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Intermittent fasting has become a popular weight loss method in recent years, with many supporters claiming that it not only helps to lose weight but also boosts metabolism, among other claimed benefits.
However, is there any scientific evidence to support these claims or is it just another hopeless trend that promises one thing and delivers another?
In this article, we will be diving deep into the science behind intermittent fasting, particularly as it pertains to weight loss and metabolism. More specifically, we’ll explore the research on the effects of intermittent fasting on metabolism to identify whether or not the claims are justified.
Before we dive deep into intermittent fasting and metabolism, however, let’s debunk a few common myths surrounding boosting one’s metabolism. While there’s a lot of information out there, not all of it is valid or trustworthy.
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There are many myths surrounding metabolism and weight loss that have been circulating for years.
These myths can lead individuals to make unproductive and unsafe choices in their diets and exercise regimens. In this article section, we will debunk some of the most common metabolism-boosting myths to help clear up confusion and provide accurate information.
It is a common belief that eating small meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism running at a higher rate and help you lose weight. However, this is not entirely true. The number of meals you eat during the day does not affect your metabolism, but rather it is the number of overall calories you consume over the day. Eating small meals throughout the day may help with weight loss by preventing overeating for some people, but it does not boost metabolism.
There are many foods that are marketed as metabolism boosters, such as spicy foods, green tea, and caffeine. While these foods may have some effects on metabolism, they are not a magic solution to weight loss. In fact, spicy foods, green tea and caffeine, have minimal effects on metabolism. Weight loss is more dependent on food (calorie) intake and caloric expenditure.
Also Read: Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Weight Loss?
Eating breakfast is often mentioned as a way to boost metabolism and kick-start weight loss. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim. While eating breakfast can be beneficial for weight loss, it is not because it boosts metabolism. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating breakfast had no significant effect on metabolism or weight loss.
Forcing yourself to eat breakfast can end up causing you to overeat and thus result in weight gain. This is the opposite of what you want!
This study published by the British Medical Journal summarizes all the research on the link between breakfast and body weight.
Green tea is often marketed as a metabolism booster and weight loss aid. While green tea does contain antioxidants and caffeine, which can have slight effects on metabolism, the effects are not significant enough to promote weight loss. A review of 12 studies published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that green tea had a minimal effect on weight loss.
While some foods, drinks and habits may have small effects on metabolism, they are not magic solutions to weight loss. The most effective way to lose weight and boost metabolism is through a combination of regular exercise and a healthy, balanced and calorie-controlled diet.
It is important to be mindful of misinformation and to always consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine.
Metabolism refers to the set of chemical reactions that occur in the body to maintain life, which includes the conversion of food into energy. A faster metabolism is often associated with weight loss as the body burns more calories.
Proponents of intermittent fasting claim that it boosts metabolism by increasing the production of human growth hormone (HGH) and norepinephrine, which are involved in fat-burning and weight loss.
However, research on the effects of intermittent fasting on metabolism is still in its early stages and the results have been mixed.
Also Read: Intermittent Fasting Side Effects
The claims that intermittent fasting boost metabolism don’t just come out of thin air; they come from both anecdotal evidence and research-backed evidence. As such, there must be some validity to the claim, right? As we noted earlier, research on this so far has found mixed results.
Some studies have found that intermittent fasting may boost metabolism and increase the number of calories burned at rest. Others, however, have found no significant difference in metabolic rate between those who fast and those who do not.
A study published in 2014 showed that intermittent fasting contributed to a 3-8% total reduction in body weight which would suggest that metabolism had something to do with that. Further, another study published that same year showed that long-term intermittent fasting can boost HGH levels and metabolism by 14% in men.
At the same time, there are contradictory studies that show little to no significant result in metabolism or weight loss. A study published in 2007 found that intermittent fasting did not result in any significant changes in metabolic rate in overweight men or women.
It is important to note, as well, that weight loss is not solely dependent on metabolism but also on calorie intake and the type of foods you eat. While intermittent fasting may help to decrease total calorie intake by limiting the time during which you are able to eat, it may not result in a statistically significant shift in metabolism.
At the end of the day, it is worth asking if we really care about whether IF boosts metabolism so long as it helps with weight loss? And here the science is clear that IF does seem to help with weight loss.
The research findings on whether intermittent fasting boosts metabolism are not conclusive. This isn’t to suggest that intermittent fasting does not boost metabolism or aid in weight loss. In fact, it likely does help with weight loss. It just means that we are unable to conclusively back these claims about it boosting metabolism and more evidence is needed before we do so.
The practical point for you is that there’s no denying that intermittent fasting has the potential, if executed safely and effectively, to help with weight loss. It is certainly much more effective than most fad diets out there that have no scientific support and make ridiculous weight-loss claims.
So, if you are embarking on a weight loss journey, eager to find the best tools and techniques to aid in your progress, certainly consider intermittent fasting as a valid alternative to most diets out there.
Weight loss isn’t about starvation but about sustainability and longevity. While most diets don’t boast either of these characteristics, intermittent fasting does, making it a much more reliable approach than most. This is why we guide many people who are part of the Daily9 weight loss program to do intermittent fasting in a safe and effective manner.
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