The winds of Springtime are upon us, and those fitness resolutions from January haunt our days. Celebrity magazines are awash with miraculous weight-loss stories from the apparently effortless process of intermittent fasting. In the last decade this tactic has gained enormous popularity as an easy pathway for weight reduction, improved energy, and mental clarity. Yet we must look at scientific research to discover the truth behind these claims.
A recent article published in Nutrition and Healthy Aging explores the hype via a pilot study with the University of Illinois at Chicago. Twenty-three overweight participants agreed to a daily water-only 8-hour fast for 12 weeks. Researchers discovered several promising outcomes including weight loss and reduced blood pressure, without any intentional calorie counting or restriction.
In 2017, researchers from the University of Florida investigated the physiological response to intermittent fasting and discovered a powerful metabolic switch that occurs after 8+ hours of fasting. This metabolic switch enables the body to metabolize fatty acids as opposed to glucose, preserving muscle mass, and producing fatty acid-derived ketones in the brain and blood stream. An exciting bonus is that as your brain burns ketones instead of glucose you will experience a significant boost in mental clarity and cognitive processing. What does that mean for you and me? Yes, intermittent fasting works! Even just 8 hours without food intake can help your body achieve that metabolic switch, and pushing for 10, 12, or even 14 hours of fasting will increase your body’s ability to burn fat as fuel and empower your brain for a successful day. Dinner at 6pm, breakfast at 8am…BAM, an effortless way to think faster and feel better!
Check out the original research: