When I began taking a strong interest in losing weight and getting lean, I wanted to find out what tricking your metabolism was all about. Like most people, I knew that a person’s metabolism was associated with weight loss and burning calories in some way, but besides that, I really didn’t have a clue.
It wasn’t until I began doing some real research on the subject that I found that most people get caught up in the misconceptions of how their metabolism works and as a result, they get fed up and claim that they just can’t lose weight.
Well, for me, I’ve found that intermittent fasting is probably the most effective method to tricking your body without being too complicated, time consuming, or difficult to do consistently.
By Confusing Your Metabolism, You Burn Stubborn Stored Fat
Initially, I didn’t even have an idea why anyone would want to start screwing up their metabolism. I thought,
Isn’t that a bad thing to start messing up your bodily processes?
Maybe I would come out fatter than ever, ready to try out for the sumo nationals.
But what’s interesting about metabolism manipulation is that it allows you to trick your body into thinking it’s in a situation that requires you to burn an excess of calories. These are calories that your body normally wouldn’t even touch because there’s usually such an abundance.
Plus, these calories that your system suddenly craves can be targeted to come from stored fat as opposed to food that you normally eat every few hours.
Eating 5-6 Meals A Day Postpones Access To Your Fat Stores
5-6 small meals each day is a common routine for eating when you talk about speeding up your metabolism. The problem is, when you’re constantly feeding yourself throughout the entire day, the first calories that get burned are the ones you just ate.
It’s difficult to burn stored fat when eating a bunch of small meals throughout the day because you’re providing such a steady stream of energy for your body to utilize. It almost renders the metabolism-boost that you receive from it insignificant.
However, I won’t completely stomp on the 5-6 small meals idea. A secondary goal of this method is to indirectly create a calorie deficit where you’re eating less at each meal. If you were to limit each meal to small portions, you could definitely see favorable results.
[Brad Pilon of Eat Stop Eat answers a general question about fasting throughout the week.]
Intermittent Fasting Forces Your Body To Use Stored Fat For Energy
Intermittent fasting is a routine of alternation between regularly eating and not eating for an extended period of time and it’s often referred to as a more extreme version of tricking your metabolism calorie shifting. Calorie shifting is when you simply vary the number of calories you consume from day to day.
When you fast, there are no new calories being introduced and you begin to feel hunger pains. These hunger pains are just a signal that your metabolism is now turning to stored body fat to replenish energy and keep you alive.
Most people believe that depriving ourselves of calories for 24 hours can trigger a stand-still starvation mode where our bodies suddenly cling to our fat stores and bring our metabolisms to a crawl.
While our bodies do eventually go into starvation mode, this doesn’t happen within a day. Our bodies have developed to be able to last without food for long periods, but by tracking your metabolism processes over a period of days, you would begin to see your body becoming more stubborn to lose weight as time goes on.
Fasting Creates A Sizable Calorie Deficit
It’s actually true that any diet that creates a calorie deficit (decrease in average caloric intake) will cause you to lose weight. Fasting just creates a larger deficit in chunks as opposed to small decreases at every meal.
A benefit of these large sudden calorie deficits is how they affect your leptin levels. Leptin levels increase after periods of high calorie eating, which is typically an average person’s (me) daily consumption.
These leptin levels are attributed to faster metabolization and when you suddenly trick your metabolism by decreasing your calories, your high leptin levels retain for a few hours giving you a more effective window of extra fat-burning power. After this period, you can expect your leptin levels to level off once again.
What Are Some Effective Fasting Strategies?
Most fasting strategies are effective as long as the periods without food are not too long (over 24 hours) and fasting occurs at least twice a week. This way your leptin levels stay relatively high at all times, and the benefits of the fast are consistently strong.
There are really three ways to incorporate a fast into your life:
- Have one meal per day (24 hour calorie deficit)
- Cut out breakfast throughout the week (14-16 hour calorie deficit)
- Do a combination of the two
If you’re a day-to-day thinker, you might be more inclined to cut out random meals and do a series of 16 hour deficits throughout the week. For those that focus on the entire week, planning entire fasting days could be easier for you to follow through with.
Dieting This Way Makes Tricking Your Metabolism Simpler
I do a combination of cutting out random meals and entire days throughout the week and I’ve been very happy with the results. In my first two weeks of starting an eating plan like this for the first time, I lost 6 pounds. Granted half of that was probably water weight, but I had never before been able to drop that kind of weight in such a short period.
The reason fasting is my personal fat-loss method is because I don’t really have to change what I eat. It’s more about when and how much. And other benefits include resistance to insulin and an increase in HGH levels.
It just makes more sense to me when dieting appears this simple.P.S. If you're interested in the diet that I use when I want to get particularly lean, it's Eat Stop Eat. It's very progressive, and probably not like anything you've tried before.