What happens to your body during Intermittent Fasting
Sticking with the theme over the last few articles, we continue forward with dieting, fitness, and general health related articles.
If you haven’t already, check out our introductory piece on intermittent fasting, the secret dieting supplement that you should be incorporating into your daily life.
One of the most important things to note about intermittent fasting, is that it’s not the endgame when it comes to dieting. It’s still important for you to be tracking what you eat, and making sure you're eating the right things, filling your body with the right nutrients.
Intermittent fasting is exactly what we described it to be in our previous article: a supplement to your normal routine.
So what actually goes on when you fast, and why is it so effective in weight loss?
To begin with, because you eat at least one meal less every day (or at least on fasting days), you're automatically eating less. If you maintain some semblance of discipline during your eating hours, you should automatically be putting yourself in a calorie deficit, which in turn means you're automatically burning more than you consume.
Beyond the superficial weight loss benefits however, intermittent fasting, or fasting in general plays a massive role in your physiological well being. Studies have shown that fasting helps your longevity in life, improvements in your overall immunity and decrease in chances of cholesterol-related health problems. The science is complicated and filled with jargon, but the resources are readily available for this interested in it.
The historical significance of fasting
In essence, fasting helps channel ancient traditions are ancestors went through. Think about it, during the caveman days, it wasn’t normal for people to eat multiple meals a day. In fact more often than not people would eat large meals over the course of days and then go days without eating while they hunted and foraged for more food. This helped us evolve into resilient beings, designed for long-term health. A strong foundation was needed for us to survive in such harsh conditions.
Today, we live in ‘civilized society,’ where most of what we do is automated. So much so that we ourselves fall into some what robotic routines because the environment around us helps dictate that for us. It’s not a bad thing: humans are living to our longest we ever have in history. Wealth is at an all time high, and wars are at an all time low. Yet, the luxury we have also helps us evolve and improve more.
Despite all the modern-day conveniences we have that help us govern ourselves superficially, our bodies still haven’t adapted and evolved beyond our pre-historic days. Why would it? When we were already designed to be at our peak condition so many years ago, why would we regress into something so banal because our concrete buildings and 9-5 jobs tell us to do so.
What this all means
Enough of a history lesson, what this all means is this – fasting helps optimize various physiological and performance related functions are bodies are designed to perform to their absolute peak.
When you fast, your body shifts into fat burning mode. Food that we consume in excess gets stored as fat in our bodies. When you don’t eat, and your body doesn’t have the immediate energy to burn, it taps into these resources that are stored. Weight loss or fat burning is thus a result of this shift in energy consumption.
The ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ myth was perpetrated because it was thought that after a night of sleep, your body needed a kick of energy to kickstart the day. The glycogen spike you receive after a breakfast does provide this, but if one refrains from doing so, your body will tap into it’s reserves in order to maintain optimal energy levels.
Additionally, fasting has tremendous benfits on your metabolism. When you fast, you go into ‘starvation mode,’ which means your body is conservative with how it uses its energy. Your glycogen levels are depleted and you enter a state of ‘ketosis’, yes…that thing. You may also experience a heightened level of concentration and you will be shocked at how quickly you can adapt to this state of being.
Rather than put yourself through torture by restricting your calorie consumption to dangerously low levels (1000 and 1200 calorie diets), or worse cut out things cold turkey (no carb, no sugar diets), fasting allows you the flexibility of eating whatever you want provided you have the discipline of staying balanced.
If weight loss is your goal, fasting should be a part of your daily routine, no matter what. Let us know if you’ve tried fasting before, and what the results have led to.