Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?

Losing weight can be difficult, but it’s almost as hard to choose a weight loss method as it is to lose weight. One diet option that’s been getting a lot of attention lately is intermittent fasting. But what is intermittent fasting? How does it work? Is it safe? Here’s what you need to know.

Intermittent Fasting

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting involves eating only between certain hours of the day and fasting the rest of the time. The length of the fast is up to you and should be based on what works best for your body.

Some beginning intermittent fasters only fast for 14 hours, so they eat between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm. Others prefer a longer period and may fast for up to 18 hours per day. That might mean that you would eat only between 12 pm and 6 pm on any given day.


Is Intermittent Fasting Safe?

One of the most common questions about this type of weight loss is:

Is intermittent fasting safe?

That’s an important question to ask. A fast that lasted for days would not be safe. Depriving your body of food can slow your metabolism. However, a plan of IF has some significant benefits.

Of course, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start any new weight loss. Intermittent fasting may not be a good choice for people who have diabetes or for women with hormonal imbalances.


Will Intermittent Fasting Help Me Lose Weight?

The real concern about any weight loss plan is whether it works. There’s evidence to suggest that IF is more effective than many other diet plans.

An article in Time Magazine cited studies that show that people who used intermittent fasting to lose weight:

  • Lost more weight than their counterparts on traditional diets
  • Were less likely to “drop out” of fasting than a traditional diet
  • Experienced improvements in body fat percentage and insulin sensitivity

While it may not work for everybody, there’s plenty of data to support IF as an effective weight loss method.


Pros & Cons of Intermittent Fasting

Like any weight loss plan, intermittent fasting has pros and cons. 

Pros

  • IF lowers cancer risk
  • IF can improve cardiac health
  • People who try IF lose more weight than those on traditional diets
  • IF can curb cravings
  • IF lowers blood sugar

Cons

  • Fasting for 14-18 hours a day may be too much for some people
  • For some people, fasting can cause hormonal imbalances

Consulting your doctor will help you determine if intermittent fasting is right for you.


Conclusion

If you’ve struggled to lose weight, intermittent fasting might be the answer you’ve been seeking. It’s safe for most people and can help you cut calories without feeling hungry.