Does intermittent fasting (16/8) help to fix metabolism & food cravings?

The 16/8 is one of the most popular fasting plans around. The benefits range from weight loss and assist in the prevention of diabetes and other conditions that relate to the obesity epidemic.

16/8 is said to work well by supporting the body’s circadian rhythms, as most people will choose to stop eating during the evenings. Most calories consumed during the middle of the day (this, of course, depend on your choice of eating) It is a good idea to avoid eating between 2–4 hours before your bedtime, so that you may have a more restful sleep.

The benefits

There are many health benefits relating to this structure – one of the most important thing being weight loss. The main focus here is to abstain from eating for a certain amount of time, which allows our insulin levels to drop and will assist in the body using fat stores for energy. This is not an overnight success, though, and it does take time for the body to begin doing this. This is the primary the way our metabolism begins to work for us, in using stored fat for energy – rather than accumulating it from our food sources.

A study conducted in 2017 suggested that intermittent fasting leads to greater weight and fat loss in men with obesity than regular calorie restriction. Caloric restriction makes it very difficult to maintain the weight loss, as, over time, constant restricted eating decreases our metabolism. That also promotes muscle loss.

Decrease hunger and food cravings

When first starting out, it does take a few weeks to flow into the transition of burning fat for fuel. Initially, you will feel tired, hungry, and your energy levels will plummet. Sticking with the plan is needed in order to move past this phase, and then begin to feel less likely to eat, and diminish the initial food cravings. The trick is to allow yourself to eat those food cravings once per week, while during the other duration of time, feeding yourself the best nutrient-rich food you can find. This is important, as we all want to enjoy life, but we still have to make sure we’re giving our bodies the best chance for fat loss and longevity.

How to sustain your hunger during fasting

It’s essential to eat correctly when in the feasting duration. When we fast, the consumption of water, coffee, tea and herbal teas is necessary. If the temperatures are warmer, try iced black coffee or tea. I like to drink mineral or soda water regularly. This helps to diminish hunger and also alleviate the stomach of any discomfort. You can even cut some lemon, lime & ginger wedges into your water, to promote an even deeper cleanse. This can also be infused for a warm tea that also boosts your immune system. I think we all need this right now.

Final words

Depending on your goals and how much weight you want to lose, I would recommend trying out different time frames, to see which one will work best for you. Sixteen hours is excellent, and you will also get attractive benefits from 20–36 hour fasts too. If you have underlying health issues, it’s best to speak to your doctor, as diabetes medication will need to be altered when fasting.

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