What Does Metabolism Mean | How Does Fasting Affect Metabolism | Does Fasting Slows Down Your Metabolism | Is It Okay To Skip Meals | Why Do People Gain Weight Even While Fasting
Intermittent Fasting is an eating or fasting pattern that includes restricting food for certain hours and then consuming foods for a defined number of hours. It is proven to be a choice for a healthy lifestyle. We have all heard about the benefits of intermittent fasting and seen many fitness enthusiasts talk about it.
However, there is also a lot of miscommunication regarding fasting and metabolism. We also see a lot of concern regarding fasting metabolism and how intermittent fasting can slow down one’s metabolism.
This article will answer the big question, ‘does intermittent fasting slow metabolism?’ Let us see what the studies have to say.
What Exactly Does Metabolism Mean?
Understanding metabolism is essential for understanding intermittent fasting and metabolism. Metabolism is a series of chemical reactions carried out by the cells to convert food into energy. The breakdown of nutrients in the body can also be considered the calorie-burning process. When you have given your body more calories than it needs, this energy will be stored as fats.
The term BMR or basal metabolic rate calculates how many calories a person burns at rest. So, people with low BMR will burn fewer calories, and people with high BMR will burn more calories with the same food.
How Does Fasting Affect Metabolism?
Now the question is, what is the relation of BMR with intermittent fasting metabolism? When a person fasts for a long time, their body starts to find alternative ways to create that energy which it was earlier getting from food. So, the body will now begin to scout for glucose stores in the liver. When that runs out, your body will now turn to your fat cells to burn ketones. This process is called ketosis. So, now your body will be using the fat in the body to create energy.
Now, as far as metabolism is concerned, intermittent fasting will not slow down your metabolism; it is seen in several studies that actually fasting increases the metabolism in most subjects.
According to scientists, intermittent fasting increases the release of norepinephrine, a hormone that helps the fat cells release fatty acids. The more norepinephrine is released into your blood, the more the body will burn fat.
Also, intermittent fasting has been linked with regulating insulin levels in the body. Insulin plays a huge role in the basal metabolic rate and has the job of telling your body when to store fat and when to break down fat. The higher the insulin levels, the slower fat burning is. Hence, when your insulin levels are regulated, BMR increases, which means your metabolism gets faster.
So, does fasting boost metabolism? Yes, fasting will boost your metabolism to a certain degree. However, you need to eat enough calories per your daily requirement. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can reduce your weight sustainably. The lost weight stays lost and does not come back as long as you do not reduce the amount of food you eat and are momentarily starving yourself.
Fasting Slows Down Your Metabolism – Is It a Myth?
Fasting has always been believed to be equivalent to starvation. People often equate fasting to a lack of food in the body, and any lack of food in the body reduces the body’s metabolic rate. If you do not give your body enough food for longer durations, it will surely start to slow down its metabolic rate and start operating at a lower power.
However, once the everyday foods are introduced into the body, this metabolic rate will stay the same, and you will end up gaining weight. So, if we equate fasting with starvation or eating calories 15-50% less than the body requires, the metabolic rate goes down.
But, intermittent fasting is different. In this, you eat healthy foods and follow an eating and fasting pattern. So, you are not starving your body, and hence it will not activate the defence response and starvation mode.
So, does fasting slow your metabolism? No, intermittent fasting does not slow down metabolism; however, starvation and eating fewer calories than your daily requirement does. On the other hand, intermittent fasting either increases the metabolic rate or keeps it stable.
Is It Okay To Skip Meals?
When you practice the 16/8 intermittent fasting, there is a chance that you miss out on one meal of the day. Most people skip breakfast. It has always been ingrained in our brains that eating three meals a day is the standard way of eating. However, this is highly subjective. Eating three times a day can work for some people and not for others. So, as long as you reach your goal of healthy calorie intake throughout the day, no research says that having breakfast or three meals a day is the norm and should not be changed.
To know more about the right way of following intermittent fasting, read – A Complete Guide To Intermittent Fasting + Daily Plan & Schedule.
Why Do People Gain Weight Even While Fasting?
People who gain weight during intermittent fasting are not doing the fast right. There are a lot of times when people tend to overeat and do not follow a healthy eating pattern. Intermittent fasting does not recommend binge eating or a sedentary lifestyle. You need to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle and eat just enough calories to meet your daily needs.
To Sum Up
So, we have successfully answered the question- does intermittent fasting slow down your metabolism. If Intermittent Fasting is done the right way, there will be no change in the metabolism, or the metabolism rate will improve. However, if you start starving your body, intermittent fasting or not, you will hurt your metabolism and slow it down.
A proper meal plan can help you follow intermittent fasting the right way and get results faster. Click here to get your 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan, which will help you follow this fast healthily and conveniently. Our tasty and healthy recipes and weekly shopping list will make your intermittent fasting effortless and result-oriented.