There are many benefits to intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating, but the two most compelling reasons are that it can help you lose weight and it can help improve your insulin sensitivity.
If you’re trying to lose weight, Intermittent fasting can be an effective tool because it helps create a calorie deficit. When you fast, you force your body to use stored energy, which means it will start burning fat for fuel. Intermittent fasting can also help you eat fewer calories overall since you’re likely to be less hungry when you’re not fasting.
Improve Insulin Sensitivity
IF can also help improve your insulin sensitivity, which is essential for weight loss and health. When your body is more sensitive to insulin, it can better control your blood sugar levels and keep your appetite in check, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. High blood sugar levels and poor insulin sensitivity are risk factors for diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
Time-restricted eating is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It does not specify which foods you should eat but when you should eat them.
Different Ways to do Intermittent Fasting
There are a few different ways to do intermittent fasting, but the most common is the 16/8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8-hour window. For example, you would stop eating at 8 p.m. and not eat again until noon the next day.
Time-restricting your eating has become very popular recently as a way to lose weight and improve health. But what does the science say? Does intermittent fasting work?
In one study, participants who followed a time-restricted diet lost 3-8% of their body weight over a period of 12-24 weeks (1).
Lose Abdominal Fat
In another study, people who followed an IF diet lost 7-11% of their abdominal fat (2)—a type of fat linked to diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
There is also some evidence that restricting the time that you eat can help you maintain muscle mass and lose body fat (3, 4).
In one study, participants were on either a traditional or IF diet. After eight weeks, those in the IF group lost more body fat than those in the conventional diet group (5).
Another study found IF helped people preserve muscle mass while losing body fat (6).
Decrease in HbA1c Levels
In addition to helping with weight loss, intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity. In one study, IF showed an 11% decrease in HbA1c levels (7) -suggesting that IF may benefit people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Other studies have found IF can help lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels (8, 9).
With its proven benefits and the flexibility of different intermittent fasting methods, IF can help you meet your goals. So, are you ready if you’re looking to IF to lose weight or improve your health? Remember to talk to your doctor before starting any new eating plan and ensure intermittent fasting is right for you!