What Is Intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an extremely powerful weight loss method which not only helps you to lose weight, but also helps you to maintain or even gain some muscle depending on the amount of calories you consume. Intermittent fasting means 16 hour fasting periods followed by 8 hour eating periods, which means you basically don’t eat any calories for 16 hours and then you consume your daily calorie intake within your 8 hour eating period. You may be confused as to why this actually helps with weight loss so i am going to explain to you what the hormone known as “leptin” is.
Leptin is a powerful hormone in our body which basically regulates how many calories the body should burn, or how fast the metabolism should be. It is leptins job to let the brain know how much fat we have left so that it knows how much we can safely burn off without using Broccoli Salad too much. Ideally we should have a lot of leptin within our fat cells as this tells the brain that we have an adequate supply of fat and that we can use some for energy when needs be.
If our leptin levels are low, the brain thinks that we may be running out of fat storage and therefore may signal the thyroid to slow down the metabolism and burn less calories.
So how exactly do you get high leptin levels within the fat cells? Leptin levels actually depend on how satisfied we are after eating which means when you consume larger meals, your leptin levels increase as you are more satisfied and less hungry. This is why consuming your meals in smaller portions may be a bad idea after all as it may lower your leptin levels and ultimately lowers the amount of calories that your body burns.
Intermittent fasting and leptin
The idea behind intermittent fasting is to consume your meals as 2 or 3 portions within the 8 hour eating window so that you get to eat larger portions and therefore raise your leptin levels. For example if you are on a 6 meal per day diet of 1,600 calories, you should start to consume 1,600 calories in just 2 or 3 meals in order to promote raised leptin levels and a higher metabolism.
After you consume your 2 or 3 meals, you then start the 16 hour fasting period in which you will consume nothing but water. The idea behind the 16 hour fasting period is to let the body fully metabolize your food to get best shoulders at a raised rate due to increased leptin levels within the fat cells. This has also been proven to increase insulin resistance which also speeds up the metabolism and helps your body utilize fat stores.