Did you know that $66 billion was spent on weight loss products and services last year alone?
That’s a lot of people trying to lose weight.
In fact, it’s estimated that roughly more than 60% of individuals within first world countries such as the United States are overweight. Yet, despite this statistic, less people than ever before are trying to lose weight.
Why is that?
I remember the first time I bought a gym membership (a long time ago). I was going to work out every morning. I was going to be able to do more than 10 push ups in a sitting, I was going to lose that freshman 15, in fact, I was going to be ripped!
Within two weeks, my membership card was lying forgotten underneath my bed.
Losing weight is hard work. Between having to muster up the energy to work out, find the time to cook healthy meals, and resist the urge to reach for that pint of ice cream in the freezer, most people find it easier to give up and live with the fact that they are overweight.
However, this is a dangerous mindset to have.
Obesity has commonly been linked to developing illness and disease such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease and strokes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Fatty liver disease
- Kidney disease
With so many risks associated with obesity, it’s dangerous to resign yourself to a life of being overweight.
Luckily, there is a way to lose weight naturally, without having to work so hard at it.
Have you ever heard of intermittent fasting?
It’s a form of weight loss that has been practiced for centuries. Muslims practice it during Ramadan, a fast in which participants fast from dawn to sunset. Jews do it during Yom Kippur, a religious event where participants fast for 26 hours.
It is a lifestyle diet characterized by restricting when you eat, rather than what you eat.
When practicing intermittent fasting, users will typically fast from anywhere between 8-24 hours in a day. Many say that fasting for 16 hours is the dietary sweet spot in losing weight.
During intermittent fasting, you are allowed to drink water, tea, coffee, or any other beverages as long as they do not contain calories. All weight loss diets are centered around reducing caloric intake, including intermittent fasting.
In religion, it is done to get closer to God. Fasting is seen as a form of abstinence and it is believed that participants benefit by forsaking food for a certain amount of time.
They just might be onto something.
According to Mark Mattson, a leading scientist with the Institute of Aging, fasting can lead to benefits such as reduced stress, an improved immune system, and weight loss.
How does intermittent fasting for 16 hours a day work for weight loss?
In a review of over 40 studies, it was found that intermittent fasting lead to a typical weight loss of 7-11 lbs over 10 weeks.
In another study, those who took part in intermittent fasting lost 8% of their initial body weight over the course of 8 weeks. This means that the average 200 lb dieter lost 16 lbs within 2 months!
This works because after fasting for 16 hours, your body begins to draw energy from its fat stores. However, this is where it differs from other weight loss diets.
When fasting, your body becomes more sensitive to insulin. Because insulin consumption is also related energy consumption, this means that the more sensitive your body is to insulin, the more likely it is to use the food that you consume more efficiently. Which ultimately means that any food you eat will either be burned for energy or stored for muscle!
This aids in weight loss, but it can also lead to a suppressed appetite to further help you keep those calories off!
When compared to the statistics of other methods of weight loss, it was discovered that those who participated in intermittent fasting were less likely to experience an increase in appetite on days that they didn’t fast.
Not to mention that fasting can also lead to healthier eating.
Because fasting doesn’t lead to an increase in appetite on off days, this can result in a decrease in overeating or binging on junk foods with high calories but low nutritional content. Participants are more likely to eat foods that are nutrient rich in order to make up for the lack of nutrients during the time that they do fast.
This means that people who participated in fasting reduced their total caloric intake even when they weren’t actively fasting!
Incorporating intermittent fasting into your daily routine
Ready to give it a try?
I recommend easing into it first. Pick a day where you won’t be required to do any strenuous work and minimal physical activity and see how you feel after fasting for 16 hours. This is the simplest and easiest way to test this method.
As you get used to fasting, it will become easier for you to incorporate it as a part of your daily routine. Before you know it, you won’t even notice that you’re consuming roughly 33% less calories than normal!
However, be careful if you are pregnant, have diabetes, or any other problems with regulating your blood sugar. If you have any health concerns, we recommend consulting a doctor before participating in intermittent fasting.
Overall, intermittent fasting is a natural way to feel good about dieting again! You may find it a good way to lose weight because it is a more flexible diet that allows you to eat whatever you want. Or you may find that the lack of appetite makes it easier than other diets you’ve tried. Regardless of your background, it’s a great way to detox, lose weight, and feel good about yourself!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried intermittent fasting and how it worked for you. I’d love to hear about your experience!