I heard starving will slow down metabolism. Should I start intermittent fasting for weight loss?
Starvation mode and intermittent fasting are different. Starvation mode is when you eat too little. Intermittent fasting is just a diet pattern that you are following and it’s not about eating less. In fact, it is the most forgiving diet out there and sometimes you can get away with eating a little off your plan too when on it.
When you eat less than your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), you go into starvation mode and your body as a protective mechanism starts to store fat rather than burn it.
During an intermittent fast, you are still eating enough calories through the six-to-eight-hour eating window. After four days of fasting, your BMR goes up by 10 per cent. If you have weight to lose and are low on energy, fasting will force your body to access fat that is stored and after a week you will have more energy than ever.
It improves many biochemical systems in your body as well. Enough research has been done specifically on the hormone leptin (appetite control hormone) and glucose receptor IGF-1 to show that these get optimised in the right direction. It also helps our mitochondria regenerate and regulate our health.
Fasting helps to keep insulin levels low for a long period of time (between 14-18 hours based on the method you use). When our insulin is high, our body is constantly in fat-storing mode. When the levels go down, the body taps into our fat reserves for fat burning.
Also read: How do I lower high fasting insulin levels?
Just make sure you can make it part of your lifestyle, and don’t do ridiculously few hours of eating. This way it will become like just another fad diet you have tried in the past.
Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.