What Do Scientists Know About Long Term Dieting?

When it comes to weight loss, we often hear the conventional wisdom that skipping meals is wrong. After all, the body goes into “starvation mode” and holds onto its fat, right? Wrong! The concept of starvation mode is just a myth that has been disproven long ago. Now, with that realization, the weight loss world is starting to look at fasting with totally new eyes.

​Intermittent fasting is the practice of skipping certain meals on a set schedule. Numerous studies have shown that when a person fasts intermittently, they are not only increasing their weight loss, but it may also lower blood glucose levels as well as insulin resistance. Experts within the nutrition field have noticed that people who practice intermittent fasting tend to lose more fat than muscle when dieting. Why is this? Because when the body needs energy, but since it can’t convert food into energy, it will begin to consume the fat stores in your body, burning through fat faster.

​There are some drawbacks to intermittent fasting. For the most part, people who decided to utilize this method for weight loss would end up dropping out at a rate of 38%. This is a rather high number when compared to 10% dropout rate of other dieting methods in a controlled trial. Why do people drop out? Because the idea of going without food on a set schedule, such as skipping dinner every other night or even skipping eating at all in a day, can feel a lot more intense than those who are just reducing their calorie count or cutting back on sugary foods.

​So how do you fast intermittently? This isn’t like the Nutrisystem for men program that PureHealthyLiving talks about. Try to think of it in terms of feasting and fasting. You have to set a period of time where you don’t eat anything. This can be as simple as reducing all of your eating to once per day, or it can be a total abstinence thing, such as skipping dinner every other day. Intermittent fasting allows for you to control when you eat and how much. So if you have a set 1500 calorie per day goal with intermittent fasting, instead of eating three meals a day, you could drop it down to one or two meals. So each meal with be 750 calories, or you could even just eat 1500 in a single sitting. This works well when it comes to having days when you know you are going to be eating out, as restaurants tend to have gigantic portions.

​The hunger can be a problem, but it can be combated with drinking plenty of water. When you hydrate yourself sufficiently, you are able to avoid feeling too hungry. The real trick to avoiding the hunger is to just know that over time, your body will begin to adjust to the sensation and the hunger will stop being so intense. So day 1, you might feel like you are dying of starvation just from skipping two meals, but by the end of about two weeks, your body will adjust to it enough to where it’s not as intense as it once felt.

​If you’re looking for a great weight loss method that is low maintenance, this is the one for you. It might be a little harder to start, but in the long run, you will feel amazing and you’ll look great too!

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