Fasting can help you burn some serious fat, according to the latest research from University of Alabama at Birmingham.
A new practice called “intermittent fasting” is now sweeping the nation because of its effectiveness in weight loss and numerous other health benefits.
In order to understand the concept of fasting while still eating every day, it is important to understand how our metabolism works.
It takes most people around 8-12 hours for the body to burn sugar to glycogen. Most people do not deplete their glycogen storage because they eat 3 meals or more a day. This gets our bodies used to burning sugar as our primary source of energy rather than fat. So in order for intermittent fasting to help with weight loss, the fast must be at least eight hours, which is much easier than a full day fast.
The new study found that when participants consumed all their calories within a 6-hour window (8 AM to 2 PM), they burned 6 percent more calories compare to those on a regular eating schedule.
“It kind of makes sense,” said Courtney Peterson, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Your body’s fat-burning ability peaks after you’ve been fasting for 12 to 14 hours.”
As written in Live Science:
While the study found no difference in weight loss between the two trials, Peterson said that there was a nearly 13-hour period, mostly at night, when fat-burning levels were elevated in participants who ate their calories within the 6-hour window.
For people who want to start fasting, Peterson recommends starting with a 9-hour window of eating, and gradually working down hour by hour to a 6-hour window.