If you’ve ever considered slathering a combination of bacon grease and motor oil on your hips and legs to help you slide into a pair of jeans bought last summer or you’ve accidentally blinded a small child when an errant button shot off your shirt after you exhaled and let your “gut” hang out, you may be an ideal candidate for intermittent, or short term, fasting.
Losing weight isn’t as easy (or fun) as gaining it. That’s because weight loss requires focus, discipline and determination — three things that humans must work to achieve. And weight gain, eh, not so much.
Weight gain requires hunger. Hunger occurs naturally, whether we want it or not. You don’t need to work for hunger. Hunger just happens. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? It’s not fair, but you can turn the tables and make naturally occurring hunger work for you.
How can you make hunger work for you? Through intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is a scientifically tested method of fat burning and weight loss. Recent studies show that short duration fasting can lead to dramatic weight loss in some cases. The studies also disproved some of the old myths around fasting:
Starving the human body slows metabolism and other metabolic processes. Research shows that short term fasting has no effect on metabolic processing.
Fasting depletes energy and promotes lethargy. Research shows that in the absence of recently digested calories the human body will convert previously digested stored calories (fat) to maintain energy levels.
The weight lost during fasting is muscle, not fat. Research shows that long-term starvation, not intermittent fasting, causes the body to consume muscle. During short-term fasting the body will convert easier to access fat storage
Getting started with intermittent fasting is easier than you think.
Most moderately active people burn 2,000 calories per twenty-four hour period. This level of calorie consumption allows most people to maintain their current body weight. If a person wants to lose weight, there are two basic ways to do it:
- 1. Decrease the number of calories you take in per day
- 2. Burn more calories than you take in per day
Intermittent fasting combines these two and merges hunger with normal activity levels to produce a scorching hot fat burning furnace.
Intermittent fasting is rooted in a deep understanding of human metabolism.
The human body burns calories like a car burns gas. In order to get from point A to point B, a car must move. Moving requires energy. A car’s engine produces energy by consuming gas, pushing small amounts of it into a chamber and exposing it to fire causing hundreds of tiny explosions. The energy from those explosions turn the car’s wheels.
Similarly, to get from point A to point B, the human body converts its gas (food) into energy that allows its legs, arms and brain to function.
Intermittent fasting forces the body to consume its stored energy (fat)
Left to its own devices, the human body will opt to convert the most recently digested calories first. That means the food you eat today burns today. However, when you aren’t active enough to burn all the calories ingested in a day, the body converts and stores them as fat. Intermittent or short duration fasting specifically targets that stored fat.
Intermittent fasting relies on the body’s own natural ability to find calories to burn. To maintain normal, healthy function, your body will automatically choose the most efficient and easily accessible fuel source. If it doesn’t “find” a recently digested fuel source, it searches for the next easily burnable fuel source: fat.