Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss and Fat Loss
Intermittent Fasting is a approach to eating which involves skipping eating meals anywhere from 14 to 36 consecutive hours. Intermittent Fasting has been shown to be very effective for weight loss, fat loss, muscle building and weight management.
Intermittent Fasting works, proponents believe, because the dieter eats less in one week than they normally would. And any time a person eats fewer calories than he/she burns, that person should lose weight.
Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting include:
- Maintenance of skeletal muscle mass
- Decreased blood glucose(blood sugar) levels
- Decreased insulin levels and increased insulin sensitivity
- Increased lipolysis (breakdown of fats) and fat oxidation
- Increased growth hormone levels, which preserves muscle mass
There are a few types of approaches to fasting, but the 16/8 is probably the easiest and most sustainable. Check out all of the most popular fasting methods below.
16/8 Intermittent Fasting Method
This method involves fasting each day for at least 16 hours. For this method to work, you’ll need to restrict your daily food intake to at most 8 hours. At first, this may seem challenging, but the fact that you are not limited to what time of day you can start or stop eating, means that you can simply eat food in the early evening, and then wait until noon to take more.
For example, if you usually eat your last meal at 9pm, then you avoid eating food until 1pm the next day. You may however, take coffee or water which will trick your body into thinking you are full. In addition to this, it is recommended that you eat healthy meals during the eating period. This is the fasting method that I use, especially on days that I don’t lift weight or do cardio. Here as a example of my fasting schedule.
The 5/2 Diet
This method requires that you eat food as you normally do, but restricting intake to 500-600 calories, every two days of the week. You can choose any two days of the week to watch your calorie intake.
Eat, Stop and Then Eat
This method requires that you eat normally, but fast for at least 24 hours once or twice each week. For instance, if you usually take your last meal at 8pm, and you avoid eating until 7pm the next day, you’ll have fasted for 24 hours.
While it might take some getting used to, this method has proven very effective in weight loss. You get to choose the day and time to start fasting, mostly based on your lifestyle. If you usually work on weekdays and need the energy to perform, then you can fast on the weekends or other days when you are not to busy.
In this case, you may also drink coffee, water or other non-caloric foods.
Alternate Day Fasting
This method involves fasting (not eating) every other day and can help in weight loss. Basically, what you need to do is fast whenever you are in a position. This method might prove difficult for beginners since it requires a lot of will power to go about.
The Warrior Diet
This is another method that has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years. You are required to eat raw vegetables and fruits during the day, and then eat huge meals during the night.
Small amounts of raw veggies and fruits will give you the energy you need to go about your day, while the meals taken at night will provide your body with the nutrients it requires to keep you going.
Skipping meals time to time might also prove helpful in your fitness goals. Choose random meals to skip every now and then, making sure you eat healthy foods when you finally eat. You get to decide whether to skip breakfast or any other meals your body is used to.
The following video broadly compares several of the most prominent intermittent fasting methods, and provides some guidelines on which method may be best for you.
Final Tips for Fasting
- Stay Hydrated by drinking plenty of water – Staying well hydrated will make the fasting periods much easier to get through, Fasting Guru Brad Pilon says.
- Spend most of your time fasting through overnight sleep – Throw yourself a bone and aim to fast through the night, so that you’re (hopefully) sleeping during at least eight of those hours.
- Fasting = taking a break from eating, not starvation – “Think of fasting as taking a break from eating,” Pilon says, not as a period of deprivation. It can be a way to break up the monotony of worrying about what you need to eat next and when. This is the mindset that will allow you do follow a fasting plan long-term, he says.
- Be Consistent and Stat Immediately – It may seem counterintuitive, but the best plan is often to start when you’re busy — not on a day when you’ll be sitting on the couch wanting to snack.
- Performing Strength Training and Cardio while doing Intermittent Fasting will help maximize your results – Pairing intermittent fasting with consistent exercise will help you get better results. “It doesn’t have to be hardcore or crazy; it can be something as simple as a full-body strength training routine two or three times per week,” Shanks says.
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