The Science is Clear: Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss Works
When it comes to ways of eating, validating claims can be a bit difficult. What works for one person may not work for another. We’ve all seen different “diets” come and go over the years, such as the Atkins diet of the 1990s. However, intermittent fasting isn’t a fad diet. It’s a new way of thinking about consumption and allowing your body to rest and perform other functions besides assimilate food. Plus, the results are clear if you are looking to lose weight—intermittent fasting for weight loss works.
Intermittent fasting helps you view food as fuel.
Instead of a passing trend, intermittent fasting changes your mindset. It allows you to think of food as fuel for your body instead of something you do when you’re bored or depressed. Why? We train our bodies to eat at specific times, which takes a bit of rescheduling. Hint: practicing intermittent fasting for weight loss helps re-train the digestive system.
Food consumption also encourages the brain to release endorphins, which are those feel-good hormones that are so satisfying. Certain foods—not usually the healthy ones—also provide some level of comfort, hence the name comfort foods. Snacks, such as cookies or chips, evoke a sense of nostalgia. Of course, these are fine in moderation. However, when these high-calorie foods become our go-tos when we have downtime or feel blue, they can do more harm than good.
Intermittent fasting allows you to not focus on food.
Food obsession is real, and we have all experienced it in some form. For example, are you always looking forward to planning your next meal? Possibly you’re constantly concerned about what foods are considered good or bad. Maybe you avoid social situations that may have you surrounded by unhealthy foods: cue birthday parties and those dozen donuts in the office break room.
Not that you need an excuse, but focusing on a window of time when you can eat will help you avoid those situations. If you’re on a 16:8 plan and you start eating at 11 am, chances are those donuts will be gone by that time. When that birthday cake comes out at 7 pm, your eating window is closed so that you can say no to that dessert with ease—having a clear sense of what you’re eating and when can help you be less obsessive.
Plus, you’ll consume fewer calories, which is part of any healthy weight loss plan. Healthline’s intermittent fasting guide states,”By helping you eat fewer and burn more calories, intermittent fasting causes weight loss by changing both sides of the calorie equation.” Not focusing on food allows you more freedom to concentrate on other aspects of your day, therefore creating an overall healthy lifestyle.
Intermittent fasting for weight loss is scientifically proven.
About the Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss Study
Some of you still may remain skeptical, and that’s where science can back up the benefits of intermittent fasting. In 2019, INHA University in South Korea performed a study on intermittent fasting for weight loss. The purpose wasn’t to prove—or disprove—any aspects of pausing food consumption. Still, the study’s goal was to clear up some of the controversies surrounding the effectiveness of using intermittent fasting to decrease body mass and alter glucose consumption.
The study included 545 participants (approximately half were in a control group), and the scientists tested a variety of intermittent fasting schedules on both males and females in various age groups. The study took into account factors, such as sex and age, but participants had an array of body weights, including healthy, overweight, and obese individuals. Using an assortment of people representing different categories helps to support the findings of a study
They were also careful to exclude individuals with existing health conditions, such as diabetes, that would impact glucose regulation. Body mass index was measured both before and after the study, and other statistics were taken into account, such as fat mass.
The scientists also included various intermittent fasting schedules, such as alternate day and time-restricted eating. It’s no doubt that there are benefits to calorie restriction, such as improving cardiovascular health and weight maintenance. However, the study’s goal was to see whether or not intermittent fasting for weight loss specifically would prove useful.
The Results of the Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss Study
The news is positive for those looking to utilize intermittent fasting for weight loss. Not only did the study show a reduction in body mass index, but controlled time eating also reduced the amount of fat among those practicing intermittent fasting. Although not terribly significant, the findings also showed an improvement in blood glucose levels.
Also of note is that the group who consumed more calories earlier in the day—and less in the evening—noticed an improvement in their overall health. These findings also align with using natural circadian rhythms to benefit the body.
Other Studies Support Using Intermittent Fasting to Lose Weight
Intermittent fasting has been a hot topic over the past few years, which has resulted in several other studies with the same findings. The New England Journal of Medicine states, “Evidence is accumulating that eating in 6 hours and fasting for 18 hours can trigger a metabolic switch from glucose-based to ketone-based energy, with increased stress resistance, increased longevity, and a decreased incidence of diseases, including cancer and obesity.”
Harvard Medical School also supports intermittent fasting for weight loss. An article on Harvard Health Publishing concludes, “There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes.”
All in all, combining a healthy lifestyle with intermittent fasting, which supports your natural circadian rhythms, can aid in losing excess weight. It does make sense if you think about it. Viewing food as fuel and being in control of your eating—instead of it controlling you—is a fabulous path towards success and shedding pounds. If you’re new to intermittent fasting, it’s an easy lifestyle change to implement. Of course, our bars help you fuel up and feel satisfied before you fast to increase your chances for success—and weight loss, too.