We’re always searching for the best methods to burn fat, lose pounds, and get fit in the fastest healthy way possible. There are literally thousands of different strategies and tactics for getting rid of unwanted body fat quickly, but only a few can be considered truly “great.”
Until relatively recently we weren’t big fans of weight loss diets and programs that involve lots of “fasting”… mainly because so many of them are pure BS and/or dangerous fads. Things like simply not eating for long stretches of time (several days at a time), extremely low calorie diets that last for weeks, and other “starvation” diet methods (aka crash diets) definitely do not, generally, lead to good things.
But we’ve changed our minds about one form of fasting, which involves not eating for short periods of time — often just 12-24 hours at a time. In fact, after over 2 years of intense research and personal experimentation, we’ve found that short-term fasting can be one of the most powerful fitness and fat loss strategies out there!
Properly done fasting can provide the healthy weight loss, lean muscle building, and body-transforming results you’re looking for. And it’s not as dangerous or unusual as many people think. Humans have fasted for various reasons for thousands of years, so our bodies are designed to handle it well. When done properly, intermittent fasting is especially effective for safe fast weight loss… not to mention easy weight maintenance and long-term health benefits.
Below are 5 of the top reasons why intermittent fasting (IF) is one of the best strategies there is for faster, healthier weight loss…
1. It helps to reset and “re-tune” the body. Stored glycogen is used up, insulin production decreases, and the pancreas and liver are allowed to take a break. The body can focus its energy on things like like organ repair while also making several chemical/hormonal changes that lead to increased fat burning.
2. It can help you lose your sweet tooth. People who fast on a regular basis often lose their cravings for sugar and sweet foods, which has obvious benefits for anyone trying to lose weight efficiently.
3. It can protect lean muscle mass. Some bodybuilders and fitness models use IF specifically because of the hormone changes it causes, which optimize fat oxidation while inhibiting lean muscle tissue loss. In fact, properly done fasting is one of the few effective methods for burning body fat and increasing — or at least maintaining (depending on your overall eating/exercise regimen) — lean muscle at the same time.
4. It boosts energy. It’s tough to believe but stopping food consumption (for brief periods) can dramatically boost energy, especially mental energy, and even increase motivation. More energy and increased motivation are both great things if you’re trying to lose weight quickly.
5. It allows you to cut calories without the negatives associated with many very low-calorie diets. Reduced caloric intake is always a “must do” for efficient weight loss and IF is superior to most low-calorie and low-fat diets. The beneficial hormonal changes that occur during a fast, along with the decrease in overall calorie consumption, are what lead to very fast — but safe/healthy — weight loss!
Bonus Reason: Many people find that intermittent fasting diets are much easier to stick to than typical caloric restriction programs. IF allows you to eat big, filling meals which has many psychological benefits. It also doesn’t require calorie counting, which in our opinion, is a HUGE advantage over “normal” low-cal diets!
The bottom line is that if you’re looking to jump-start a long-term weight loss/fitness program — or just need to lose 10 pounds in the next couple of weeks — a fasting-based approach could be one of the best options!
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Healthy lemon water photo by Sebastiaan Laan