Does intermittent fasting really help you lose weight?

6 months progress so far with IT – nutrition, weight training and rest.

Without a doubt it most certainly does. Not only will you lose a considerable amount of body fat without too much effort, you will also set in motion a pathway towards a high level of health and longevity.

Here is a photo of my progress since October of last year. I actually started fasting from September, mainly due to gut imbalances and thought it may help me gain some form of control over my health somewhat. If I had lost weight in the process, then that would be another bonus…

At this present moment, I have not gone in for a fat and muscle mass scan – only due to tine restrictions, but as you can see, there is a bit of a difference from the left image to the right. This is all diet based, and as I keep telling everyone from friends, acquaintances to clients, it’s the one and only main factor when it comes to weight loss. When I mention food people always assume you are supposed to eat less. To an extent, this does have a small part of the overall picture (as Intermittent fasting does see us consuming considerably less calories), but I want you to go a bit beyond this whole “eat less” assumption and let’s get to the root cause of fat accumulation and metabolism.

Insulin sensitivity.

Hormones play the main role in determining how much fat we store and burn. When we exercise and eat well, we gain some composure of our bodies, and things do start to fall into place. For those that have had a very long duration of caloric restriction, and dieting perhaps for years on end, it can be a completely different story. When you throw in digestion, immune and gut issues, we also seem to scratch our heads as to why things aren’t progressing as much as they should.

The main hormone we need to be concerned about is insulin. When we are insulin resistant, we tend to store more fat, and lose more muscle mass, which just leads to large accumulation of body fat, and possibly obesity. Insulin sensitivity on the other hand, helps us to burn stored fat as energy, and utilise the energy from our food more effectively by increasing our metabolism. This is the most paramount thought you should have when it comes to weight loss – we must become insulin sensitive.

How do we become insulin sensitive?

The main way to kick start this is not with caloric restriction (as this has the opposite effect long term) it’s to Intermittently fast! When we fast, our body takes a break, so to speak, of the endless churning and processing of food. Our insulin decreases hugely over time, and our bodies start to do what they were meant to – use stored fat as energy, increase our metabolism & utilise our consumed energy effectively.

This isn’t something that happens overnight though (well, not for me anyway, as you can see above) it’s a gradual process, of allowing your body to heal, then it gets back to doing its job effectively. Time is needed to calm inflammation markers, and re-condition the body. This takes some patience, proper nutrition and rest. We all experience this in different ways, so do keep a journal of your progression, including how you are feeling, what is going on with your body as well as how your behaviour towards food changes.

Gut health – It does affect our weight loss efforts

One last think I would like to mention, is the importance of gut health. If your digestion is not operating effectively, you will struggle to lose body fat, and allow the nutrients you do eat to be digested and absorbed by the body. This has been somewhat of a battle for me, as recently my iron and salt levels have plummeted. This is because of some culprit foods I’ve been eating, which have caused a catastrophic effect on my digestion. Since getting rid of them cold turkey (as hard as it’s been) I’ve slowly begun to get my strength back again and have noticed a huge difference in my energy levels and overall moods. It’s not a lie when professionals tell us that gut health effects our psychology.

Summary of using IF for fat loss

  1. Make sure you allow enough time for this to have an effect. Although I started in September, I still have a long way to go, even though my main focus has now shifted to building muscle mass. As you hit one goal, you move onto another one, whilst in maintenance mode
  2. Gut health is a huge priority. As Dr Gundry always says, “It’s not what you eat that really matters, it’s what you don’t eat that is key!” Only those that battle allergies, gut sensitivities and auto immune disease will resonate quite well with this statement
  3. IF is a lifetime commitment – maintenance phase is you still doing what you currently do, if it’s still working. The reality is, when you decide to eat all the time, you will put on weight – it’s inevitable. Some people can get away with fasting a few times a day, and that’s great. The time and duration of your fasting will depend on your goals. I cannot comment on the effects of fasting 2–3 times a week. I’m a daily IF user, and that works very well for me, and is suitable for my lifestyle. Do what works for you, in order to stick with it your whole life.
  4. Insulin and your diet. Remember that the key alteration with fasting is your insulin sensitivity. The more insulin sensitive you are, the more body fat you will burn, the more muscle you will build, and you will be able to tolerate more food. Please do be aware this is all within your body’s limitations here. Only you can experiment and view how much food is too much here. The goal should not be to consume as much, but to be able to lead a lifestyle where you can eat the things you love regularly, without guilt or love handles.

I do hope this has convinced you of the benefits of fasting. It’s probably the best form of caloric control – but doesn’t prohibit food of any kind – just feeding times. This is somewhat more realistic for the majority of the population, possibly because it’s fool proof. I hope you try this method of fat loss out and share your findings as well. Please feel free to send me a message if I can help you go along, even further. If you appreciate this, why not join me via my website or join me on fb and insta social. Please feel free to upvote this answer if it has been useful in some way to you.

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