We’ve talked about what intermittent fasting is. Now let’s dive into how we can use it to force our bodies to burn excess body fat. We’ll start by talking a little bit about what happens in your body when you start to fast for a few hours and then we’ll go into the “how to” of intermittent fasting for weight loss.
Let’s start with what’s happening in your body when you start to fast for a few hours. There’s a hormone at play that I’m sure you’ve heard of – it is Insulin and it’s about so much more than diabetes.
One of the main jobs of insulin is as a gate keeper to body fat. Basically when we have insulin in our system, any energy (broken down into sugars) that we don’t need right away is stored as body fat. And sadly while our insulin levels are up, we also can’t burn any body fat for energy. If on the other hand there isn’t any insulin in our system, our body switches to burning body fat for energy and we lose weight.
Now let’s look at how intermittent fasting can help us manipulate this hormonal system into losing weight. When you eat insulin levels go up to help our bodies process the energy in that food. Then over the coming hours, insulin starts to drop. Once it gets down to a certain level, the body starts to switch to burning body fat for energy. Until your next meal which is when insulin spikes again and the cycle starts over.
The reason intermittent fasting works so well for losing weight and burning body fat in particular is because we’re extending that window of fat burning during fasting hours. If you only eat during an 8 hour window any given day – which isn’t very hard to do as you’ll see in a minute – you’re burning fat for the remaining 16 hours.
And something else happens. As insulin levels drop, adrenalin and HGH (human growth hormone) go up. The Adrenalin will help keep your energy up and your metabolism burning high and the HGH helps you maintain muscle mass and keeps you in shape.
As your insulin levels drop and stay low, you’ll also notice that you’ll crave less foods and sugars and carbs in particular. And that’s a good thing.
Got you interested yet in giving this a try? Great. Let me show you how easy it is to get started with intermittent fasting. While traditional fasting can take quite a bit of willpower, particularly during the first few days, intermittent fasting is easy. You just have to postpone indulging in food for a few hours. It’s much easier to tell yourself that you can have something to eat in two hours than it is to not eat or not eat certain foods for days and weeks to come.
Eat your dinner at the regular time. Let’s say it is 6 p.m., eat your fill and don’t do any snacking after dinner. If you ate a decent dinner, hunger is not going to be an issue. But it may take you a little while make new habits if you’re a late night snacker. Get a glass of water or fix a cup of herbal tea (no honey) if you feel like you need something.
Then go to bed and sleep for 8 hours or so. Let’s say you go to bed around 10pm and sleep until 6am. The good news is that you’ve already made it through 12 hours of fasting. See if you can make it 14 hours by postponing breakfast until 8am. Just grab a cup of coffee and if you can, don’t eat breakfast until 10 and see how that goes. Work yourself up to a point where you can easily fast for 16 hours at a time. That’s 16 hours when you’re burning fat.
That’s easy enough, isn’t it? The key thing to remember when you’re getting started is that you’re not really dieting. Unless you chose otherwise, there are no forbidden foods and the likes and you don’t have to make do without for days on end. All it takes is postponing food for a few hours. And since you sleep through the majority of your fasting time, it’s surprisingly easy to do.
Most people need a bit more than just the plan to be successful. Why? Because our society has taught us so many things that are not correct and all the ads, shake mixes, drink mixes, pills and supplements, and fake diet foods have made it where we are not able to even tell when we are really hungry.
And all the diet programs out there have reinforced what I call “diet brain”. Overcoming diet brain usually requires more than just something like intermittent fasting. It requires some help with reprogramming our mindset. I offer a course that walks you through intermittent fasting and helps you break the emotional “diet brain” patterns.