13 Proven Benefits of Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss

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Intermittent fasting for weight loss has exploded onto the scene just like the military diet did several decades ago.

It is an incredibly popular fitness trend that involves a cycle of fasting (16h) and eating (8h) called the Fed-Fast Cycle [1]. More and more people are using intermittent fasting (IF) to:

  • Lose weight [More on it below]
  • Improve health and lifestyle
  • Detox

Research shows that IF boosts body and brain health and may even help you live longer. [2, 3]

However, in this article, we will focus solely on intermittent fasting benefits for weight loss.

 

1. Helps Lose Weight without Restricting Calories

Compared to a traditional calorie-restricted diet, IF is way more effective in losing weight. [4]

All you have to do is fast for 16 hours a day and restrict eating to an 8-hour window, i.e., 12 pm – 8 pm. Do it 1–3 days a week and eat normally on feed days. You can lose up to 3-8% of weight in 3–24 weeks.

Food with Tape Measure and Alarm Clock to Weight Loss

 

2. Reduces Belly Fat

Intermittent fasting for 6 months or less can help you lose 4–7% of belly fat. [5]

Belly fat is harmful and increases the risk of plenty of diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

 

3. Increase Insulin Sensitivity

More than 90% of the diabetic population is obese or overweight and has insulin resistance (IR).

Evidence shows that IF increases insulin sensitivity in all such individuals. In one study, IF alone reduced insulin levels by up to 30% which led to better sugar control in diabetic patients [6].

Once blood sugar is controlled, complications of diabetes, such as poor eyesight, numbness in feet, and heart and kidney problems, stay away.

Monitoring the sugar level to avoid obesity

 

4. Cellular Repair Process

IF gives your body a break. Cells in your body benefit from ample “off-time” and begin repairing themselves by flushing out toxins which is a big step towards effective weight loss.

 

5. Releases Fat Burning Hormones in Body

IF balances two hormones that are key to fat-burning:

  • Human Growth Hormone (HGM): IF increases HGM production which melts stored body fat to provide calories needed for physical activity. Studies show that IF increases HGM by 2000% in men and 1300% in women. [7]
  • Insulin: IF keeps insulin levels low which speeds up fat loss.

Follow 15-day intermittent fasting to lose weight as it will balance insulin levels and keep your body in the calorie-burning state.

A clock on the plate and tape measure

 

6. Helps Burn More Calories by Increasing Metabolic Rate

Short-term IF, say 48 hours, boost metabolic rate by 3.6–14% which burns more calories. [8] When your body is starved for a specific period, glucose takes a dip. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body.  When its level falls, the body compensates by increasing metabolism and burning stored body fat.

In simple words, your body starts burning calories. The more calories are burned, the more you lose weight.

 

7. Reduces Obesity-Related Complications

Obesity puts your body in a tremendous amount of stress where your heart has to work harder and you are practically at risk of several diseases including cancer and diabetes. IF paves way for effective weight loss by fighting stressors.

Obese woman with scale and apple

 

8. Keeps Hunger Pangs Away

One of the most effective intermittent fasting benefits is that it keeps hunger pangs at bay. When your brain is conditioned to fasting for several hours a day, it keeps food cravings in check. IF balances insulin and sugar levels which in turn correct and curb hunger hormones.

 

9. Cuts Episodes of Binge Eating

If you want to lose weight but have an eating disorder where you consume larger-than-usual portions of food (binge eating), you must try IF.

IF is reported to strengthen mental control over cravings. Even experts recommend that binge-eaters who want to lose weight make an intermittent fasting schedule. [9, 10]

Intermittent fasting is the great way to loss weight

 

10. Reduces Oxidative Stress & Inflammation

IF reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Oxidative stress is a natural phenomenon in which cells produce waste materials (free radicals) that can damage important molecules like protein and DNA. When oxidative stress and inflammation are reduced, weight loss becomes easier.

 

11. Decreases Cholesterol

16/8 intermittent fasting twice a week will naturally reduce unhealthy fats (cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein) in about 2–4 months. [11]

Unhealthy fats clog blood vessels and damage heart function.

Alarm Clock with a Healthy Heart

 

12. Weight Loss & Muscle Gain Together

A calorie-restricted diet is a conventional way of losing weight that reduces fat but at the cost of muscle loss. IF, on the other hand, burns fat but builds muscles.

The secret lies in HGM which facilitates muscle gain. [12]

 

13. Keeps Weight Off for a Longer Time

If you practice alternate day fasting (ADF) for 3 weeks to 6 months, you will not only effortlessly lose up to 10% of body weight but ADF will also ensure the weight stays off [13]. ADF and IF make you feel healthier, fuller and more satisfied when you follow a particular diet regime.

Healthy foods for intermittent fasting

 

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting is a powerful weight loss tool that is quick, safe and free-of-cost. Give it a try if you want healthy changes in your lifestyle.

28 . 13 Proven Benefits of Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss

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