Carrying around a few too many extra pounds is one of the biggest healthy concerns in American today. In addition to increasing the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other degenerative conditions it is also a leading cause of back pain because the change in biomechanics of the spine from the extra weight often lead to pain in the lower back and shoulders.
Americans spend millions of dollars on weight loss strategies from elaborate diets to expensive surgeries. Weight loss has become such big business in fact that it has become one of the biggest industries in health care.
So what if there was a way to lose weight that didn’t involve drugs, surgeries, complicated diets or massive amounts of exercise? There is and it’s called intermittent fasting. Fasting in general gets black listed by many doctors, trainers and other people in the health field based mostly on bad information. Before we look at a few of the misconceptions out there lets examine the actual process of losing weight.
First, there is only one way to actually lose weight and that is to run a calorie deficit. This simply means you need to burn more calories than you consume for a period of time sufficient to get you down to the weight you want to be at. IF helps you accomplish this by taking one 24 hour periods during the week without eating. Since you are essentially removing one day worth of calories from your diet you effectively reduce your weekly calorie consumption by anywhere from 1800-3000 calories.
Since you are choosing one 24 hour period you never actually go a full day without eating. For example, if you eat breakfast you simply skip lunch and dinner and resume normal eating with breakfast the following day. In 24 hours none of the health industry hype about fasting occurs. You do not enter starvation mode, your metabolism does not slow down and your body does not cling to calories. In fact quite the opposite happens. Let’s look at the metabolic benefits of intermittent fasting in more detail.
About 12 hours after your last meal your body begins to burn fat as fuel. When you consume excessive calories (specifically carbohydrates) your body stores the energy as fat. This is precisely what it is supposed to do so that when you encounter periods of time without food you have a ready energy supply to burn without affecting your mental function or muscle mass. This is the reason IF is so effective for slimming down because body fat is used and muscle tissue is preserved.
IF also causes increased levels of growth hormone (GF) secretion, especially during sleep. Increased GF production increases muscle growth which is why some form of resistance training is essential when utilizing IF protocols to see the best results. Increasing you muscle mass also causes the body to burn more fat during fasting periods because at rest the muscles are the tissues that burn most of the fat.
There is much more to IF but it is an easy tool to incorporate into your healthy routine to see better and quicker weight loss results. If you have questions about it or want help adding it to your fitness regimen call 715-246-7500 to talk with Dr. Austin Erickson.
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