So far I've: lost five pounds, three inches off my bust, and my jeans that were the most uncomfortable to wear to work are now going on with ease. I've cleared up my eyes that once looked like a major city road map in red. They are now showing a majority of crisp, clear white. Uncanny, since my eyes were notoriously looking depleted in natural color year after year. Mondays were always bad days with Tuesdays and Wednesdays my best. By Thursday I was in a spiral down counting the hours for the weekend. I began fasting Friday, Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays for 13:11, thirteen hours on and eleven hours to eat. I lost pound immediately without any strain.
By the end of the second week I was doing 14:10 and included Thursday into my schedule. Something shifted. I'd wake up Thursday in quite a stupor, but by an hour into work, I had robust energy completing things I'd normally put off for next week. That was followed in suit by Friday with the same amount of energy. This week I found myself adding Thursday again experiencing that same energy lift. I didn't want to experience that end of the week terrible drain again. It had been years since i felt that way.
I am writing to you know on a 15:9 fast feeling on top of it all for a Saturday when normally I'd be retreating to my bed. I will slowly keep this momentum going, working into the 16:8 as time goes on. That seems to be my best range for the future. Who knows after that? I will look into other methods as time goes on. And as time moves forward, while feeling invigorating, I can't but think of last week's article from the doctor who healed herself from her chronic health condition. I can totally see why. There have been remarkable changes since I've started this that don't reside on just weight loss.
Yet, it does make sense when taking into account the following facts:
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
There are many different types of intermittent fasting, such as the 16/8 and 5:2 methods.
10 numerous studies show that it can have powerful benefits for your body and brain.
1. Changes the function of hormones, cells, and genes
When you don’t eat for a while, several things happen in your body.
For example, your body changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible and initiates important cellular repair processes.
Here are some of the changes that occur in your body during fasting:
- Insulin levels. Blood levels of insulin drop significantly, which facilitates fat burning (1Trusted Source).
- Human growth hormone (HGH) levels. The blood levels of human growth hormone (HGH) may increase dramatically. Higher levels of this hormone facilitate fat burning and muscle gain, and have numerous other benefits (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4, 5).
- Cellular repair. The body induces important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells (6).
- Gene expression. There are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease (7).
When you fast, insulin levels drop and human growth hormone (HGH) increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes and change which genes they express.
2. Can help you lose weight and visceral fat
Many of those who try intermittent fasting are doing it to lose weight (8Trusted Source).
Generally speaking, intermittent fasting will make you eat fewer meals.
Unless you compensate by eating much more during the other meals, you’ll end up taking in fewer calories.
Additionally, intermittent fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss.
Lower insulin levels, higher HGH levels, and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy.
For this reason, short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate, helping you burn even more calories (7, 9Trusted Source).
In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate (increases calories out) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in).
According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of 3–8% over 3–24 weeks. This is a huge amount (10).
The study participants also lost 4–7% of their waist circumference over 6–24 weeks, which indicates that they lost lots of visceral fat. Visceral fat is the harmful fat in the abdominal cavity that causes disease (10).
One 2011 review also showed that intermittent fasting caused less muscle loss than continuous calorie restriction (11Trusted Source).
However, a 2020 randomized trial looked at people who followed the 16/8 method. In this diet, you fast for 16 hours a day and have an 8-hour window to eat.
The people who fasted didn’t lose significantly more weight than the people who ate three meals a day. After testing a subset of the participants in person, the researchers also found that the people who fasted lost a significant amount of lean mass. This included lean muscle (12Trusted Source).
More studies are needed on the effect of fasting on muscle loss. All things considered, intermittent fasting has the potential to be an incredibly powerful weight loss tool.
Intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories while boosting metabolism slightly. It’s a very effective tool to lose weight and visceral fat. -Fact shared by Healthline, Chris Gunners