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Trying to Lose Weight? 2 Reasons to Try Intermittent Fasting

Weight loss
Whether you frequent health blogs or you peruse social media a few times a day, you might have noticed an uptick in people talking about intermittent fasting. This long-studied practice, heralded in some countries for its health benefits, consists of intentionally refraining from meals after periods of feasting to alter chemical balances in the body and lose weight.

This guide lists two reasons you should talk with your doctor about using intermittent fasting to lose weight today.

1. Burn Fat Instead of Sugar Stores

When you eat, your body breaks down your food into its basic building blocks to fuel your cells and give you energy. However, since many people eat more than they need to, the body is hardwired to store the calories you don't need as sugar in the liver and as fat throughout the body, including around your organs. As fat accumulates, it can cause a long list of problems, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, gout, and sleep apnea.

Unfortunately, because the body calls on its stores of glycogen in the liver long before it burns through your fat to fuel your body, constantly overeating perpetuates weight problems. Even if people cut their calories and exercise more, they still have to burn through their entire store of sugar in their liver before they start losing fat, making it difficult to lose weight.

This is where intermittent fasting comes in — intermittent fasting allows people to burn through those sugar stores quickly, shifting the body's chemistry to fat-burning mode. Various methods of intermittent fasting are used, including eating only 8 hours a day and fasting for 16. The method is incredibly effective at burning body weight, with research showing people who fasted intermittently lost an average of between 3% and 8% of their body weight over a period of 3 to 24 weeks.

As an added bonus, since intermittent fasting lowers your overall insulin levels for long periods of time, it helps people to keep the weight off after they have reached their goal weight. Experts explain that insulin works like a body weight thermostat, returning your body to a set weight that might be higher than you like. However, fasting seems to lower this set weight, making it easier to maintain weight loss.

2. No Calorie Counting

Oftentimes, one of the reasons people hate dieting and exercising is the mundane task of keeping track of meals and counting calories. However, intermittent fasting completely eliminates the action of counting calories, since this method approaches weight loss in a biochemical way instead of the physics-based calorie approach.

Instead, experts in intermittent fasting assume that people will eat more than they might normally after fasts are over, and explain that it doesn't matter. Since the person will still have the opportunity to burn through their sugar stores during their fasting period, calorie counting becomes unnecessary.

Also, intermittent fasting is easier for people to follow, since all they have to remember to do is skip meals. Instead of trying to decide what to prepare, what to order, or how to categorize different nutrients, intermittent fasting is simple, fast, and easy to keep track of. Since intermittent fasting is free, it helps save people money on pricey diet programs and pills, while also eliminating stress.

No matter what your weight loss journey consists of, it is always a good idea to meet with a doctor before you begin. Here at Cedar Grove Medical Associates, we help our patients with a wide range of issues, including weight management and diabetes control. Stop by our office today to schedule an appointment, and start on the road to better health.