Intermittent fasting or low calorie diets
Do you want to lose pounds and measurements, but there is so much information that you don't know which one to decide on? Here we are going to face two food systems that are always in the fore: intermittent fasting or low-calorie diets.
Do not take lightly how to eat to lose weight; especially if you don't have a guide.
Keep reading to learn more about both options. You could find the answer you were waiting for to reach your goal.
Two very different options for the same goal
First of all, let's look at two super simple definitions:
- Intermittent fasting involves completely abstaining from food for several hours, before eating regularly again.
- A low calorie diet is a dietary regimen in which you reduce the amount of food you eat from morning to night.
Many people think that intermittent fasting is effective because it reduces calories. But that's not true!
Fasting requires planning and, when eating, you have to give your body all the calories it needs to generate energy.
In fact, eating little during eating windows is one of the reasons why many go hungry while fasting, lose energy, have ailments, and don't see the results they expect.
It is proven that fasting causes beneficial hormonal changes for the body, which do not happen when food is eaten constantly.
Instead, science has found that cutting calories is 98% fail-safe.
Or have you not noticed that few people stay slim in the long term when they are on a restrictive diet?... Let me explain it to you.
Where low calorie diets fail
If a low calorie diet doesn't work for you in the long term it's not because you skipped the diet one day or didn't train enough during the week. So stop blaming yourself.
So, where does this type of diet go wrong? We explain it to you in 3 steps:
- When people start to restrict calories, body fat decreases.
- The brain goes into alarm mode and tries to make up for the fat it lost because that's where it gets its energy from.
- The hunger hormone (ghrelin) is activated, which causes a great desire to eat so that the lost fat returns.
When you submit to this perverse system, it is almost impossible not to fall into greedy temptations, due to physiological hunger.
This is why, by starting a strict low-calorie , low-calorie diet, you start to lose weight very quickly. But over time, you stagnate and even gain more weight even if you follow your diet.
Other consequences of calorie-restricted diets
Many studies have been conducted to determine the physiological and psychological effects of prolonged dietary restriction.
The results are overwhelming and show why a restrictive diet does not help at all to achieve a healthy weight over time.
- They generate severe emotional distress and depression.
- A constant preoccupation with food appears
- Concentration, comprehension, and judgment abilities are lost.
- They subtract energy.
- It does not address the problem of insulin resistance and high levels of this hormone.
- Basal metabolism decreases, therefore, symptoms appear, such as more hunger, tiredness, cold, among others.
What does intermittent fasting have that low-calorie diets don't?
The hormonal changes that occur in the body with intermittent fasting are completely different from those of a hypocaloric diet.
Fasting manages to decrease appetite because the body "eats" body fat so as not to be on alert or cause excessive hunger.
It also addresses the problem of long-term insulin resistance.
Here are some facts:
- In a randomized trial of 107 overweight young women, caloric restriction was compared to fasting for six months.
- One group did a 25% food restriction, similar to the portion control strategy.
- The second group restricted their food intermittently. All were allowed a normal intake 5 days a week, but only 25% of their usual calories 2 days a week.
Regarding weight and fat loss, the differences were not that great between the two systems.
But there were in insulin resistance, one of the key factors driving obesity and weight gain.
Well, fasting provided a substantial improvement in insulin levels and resistance. The caloric restriction group did not obtain any improvement in this regard.
So, intermittent fasting or low-calorie diets?
Here we are not going to give you a definitive answer, because each body is different and has its own conditions.
But while intermittent fasting may not suit everyone, it could be concluded that cutting calories in one fell swoop will bring you more pain than glory.
On the other hand, a practice of intermittent fasting, well applied, allows you to eat what you want in the quantities that your body needs to function at 100%.
Of course, to see real results you must opt for healthy, natural foods with all the macronutrients.
It will be of little or no use for you to spend many hours without eating if you eat a lot of trans fats or processed sugar during the eating window.
Also, you must take into account your goal. If you want to lose weight, eat the right portions; and if you want to increase muscle mass , eat between 10 and 15% more than what your body normally requires.