The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting (IF) For Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. IF mimics the effects of calorie restriction without any negative side effects. It works because it reduces food intake which results in a drop in energy expenditure. When you reduce your daily caloric intake, your body will begin to burn stored calories instead of using them directly like when you eat every day.
Fasting cycles are usually divided into two types: fasted and fed. Fasted cycles consist of only water or juice consumption while fed ones include foods such as protein shakes, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. Both types of fasting result in similar changes in metabolism. However, there are some differences between them depending on whether they involve eating or drinking liquids.
Eating Versus Drinking
Both types of fasting require a period of time where you do not consume anything except water or juice. During these periods, your body does not have access to nutrients and therefore cannot use them for fuel. Therefore, it burns stored fats rather than using those calories to generate new muscle tissue. This type of fasting is called “starvation” fasting since it forces your body to conserve its resources for later use.
On the other hand, if you consume liquid foods during your fast, your body can get the nutrients it needs to survive and still burn fat. IF has a bigger impact on your weight loss during this type of fast since you are giving your body only a little of what it needs.
One of the biggest benefits of drinking liquids during your fast is that you do not feel as hungry. This is because some of the drinks contain fiber, which makes you feel full quickly. Drinking only liquids also allows you to keep your energy levels stable.
However, some of these drinks have high levels of sugar and other chemicals which can affect your weight loss goals. For example, high-sugar drinks can cause tooth decay and other related problems. Some drinks contain other ingredients that are not good for you.
As you can see, drinking liquids during fasts has some benefits but it is important that you remember to monitor the types of drinks you consume and how much.
Fasting And Efficacy
The main purpose of fasting is to change your body’s energy usage by inducing a state of ketosis. During this state, your liver begins to break down fat in the absence of glucose which it cannot use. This process produces by-products called “ketones” which are excreted by your lungs and eliminated through your urine and stool.
This state is called “ketosis” and its main benefit is the production of ketones which provide your brain with an alternative fuel. This has a positive effect on your mental abilities and prevents various conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. It also slows down the aging process in general and prevents various age-related diseases.
However, you don’t have to be in a state of ketosis to start experiencing the benefits of fasting. Even a single day can provide your body and brain with various advantages. There are different types of fasts but they all involve eliminating or reducing your daily caloric intake. As mentioned above, you can consume only water or other liquids during your fast.
The best type of fast for weight loss is the one that you can maintain for an extended period of time. A single day of fasting won’t help you lose more than a pound or two. Three days of fasting will help you eliminate toxins and excess water from your body.
If you can fast for at least a week (and up to three weeks), it will force your body to burn fat in the absence of food. This results in more significant weight loss as well as numerous health benefits.
During a longer fast, your brain will consume ketones for energy which prevents cognitive decline. It also increases a hormone called “growth-hormone” or “GH” for short. High levels of this hormone reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, dementia, and osteoporosis.
Fasting has also been shown to improve mood and help cure certain types of depression. This is primarily due to the increase of hormones such as BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which prevents the death of neurons. In other words, fasting induces a state of hyperthymia or elevated mood.
A single day of fasting will not produce immediate results. It will take at least a week before you notice a significant change in your weight. However, fasting does come with certain risks, especially if you’re new to this. It is highly recommended that you seek the help of a medical professional before starting your own regimen.
The National Institutes of Health also suggests consulting a doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
High blood pressure
Low blood sugar
Pregnancy or nursing
History of eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia) or mental illness (anxiety, depression, etc.
Recently (within the past 2 months) taken medication for depression or anorexia
Heart disease or coronary artery disease
Additionally, if you experience any of the following symptoms you should also seek emergency medical attention:
Vomiting continued for more than 24 hours
No urination within 8 hours
Dizziness or light-headedness
Coughing up blood
Shortness of breath
If you’re in a state of ketosis and decide to stop fasting, your body will undergo the process of ketoacidosis. This is where acetone, blood, and respiratory infections contaminate the blood. These conditions may lead to a coma and eventually death.
We also provide you with some useful tools such as:
Weight Chart (BMI) : Determining your body mass index (BMI) is the standard way to see if you’re within a healthy weight range. The chart below uses a combination of height and weight values to determine where you fall.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effects of calcium and dairy on body composition and weight loss in African‐American adults by MB Zemel, J Richards, A Milstead… – Obesity …, 2005 – Wiley Online Library
Effect of calcium supplementation on weight and fat loss in women by SA Shapses, S Heshka… – The Journal of Clinical …, 2004 – academic.oup.com
Training practices and ergogenic aids used by male bodybuilders by DA Hackett, NA Johnson… – The Journal of Strength & …, 2013 – cdn.journals.lww.com