Is the Science Behind Intermittent Fasting Sound?

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The worldwide desire to look good and feel confident about your physical appearance has become every person’s  dream.

To look their best, people of all ages have become extremely self-conscious about how different ingredients affect their bodies, and how practicing different diets can help lead to weight loss.

Although blindly following different social media trends that promote unhealthy and unattainable body standards is never recommended, it is still good to be inspired by fitness experts and public figures who stand for body positivity and a healthy lifestyle.

According to body experts, people need to develop a proper diet plan that is easy to follow, sustainable, and allows a balanced consumption of nutrients to keep the body energized while also keeping body fat low.

Although following a healthy diet can help people maintain their body weight, it usually does not lead to a fat loss on its own.

As a matter of fact, multiple people around the world who have been struggling with getting rid of their extra body weight have complained about not being able to lose a significant amount of fat despite eating healthy and working out.

This usually happens when a person’s natural metabolic rate slows down and the reserves of fat stored in the body turn hard. At this point, simply eating well and working out a little is not enough.

Instead, what people actually need is a diet plan that will help kickstart the body’s natural metabolism so the stored reserves of body fat can be metabolized for energy.

For this, health and fitness experts across the world suggest intermittent fasting as it has been scientifically proven to be one of the most effective diets that can help improve the body’s metabolism to help the person lose extra body fat.

Continue reading to learn what exactly intermittent fasting is and the science behind this form of diet.

The article also sheds light on some additional tips that one can follow along with their intermittent diet to ensure more effective and lasting weight loss.

Let’s get started!

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Noodles and Chicken Dinner

Although most people believe intermittent fasting to be a modern form of diet that has recently been designed to help weight loss, it is actually one of the very few diets that have been practiced by multiple different cultures and religions across the globe for a very long time.

However, it is only now that the global accessibility to mainstream internet and social media platforms has made it possible for more people and regions to learn about this fantastic form of diet and its numerous benefits.

As the name suggests, intermittent fasting requires the practicing individual to maintain a fast for a certain period of time, after which they can consume their regular meal.

Unlike traditional diets that require a person to consume all three meals of the day along with some snacks while maintaining a calorie deficit, an intermittent diet only requires fasting for a certain period of time.

People practicing this form of diet can drink water, sugar-free teas and coffees, green tea, iced tea, etc., as long as the calorie content of the drinks they consume is almost zero.

Keep reading to learn about the most popular intermittent diets practiced across the globe.

The Top Five Different Types of Intermittent Fasting Diets

There are multiple ways to practice an intermittent diet. Usually, a dietitian will devise a proper fasting plan after analyzing the person’s body weight, BMI, and body goals.

However, trying the different types of intermittent fasting diet plans is also alright to get an idea of what works for your body the best.

The top five most popular intermittent fasting diets are as follows:

1. Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting

This perhaps is the least practiced form of intermittent fasting; however, it is still effective for a lasting weight loss nonetheless.

In order to practice the alternate day intermittent fasting, one is required to fast from early morning to late evening for one day, after which they can consume a high-energy meal of their choice.

On the second day the diet requires that the person consumes their regular three meals to prepare for the next day of fasting.

Usually, this form of intermittent fasting is easier to practice as people get to consume their regular meals on one day while having to fast on alternate days only.

2. Weekly Eat Stop Eat Diet

This form of intermittent fasting is for individuals who are not struggling with excessive weight loss and just need a little balance to melt away a few pounds.

To follow the weekly east stop eat diet, the person is only required to practice an intermittent fast once or twice a week, while consuming their regular meals on the rest of the days.

Since this diet is not too aggressive, it is usually more frequently advised for weight maintenance than weight loss.

3. The Time Restricted Intermittent Diet

This perhaps is the most effective and commonly practiced form of intermittent fasting around the world. There are two ways to follow this diet.

Either the person can fast for twelve hours and consume food the next twelve hours, or they can fast for sixteen hours and consume food for the remaining eight hours of the day.

According to many health experts, this form of intermittent fasting always results in the most effective and lasting weight loss.

However, it is important that the person practicing this diet chooses their meals properly. Although the meals are supposed to be high in calories, they should be well-balanced to have a proper portion of proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and fats.

Usually, people who need to lose a significant amount of weight are advised to skip any form of sugar and to limit the portion of their carbs and fats during their intermittent fasting to benefit from the most effective results.

4. The 5 Day Intermittent Diet

During the 5-day intermittent fasting, people are required to observe a ten to fifteen hour fast every day for five days of a week.

On the remaining days, people can consume any meal of their choice, along with some sugary foods as well.

5. The Warrior Intermittent Diet

The warrior intermittent diet is another extremely common form of intermittent fasting that is usually seen being practiced by younger people who are trying to lose some body fat, gain some lean muscles, and maintain their weight loss results.

To practice this diet, one is required to consume small portions of low-calorie raw vegetables and fruits, such as kiwi, strawberries, celery, etc., during the day, and eat only one serving of a high-calorie meal during dinner time.

However, for better results, people are advised to skip eating sugar on most days.

Now that you know how you can practice intermittent fasting, it is important to understand the science behind it.

Is the Science Behind Intermittent Fasting Sound?

Happy People Eating Food

The main reason why intermittent fasting managed to gain so much popularity once it became a frequently discussed topic on social media is because people were able to witness and enjoy quick and noticeable results.

These were people who tried almost all other forms of dieting and had been working out for years, only to experience very minimalistic differences in their physical appearances.

Moreover, this is one of the very few forms of dieting that has a sound amount of scientific research and reasonings backing its claims.

Hence, when such people managed to escape their poor health and obesity by practicing this seemingly new form of dieting, intermittent fasting was bound to spread like wildfire across the globe.

However, why were people able to enjoy such incredible weight loss results?

It is because intermittent fasting managed to target the one key thing all other diets were damaging; an individual’s natural metabolic rate.

Every time a person practices a diet that restricts their caloric intake and requires them to consume low fat and low carb meals, their body’s metabolic rate gets affected in a negative way.

Since the body is not consuming a lot of calories or complex food structures that need to be metabolized, the body’s metabolism begins to get less vigilant and slows down.

This is the key reason why many people practicing low-calorie diets can see some apparent weight loss in the first few weeks; however, along the run the diet begins to get less effective and they can no longer drop any more weight.

This is exactly where intermittent fasting manages to offer its fantastic benefits that no other diet can. Unlike other diets, the goal of an intermittent fast is primarily to target the body’s metabolic rate.

The first step of starting any intermittent fast is to consume a high-calorie meal that has all kinds of food groups.

For instance, dietitians recommend people practicing the time restricted intermittent diet to consume at least quarter to half chicken, or a big portion of lean beef, or fish, along with a side of rice, vegetables, and some bread. People can also add cheese to their food or consume a cup of milk as part of their meal.

Once the body has been provided with a high-calorie meal, the body’s natural metabolic system is automatically triggered to start working and blood sugar level goes up.

The body’s metabolism starts breaking down all the different food structures for effective digestion. Soon after the food is metabolized, the peaking blood sugar once again begins to drop.  

Since the person begins to observe a fast for the whole day or for twelve to sixteen hours right after their meal, the body’s automatically activated metabolism starts to metabolize the stored fat reserves of the body once it has done metabolizing all the consumed food.

Moreover, since the blood sugar drops a few hours after the food has been metabolized, the body’s fat reserves are once again utilized to stabilize the blood’s sugar level to its nominal value.

This is why people practicing this diet feel extreme hunger just a few hours after consuming their high-calorie meal.

If the person practicing the diet manages to control their hunger at that point, their stored body fat will start to melt away.

Hence, as a result, people can start noticing a change in their body’s appearance and a significant drop in their weight in just a few weeks of practicing intermittent fasting.

Additional Tips to Help You Lose Excess Body Fat for Lasting Results

Woman Drinking Water

Although an intermittent diet works like magic on its own, there are still ways to improve the diet’s effectiveness even more for a more drastic and lasting fat loss.

Some tips that you can follow to keep the fat off your body while also following the intermittent diet are as follows:

  • According to professional nutritionists, a person should consume at least two to three liters of water every day.
  • Since, water molecules are extremely essential for the metabolization of fat molecules, insufficient water intake will slow down the fat burning process.
  • Instead, the little water you will consume will be used up by the kidney’s filtration process, and will not be prioritized for fat loss.
  • Hence drink as much water as you can, especially during the hours you are fasting.
  • The best tip is to invest in a good quality and attractive-looking water bottle that encourages you to drink from it.
  • Apart from water, you can also drink lots of herbal and green teas with no added sugar.
  • Not only will the teas keep your tastebuds satiated, but they will further help trigger your body’s natural metabolic rate.
  • Try to also fit in a cardio-workout during your day to help with the weight loss process, and to replace the fat with lean muscles.
  • Once the body develops lean muscles, not only does it give the person a feeling of self-love and achievement, but they also help maintain the results for a longer time.
  • If you are practicing a time restricting intermittent fasting, try to add more than one meal during the hours when you are required to eat food.
  • This does not mean that you need to add multiple high-calorie meals during that period of eight to twelve hours; instead, you need to try to divide the total required calories into smaller meals.
  • Finally, refrain from eating the same meal everyday and try to change your menu as often as you can.
  • This helps you stay motivated to stick to your diet, which in turn helps you achieve a more effective, uninterrupted, and lasting weight loss.

Final Thoughts

Couple Eating Dinner

If you are someone who suffers from low self-esteem due to their high body weight, intermittent fasting is perfect for you.

Not only is it scientifically tested and proven to be effective, but it is also relatively more sustainable than most other forms of diets.

All you need to do is measure your body’s BMI to check which type of intermittent fasting will be the most suitable for you.