Intermittent Fasting: Should I Try It To Lose Weight?
Motion Specialist // Certified Personal Trainer // SFGII // SFL //Nutrition Coach // TPI // EW Motion Therapy Homewood
Diet trends tend to come and go, but fasting has existed for thousands of years, with many religious groups having some form of fasting as a tradition. But the specific trend of intermittent fasting has only increased in popularity in recent years. There are different ways to incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, depending on your schedule of daily activities. But does it actually work? Is it a healthy way to lose weight, or the next diet fad?
Intermittent fasting has been shown to be a sustainable way to lose weight, as long as you can incorporate it into your schedule in a way that you can maintain. The key is consistency and finding what works best for you. Our nutrition team at EW Motion Therapy helps our clients build healthy, sustainable habits over time so they can make a true lifestyle change and achieve their goals. Even if you choose not to pursue nutrition services with us, we still want to present intermittent fasting as an option for weight loss.
This article discusses why intermittent fasting has become so popular, the benefits, and some reasons you should try it. With this information, you can make the best, most informed decision for your weight loss/fitness journey.
Why is intermittent fasting so popular?
Before we discuss its popularity, let’s define what intermittent fasting is. It is a dieting practice in which you only eat for a certain number of hours in the day. For example, some people choose a 16-8 split with an eight-hour eating window, while others choose a 12-12 split with a 12-hour eating window. If you choose a 16-8 split, you can eat during the 8-hour window of your choice (e.g., 9 am-5 pm) and fast for the other 16 hours of your day (5 pm-9 am). It tends to work for many people because you naturally ingest fewer calories during a restricted eating window - as long as you eat healthy meals and control your calories, you can almost guarantee results.
The flexibility and ease of intermittent fasting is one factor of its popularity, but it has become more popular recently due to many fitness influencers and celebrities showing their success using the method on social media. Due to how widespread it has become, it is safe to say that intermittent fasting has become firmly cemented in popular culture, at least for now.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Weight loss is certainly one of the primary benefits of intermittent fasting, but research has shown a few more key ones. Having a restricted eating window has been shown to help with hormone imbalances, as some hormones can spike with the ingestion of more processed sugars.
Intermittent fasting has also been shown to improve cell regeneration. As we age, our cells die off, and our body makes new ones to replace them - this is easily observed in the 500 million skin cells we shed every day. The efficiency of this regeneration process determines how well we age. If the process is not efficient, like a copier running out of toner, the final product will decrease in quality over time. For people who fast, because they give their body time to fully process nutrients they have taken in, they keep this process at its most efficient and hopefully ensure they will age well. Also, the amount of water typically drunk while fasting helps you stay hydrated and full until you reach your eating window again, and water has all sorts of health benefits, including joint mobility and skin elasticity.
Should I try intermittent fasting?
Now you know more about intermittent fasting and how it can benefit you. The question of whether you should try it or not is ultimately up to you, but with its high success rate and great benefits, intermittent fasting would not be a bad place to start any weight loss journey. It is vital, however, to choose an eating window that works best with your schedule and lifestyle. For example, if you are a night-shift nurse, you may decide to do a 12-12 split to account for your work schedule. Or, if you work in an office, you could do a 16-8 split that ensures you have the nutrition you need to get through the day. Some people who fast decide not to eat for 1-2 days per week or for a week out of a month. If you would like to talk to a professional about fasting, many dietitians and nutritionists are familiar with the idea and can give you further advice on whether it would work for you.
The weight loss/dieting world can be confusing and sometimes unkind, and it is essential to find what works best for you to get the results you want and need. Our nutrition team at EW Motion Therapy uses an adaptable habit-based approach to help clients see the results they want while building sustainable habits. If you are interested in our nutrition services, answer the questions in our nutrition self-assessment to see if our services best fit your needs.