Contrary to popular belief, there is more than one right way to eat. There are so many different, safe and effective diets that you can follow to lose weight. Some people enjoy a low carb diet while others get better results when they focus on eating whole foods. You may have heard of another type of diet called intermittent fasting. What is it? Well, that’s exactly what it sounds like: fast for different periods of time. So, can it help you lose weight?
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating pattern with an alternating period of eating and fasting. People have been fasting for years. Our ancestors hunted and searched for food, but for a few days, they had no food because they could find nothing. People also fast for religious reasons.
However, it is important to remember that fasting or intermittent fasting is never the same as starvation. Although fasting has many health benefits, starving can weaken the body and also lead to death.
So do not starve but fast!
Is it Safe?
This is one of the frequently asked questions about intermittent fasting and the general answer is yes. Intermittent fasting is completely safe for most healthy adults. Children, pregnant women, people with eating disorders and people with diseases such as HIV or cancer should not take part in intermittent fasting.
If you are interested in intermittent fasting, we recommend that your doctor approve it.
How Does This Work?
When you fast, your body goes through several changes to make your stored energy (body fat) more accessible for use. These include changes in your hormones which affect your metabolism. Here are three major hormones that undergo changes as they participate in intermittent fasting.
When you eat, your insulin increases, but fasting lowers insulin levels. Why is it important? Lower insulin levels increase the fat burning potential.
■ Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
This hormone increases during fasting and speeds up fat loss and muscle growth.
Studies have shown that norepinephrine is directly sent to the fat cells to break them during fasting periods to down in other to be used for energy. And the more broken down fat cells mean more fat loss!
The Most Popular Intermittent Fasting Methods
You can participate in intermittent fasting in various ways. Here are the three most popular methods.
The 16/8 Method
This is the most commonly used method. You fast for 16 hours a day and have an 8-hour feeding window. For example, you started eating at noon and stopped every day at 8 pm.
The 5/2 Method
With this method suggest that you can eat 500 to 600 calories two days a week, but the remaining five days you eat normally.
The Eat-Stop-Eat Method
This method is the hardest to do, it needs you to take part in one or two 24 hours fast every week.
Other Things To Consider
The foods you eat are still extremely important. Intermittent fasting still requires eating healthy and nutritious whole foods. Your diet should mainly include lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. This type of food keeps you as healthy as possible!
Calories Are Always Important
Do your best to eat as normal as possible during your meal. You may feel the desire to eat more, but excessive consumption can quickly set you back. Concentrate on consuming lots of protein and soluble fibre to fill your stomach!
Consistency Is The Key
Your body may take a while to adjust to fasting. Be patient and try to eat at the same time every day. If you want to see the results, you need to be consistent over a long period of time. If you are committed to it long enough, it will get easier.
So can intermittent fasting help you lose weight? Although it did not work for everyone, it turned out to be a very effective way to lose weight for others! Intermittent fasting can be valuable to those of us who have a busy schedule or are struggling with a lack of daily appetite.
Weight loss boils down to calories IN and calories OUT. If you eat less than you expend, you will lose weight. It does not matter if you eat once or six meals a day: just do can is right for you. After all, the best diet is the one that you are committed to the long run.