Here’s how your body and metabolism is affected when you do IF:
- Fasting leads to lower insulin levels which help in fat burning.
- Fasting boosts human growth hormone (HGH) levels almost 5 times that helps in muscle gain and fat loss.
- Your nervous system sends noradrenaline (norepinephrine) to break down fat cells into free fatty acids which are burned as energy.
- Studies have found that short term fasting helps to increase metabolism by almost 3.6 to 14%.
IF results in various changes in your body that lead to better fat burning.
What does the research say?
A lot of encouraging research has been done on IF on fat rats. No…that’s not a metaphor for anything. IF studies on overweight male rats have shown that the rodents not only lost weight, but their blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure also improved.
Human studies on intermittent fasting for weight loss have distinctly shown that it is exceptionally effective and safe for humans. But IF is only as effective as any other healthy diet recommended by experts for weight loss. Moreover, fasting can be really difficult for most of us.
Does IF work? Here’s what I found after 30 days.
To manage my own body weight, I decided to try out intermittent fasting for a month. I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t easy. But was it helpful? Here’s what I found:
1. It’s hard, but you’ll get used to it in a week
As I said, I love to eat and I love my breakfast. So skipping breakfast wasn’t easy for me. The first 4-5 days were the hardest. I struggled a lot and I felt constantly hungry, especially in the morning. My stomach growled a lot and in the middle of meetings with clients and my boss stared at me. Imagine that.
I felt low on energy and kept thinking about food. I checked my watch all the time as I desperately waited for my first meal of the day at 1 pm (I was having dinner at around 9 pm). But when it was time to eat, I became exceptionally happy and after a long time, I really enjoyed my food.
After a week, I became accustomed to this schedule and things got a lot easier. Thankfully. I wasn’t thinking about food all the time anymore. I wasn’t feeling that much hungry anymore. My mind felt a lot clearer and I was able to focus on my work a lot more.
If you want to try IF, I would suggest that you ease into it and slowly get familiar with the sensation of being hungry. For instance, on the first day, have your breakfast an hour late. On the second day eat after 2 hours and so on until you hit the 16-hour mark.
2. I lost weight
And my stomach was a lot less bloated. I noticed this on the very third day which gave me the motivation to keep going during my initial days of struggle. Moreover, as I had a restricted “eating window”, I was consuming a lot less food than I usually did with a normal eating schedule. And I was drinking a lot more water.
By eating less, my stomach felt less bloated and I started to lose weight. This clearly showed I had a habit of overeating. Over a period of 30 days, I had lost almost 4 kgs of body weight and I feel a lot better and lighter now. It certainly feels great.