Confession. I have never done a fasting diet. People fast for various reasons – to lose weight, detox the body, reset metabolism but mostly it’s for weight-loss. I’ve always been of the opinion that fasting is not a good weight-loss strategy. Fasting causes blood sugar to crash, metabolism to slow and hunger to spike. The result is the reverse effect of weight-loss. The body goes into starvation mode. It doesn’t know when it will receive more fuel so it clings to every bit of fat to protect itself. This is why the scale may not budge. While some pounds may be lost, it’s generally temporary. When food is consumed again, those pounds return because metabolism slows during fasting and is sluggish to work again.
Why am I rambling on about fasting?
After my spin class this morning, I hung around to bike a few minutes longer. I didn’t have time to swim due to an early meeting at work. Another cycler stayed as well. As we rode, he told me about his intermittent fasting (IF) diet. He had been losing weight for several months and suddenly stalled. He started intermittent fasting as a method to train his body to reset his metabolism & promote burning fat cells. The way he does this is by fasting 24 hours one day a week. When he fasts, he works out in the morning then eats a 300 calorie breakfast after. He doesn’t eat again until the next morning after his workout. He told me he has been successful in losing 5 pounds (of his 10 pound goal) in the last two months with this method.
Although I have not tried intermittent fasting, it actually makes sense to me. During my weight loss journey four years ago, there was a moment when I hit a wall and the scale stalled. How did I jump-start it again? I increased my daily calorie intake and weight training activity. More food kept my metabolism running faster preventing my body from going into starvation mode and hoarding those last stubborn pounds. Increasing my weight training resulted in building more lean muscle and lean muscle burns more calories than fat. Another thing I did was scrutinize what I was eating. That’s when I started eating more metabolism boosting foods. Implementing these things, enabled me to lose those last stubborn pounds.
Metabolism Boosting Foods Inspiration Board
Intermittent fasting is similar to the approach I took in that it may retrain your metabolism to burn fat cells as a source of energy. The key difference I see is that you would have to do this regularly in order for this to take effect. In my opinion, fasting on a regular basis is not a good thing. Eating less than normal on a regular basis can result in low energy, feeling tired, trouble concentrating, low fitness level and worse, over-eating. It may also cause the body to use muscle as an energy source, which is definitely not what you want to happen.
Is intermittent fasting the right method for everyone? I say no. It’s definitely not for me. I’m hungry all the time. If I fasted, I would not be able to work out or concentrate at my job. Lying around like a couch potato would be me at my best during a fast. However, others may be more resilient to fasting. Doing it regularly may train the body to sustain itself with minimal side effects too.
Is intermittent fasting an effective weight-loss method? The Megan jury is still out on this one, but my initial evaluation is that it’s not. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle of moderate exercise, managing calorie intake and eating well-balanced meals is still my vote for long-term weight-loss success.Intermittent Fasting Sources http://www.livestrong.com/article/286088-intermittent-fasting-to-lose-weight/ http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/january-biggest-diet-craze-intermittent-fasting-article-1.1567777 http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/fasting
Questions – Have you done a fasting diet? Would you do intermittent fasting (IF) to boost your metabolism? What’s 1 confession you have today?