For a very long time, we have been told that frequent small meals throughout the day is the best way to lose weight.
Unfortunately, this tactic doesn’t seem to be working. In 2017, the weight loss market was worth 66 billion. But obesity in America affected 42% of the population according to the CDC. From 1999 to 2018, obesity went from affecting 30% of the population to 42%.
These are troubling statistics. Clearly, something is wrong. Much has to do with the fact that many people never take a break from eating. They have an eating window of over 15 hours.
Then immediately wake up and have breakfast, starting the vicious cycle all over again.
No wonder obesity is such a problem. By eating constantly we’re always giving the body opportunities to ingest more calories.
Constant Digestion Creates Havoc in the Body
Most people think that digestion starts in the stomach. But it actually starts in the mouth. Food then stays in the stomach for 4-5 hours before going to the small and large intestine. This process takes 6-8 hours. So if you’re constantly eating you never give your body the chance to be in a fasted state.
The benefits of fasting include:
- Weight/body fat loss
- The ability to maintain lost weight easier
- Increased focus and clarity (after an adjustment period)
- More stable insulin and blood sugar levels. This helps prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Constant eating can impair your body in the following ways:
- Causes gas and bloating. Eating quickly without mindfulness also causes this problem.
- The disruption of your hunger regulation. Ghrelin is a hormone that signals hunger. Leptin the hormone that tells you when you’re full. Constant eating throws these hormones out of balance. You’ll want to eat when it’s not needed.
- You have a higher chance of being obese. Obesity is a major culprit of diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
When you eat frequently your blood sugar spikes. “False” feelings of hunger are the result. A break from eating allows your hormones to stabilize. It forces your body to use its fat stores for energy.
Any Break Longer Than 12 Hours Causes Your Body To Start Going Into a Fasted State
At first, taking a break from eating longer than eight hours may seem overwhelming. But consider that for most of that time you’ll be sleeping.
It’s generally agreed upon in the scientific community that after 12 hours the body switches to a fasted state. You start to burn fat instead of glucose for energy. Keep in mind that the body will always use its glucose stores first.
The longer that your body is fasted the more efficiently it’ll burn fat.
Other benefits of fasting longer than 12 hours include:
- An increase in the secretion of the human growth hormone (HGH). HGH promotes weight loss, enhances metabolism, and helps with strength.
- More stable blood pressure.
- The process of autophagy starts. Autophagy literally means “self-eating” your damaged and diseased cells.
- Reduction of inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of almost all diseases like cancer and arthritis.
By simply not eating you allow your body to start self-healing. Many health problems can be avoided or resolved by following an intermittent fasting protocol.
Practice Sporadic Eating To Get the Best Results From Fasting
The most popular way to start is to fast for 16 hours and having an eight-hour eating window. But this isn’t necessary to start reaping the benefits.
Any break from eating over 12 hours will help you lose weight and improve your health. You also don’t have to fast every day to see results.
Start by fasting 4-5 days a week.
Fast no longer than 14 hours the first few weeks. This will help you get adjusted to fasting. Try not to have the same eating times every day. Mix things up every once and a while.
Many fail when they start fasting because they’re too strict with their fasting and eating windows. They fast too much in the beginning. This is a big reason why long-term compliance is hard to obtain.
By being kind to yourself and open to making mistakes (learning), you’ll be successful with fasting for years to come.
Here’s a Guide That’ll Help You With Hunger As You Build Your Practice
Download the Stop Hunger Guide. Implement the 5 tips suggested. You’ll see a positive change in a short period of time.