We all know that the food we eat affects our bodies, and by carefully controlling what we consume can result in weight loss or gain. However, it is less well known that when we eat can also have a big impact. Intermittent fasting is a relatively new trend that uses this concept to help aid weight loss, improve health and simplify lifestyles.
Changing your eating patterns can be a big adjustment and knowing how to do it right is important. In this guide, we are looking into if timing meals can really help with weight loss and how intermittent fasting can help improve overall wellbeing.
Why Does Food Timing Affect The Body?
The human body has a sort of internal clock which runs for roughly 24 hours at a time. It is known as the ‘circadian rhythm’, and it helps your body function on a schedule. This schedule takes into account many aspects of your lifestyle, including eating, sleeping and environmental changes. The time that you eat your meals can have an impact on;
- Bodyweight regulation
- Metabolic rate regulation
- Sleep cycle
- Management of obesity and related diseases.
When you restrict what you eat at certain times, you can help to set your body on a schedule. It is not only meal timings that affect your body’s schedule, but sleep timings also play a vital role. A loss in sleep can disrupt the internal clock in your body and lead to a hormonal imbalance. This can confuse your body’s signals for hunger and tiredness, and in turn, increases cravings for starchy and sugary foods.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern which is becoming increasingly popular. It cycles between periods of eating and fasting, without specifying which foods you can eat but instead when you can eat them. There are various different methods of intermittent fasting, with the two most common being daily 16-hour fasts or twice a week fasting for 24 hours.
The logic behind this eating pattern is that fasting has been a common practice for humans throughout evolution. Thousands of years ago, hunter-gatherers would sometimes have to wait long periods of time between their meals. Because of this, the human body is able to function without food for long periods of time.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Weight Loss?
There is a lot of speculation around whether intermittent fasting is really an effective method for losing weight. Some people swear by it as the best way to shed those extra pounds, while others see little difference in their bodies.
The fact is that the only way to truly lose weight is by being in a calorie deficit. This has been scientifically proven, and it works by changing the energy balance in your body. If you are burning more energy than you are consuming in calories, then you will lose weight.
Most people who take up an intermittent fasting eating pattern will naturally eat fewer calories than they had previously. This is because there is less time and opportunity to consume more food. Ultimately this can put you into a calorie deficit and would, therefore, lead to weight loss.
It is important to remember that even when you are intermittent fasting, what you eat will play a big part in your weight loss success. Be sure to keep to a calorie-controlled diet, eat nutritious foods, and don’t overeat when you can.
How Intermittent Fasting Affects Your Body?
When you begin fasting, several things will happen within your body. Some of the main changes that occur are;
- Insulin: Your insulin sensitivity will improve, and levels of insulin in the body will drop dramatically. When you have lower insulin levels, your stored body fat is more accessible, and you are less likely to experience crashes in energy.
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of HGH in the body will skyrocket when fasting, which has great benefits for muscle gain and fat loss.
- Cell Repair: When you are fasting, your cells will initiate a cellular repair process. This is when cells will digest and remove dysfunctional and old proteins that can build up.
- Heart Health: Fasting can reduce the bad cholesterol in the body, as well as inflammatory markers, blood sugar and blood triglycerides, all of which are risk factors of heart disease.
- Brain Health: When the body is fasting, the brain increases the production of the hormone BDNF. This can aid the growth of new nerve cells and might protect against Alzheimer’s disease.