HEALTH BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
Fast food, high-fat meals, and irregular eating schedules have made it difficult for many people to keep their calories in check throughout the day. But other, less apparent factors can also have a significant impact on appetite and weight. One example is intermittent fasting. This eating schedule can help you lose weight by reducing your overall calorie intake and increasing your feeling of satiety.
The idea behind intermittent fasting is that for a short period, you limit your caloric intake—typically by limiting your eating window to an eight-hour period. You can choose any time frame that works best for you, but a good choice is going without food from just before bedtime to 6 a.m. If you’re not hungry in the morning, the logic goes, you’re not going to overeat when it comes time to eat at noon or dinnertime. As a result of this strategy, intermittent fasting can help you control calories without feeling deprived and lead to more significant weight loss than typical calorie counting can achieve.
One of the most essential benefits of intermittent fasting is that it can improve hormone balance, which can help you lose weight and keep it off. During a fast, your body is forced to break down fat instead of carbohydrates.
When you eat regularly, your body stores calories as fat. However, when you intermittently fast (you don’t eat for many hours), your liver begins to burn stored fat and glucose rather than carbohydrates as its source of energy. This process happens on an “as-needed” basis, meaning it occurs only when food isn’t readily available, and energy needs are met by storing fat or breaking down muscle tissue. This means that even if you don’t have enough food in the first place to consume an average amount of calories each day, intermittent fasting can help curb appetite by repurposing storage resources. Low blood sugar also has a negative effect on mood—it causes fatigue, among other symptoms—so avoiding it is an obvious benefit when trying to lose weight without hunger or cravings being involved.