One of the many ways to lose weight that has become more popular as of late is intermittent fasting. This way of eating involves short-term fasts. These fasting periods can be incorporated a number of ways in one’s diet which will be discussed below. Fasting for short periods helps to consume less calories overall and has advantages to hormones related to weight control.
Metabolism while fasting include changes in these hormones:
- Insulin: When fasting, insulin decreases, which facilitates fat burning.
- Human growth hormone (HGH): Levels of growth hormone increase during fasting. This hormone can aid fat loss and muscle gain.
- Norepinephrine: When fasting norepinephrine is sent to fat cells where body fat is broken down into free fatty acids that can be used for energy.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
The idea is to limit food intake for two days a week (to about 500 calories a day; the 5:2 approach) or to only eat within an eight-hour window most days (e.g., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
Research is limited but does support significant results for weight loss, especially with a decrease in waist circumference. Please note this type of fasting is not safe for some people, so please check with your physician as well as a Registered Dietitian prior to beginning this type of regimen.
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