Of course, the intermittent fasting diet isn’t as simple as foregoing a meal every now and then. Furthermore, some folks will say that intermittent fasting isn’t a diet at all, but rather a “dieting pattern.” We won’t split hairs in our trusty intermittent fasting guide for men, which is far more concerned with results than it is semantics. Let’s get you off on the right foot…or should we say stomach?
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Representing a tradition with more history behind it than you might realize, intermittent fasting means going for extended periods of time without eating a single bite. Not to be confused with starvation, this is a regimen that requires a concerted degree of control over what you eat and when you eat it. If it sounds odd, consider the fact that you already practice fasting every 24 hours. After all, you don’t eat for 10-12 hours between dinner and breakfast (hence the term “break fast”), and that’s a pretty long stretch of time. Intermittent fasting extends the process into result-oriented dieting, the kind of which delivers a slew of reported health benefits. Also worth noting is that you’re free to drink water, tea, coffee, or bone broth whenever you’d like.
How does Intermittent Fasting Work?
As a citizen of the modern world, you’re probably aware that we humans like to eat. In fact, we like it so much that we frequently consume more food than necessary. That causes insulin levels to spike, and the body to store excess calories as either fat or sugar. When we continue to eat without burning through the stored calories, the sugar and fat pile up inside the body. The outcome can be something as simple as weight gain or something as complex as Type 2 diabetes. Neither result is desirable, to say the least.
By fasting, you reverse the process in a manner of speaking. That is, you’re causing insulin levels to fall on an empty stomach, prompting the body to start burning through stored energy. This is the essence of the practice—it clears out the stored energy that would be otherwise converted into sugar and/or fat. Balance is the operative word here.
Can you Intermittent Fast for Weight Loss?
It doesn’t take the word of a health expert to know that eating less food—or no food at all—will cause you to lose weight. In other words, intermittent fasting for weight loss is a worthy pursuit, indeed. And while some men might wonder if the practice will negatively impact metabolism, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
What are the Negatives of Intermittent Fasting?
Putting the whole metabolism thing aside (since that’s a subject best left to scientists), there are other concerns one might have in regards to intermittent fasting for weight loss. For instance, men might wonder if they’ll experience low energy, find themselves unable to concentrate, get sick, or simply collapse due to lack of calories. And during the first few days, those concerns will seem justified.
The truth is that there will be an adjustment period when transitioning to an intermittent fasting diet. That’s because the body gets used to specific patterns and habits. Thus, if you’re eating (or overeating) every day then your body is used to consuming certain amounts of food at certain times. And when you abruptly change that pattern, you might experience bouts of extreme hunger, energy loss, mood swings, headaches, or nausea.