Yes, you can look and feel good during the dreaded un-diet friendly holiday season. The FastBeach Diet uncovers how Intermittent Fasting, or “IF” (consuming a quarter of your normal caloric intake, twice a week), leads to weight loss.
What people sometimes forget in their drive to “lose weight” is what they really want to lose is not weight as such, but fat. Carrying excess fat is not just a bummer on the beach; it’s bad for your health. Here’s what we know about the effect IF has on fat:
• It achieves a gradual weight loss—and it’s almost all fat.
• It increases fat burn. More of the calories you use for fuel during a fast come from fat stores than muscle. A study from Nottingham University found that the proportion of energy obtained from fat rose progressively over 12–72 hours of fasting, until almost all the energy being used was coming from stored fat.
• When we eat, we use the carbohydrates and fat supplied by the food for fuel, instead of tapping into our stored fat reserves. Constant grazing may be what’s keeping fat from being burned—and fasting is one way to release it.
• Interestingly, the heavier you are, the more likely it is that fasting will lead to substantial fat loss with muscle being spared.
• A bonus for Intermittent Fasters is that it seems to lead not just to fat loss generally, but specifically to fat loss around the gut—this is the visceral fat and is particularly dangerous because it increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
• One reason why it’s important to preserve as much muscle mass as possible is that muscle is metabolically active. Lean tissue burns calories, even at rest.