Intermittent fasting has become a health trend that has helped many start and maintain a lifestyle that leads to fat loss and achieving target body composition.
By timing meals and eating during feeding windows, fat loss or weight maintenance can become easier.
There have been studies that support claims that intermittent fasting helps with metabolic health and may even extend lifespan.
Intermittent fasting does not restrict the foods you eat. It gives you a way to control calories by reducing the time you eat and it can make caloric restriction easier. It is not really a diet, but more of a dietary pattern.
Water and non-caloric beverage consumption is encouraged during each fasting method.
There are a few ways that intermittent fasting is done
• 16/8 Method
This method involves scheduling your meals to be eaten in an 8-hour feeding window. This window typically starts four to five hours after waking.
Let us assume that you wake at 7 AM. Your first meal is then scheduled at 11 AM or Noon. You then eat the rest of your calories in one or more meals over the next 8 hours and fast until the following morning.
You will choose your eating window based on whatever works best on your schedule.
For someone starting a fasting routine, the 16:8 method may be an easier way to start.
• The 5:2 Diet
This is where you eat a maximum of 600 calories for two days in a week. You then eat normally for the other five days.
This method involves a 24-hour fast once or twice a week.
• Alternate Day Fasting
This method requires you to fast every other day.
One of the key benefits of intermittent fasting is fat loss when combined with an appropriate caloric restriction.
By restricting the time in which calories are consumed, you can enjoy larger meals during your feeding window and there are less opportunities to over eat.
Additionally, by reducing the periods of eating, there are less insulin spikes which may help to increase insulin sensitivity fighting off metabolic diseases like diabetes.
Is it right for me?
Intermittent fasting may be a poor choice for those who have a history of eating disorders. If you suspect or know you have an eating disorder, seek assistance from a medical professional.
Intermittent fasting does not appeal to everyone. Some people do not find the process enjoyable and are encouraged to find a style of eating that they can stick with in the long run.
For intermittent fasting or any other method of eating to be successful, eat minimally processed foods most of the time, drink lots of water, choose nutritionally dense foods, get quality sleep, exercise and manage your stress.
Last words on Intermittent Fasting
Seek medical advise whenever changing your diet. The lawyers made me say that.
You must control your daily calories to lose fat. Fasting alone will not cause fat loss.
You may choose any style of eating that you can stick to when fasting. Flexible dieting (IIFYM), Keto, low fat, low carbohydrate all work. It is your choice to use the method that works for you.
You do not need to be absolutely strict to eat only during your feeding window when life happens. Eat with friends or family if outside your feeding window. Fuel up for extraordinary strenuous physical activity.
Fasting is just a tool to help make fat loss more enjoyable.
Let us know if you have any questions on intermittent fasting.