dealing with hunger pangs. Many behavioral studies have concluded that for most people out there, dieting is easy in theory, but follow through is quite low.
This is the exact opposite for people who decide to fast intermittently. It’s difficult to fathom not eating for up to 18 hours a day but really easy to execute.
The Leangains Method
As we mentioned earlier, there are many ways to implement intermittent fasting in our routines. Some people decide to implement it daily, others weekly, while some people choose to restrict calories greatly on their fasting days.
The most popular form of intermittent fasting is the Leangains Method, which involves daily fasting. When on this version of the eating method, you will fast for 16 hours. This fasting period is followed by an 8-hour eating period.
It doesn’t matter when the 8-hour period is starts as long as you are strict with your hour count. Most people find that starting at 1 in the afternoon and ending at 8 in the evening is the best way to practice the Leangains Method.