Losing weight is the right decision to make when you feel the excess pounds are hindering your day-to-day activities. It’s your best chance to ward of morbid diseases in the future and to feel and look good. Physical activity can keep your body energetic and in the same way, diet is equally important to provide your body just the right amount of fuel to run its functions. Of late, intermittent fasting and ketogenic diet are gaining huge popularity because of the way they help people in shedding weight. You can read more about ketogenic diet here. Intermittent fasting helps to lose weight without burning muscle mass and you wouldn’t have to deal with sagging skin either. Intermittent fasting also reduces inflammation and is a therapeutic way to lose weight.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting consists of a fasting and feasting period with a long fasting period and a comparatively shorter feeding window. Intermittent fasting does not stop you from eating what you want; on the contrary, you can eat whatever you want albeit, only during the “feeding window.” More and more people are switching to healthy lifestyle and to intermittent fasting because of its multi-pronged health benefits. Intermittent fasting not only helps to lose weight, it is therapeutic as well by controlling insulin spikes, by regulating blood sugar levels, detoxing the body, and reducing overall inflammation. During the fasting period, the body goes into a healing and repairing mode. You will notice increased mental alertness and improved stamina with such type of dieting. In fact, intermittent fasting is not a new fad. All the major religions of the world advocate periods of fasting for spiritual purification, but science has proved beyond doubt that intermittent fasting does more than spiritual detox. It helps you lose weight without causing any side effects.
Why to Choose Intermittent Fasting over other Weight Loss Methods?
Intermittent fasting is not a dieting technique, in fact, it’s a major lifestyle one can make to improve overall health and the bonus is that you can lose some weight in the process. It doesn’t limit to what you should eat and what you should avoid, intermittent fasting is all about when you eat. The 16:8 hour fast in a day and 24-hour fasting twice a week are the most popular time patterns that people often choose to lose weight. Intermittent fasting is the most healthiest and therapeutic ways to lose weight because it also helps a lot of lifestyle disease like diabetes, blood pressure at bay. Also, since you do not lose lean mass, there are less chances of saggy skin.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Weight Loss?
When you are fasting through a major portion of the day, your calorie intake automatically and drastically reduces and that would result in calorie deficit, leading to rapid weight loss. During long periods of fasting, your body starts to use up stored up glycogen and sugar and then reaches to fat stores to fuel itself for day-to-day activities. When fat stores are utilized, one automatically loses fat including stubborn fat like belly fat.
What are the Different Types of Intermittent Fasting?
Now, let’s get this out of the way. These are the popular ways or patterns of intermittent fasting that one can adapt to according to their preference.
- 16/8 method: In this method, one needs to fast for 16 hours each day with a feeding period of 8 hours. 16/8 fast means that 16 hours of the day is the time you fast and deprive your body of any kind of food and consume any food during the 8-hour eating window. It depends totally on an individual how he/she fits this 8-hour window in a day. This is the most do-able type of fasting and most people follow this pattern of intermittent fasting. In this type of fasting, people skip breakfast and eat only two meals a day. For example, if you finish your last meal at 9 pm and then don’t eat until 1 in the afternoon the next day, then you have fasted for 16 hours in a day.
- 5:2 diet: This kind of a fasting involves eating as usual for 5 days in a week and severely restricting calorie intake for as low as 500 for the next two days. This means going completely low carb and switching to low-calorie food items like oats, eggs, chia seeds, fish, apples, apricots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, cabbage, etc.
- 20:4 diet or Warrior Diet: This is the most difficult type of intermittent fasting to do and people who want to rapidly shed weight. In this type of dieting, one fasts for 20 hours in the day and consumes food only during a “four-hour” feeding period.
If you Have Weird Working Hours, How Will Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting works for everyone, even if you work night shifts or odd hours during a day. Here are some examples on how you can adjust the timings to switch to intermittent fasting lifestyle.
- If you start eating at: 8 AM, stop eating and start fasting at 4 pm.
- If you start eating at: 12 AM, stop eating and start fasting at 8 pm.
- If you start eating at: 1 PM, stop eating and start fasting at 9 pm.
- If you start eating at: 6 PM, stop eating and start fasting at 2AM.
Famous Celebs who are into Intermittent Fasting?
Celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Kourtney Kardashian, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Kimmel, Justin Theroux, Chris Hemsworth are all deep into intermittent fasting and have made it part of their lifestyle.
What happens if you combine Keto Diet with Intermittent Fasting?
When you combine ketogenic diet (high fat low carb diet) with intermittent fasting, you let your body get to the fat deposits really quickly and your body would turn into a fat-burning machine. People have reported rapid weight loss when they have combined keto with intermittent fasting. Two large meals in a day of high fat-low carb food will help you reach your goal weight faster than you think.
What Liquids are allowed during Fasting?
During the fasting period, only zero calorie fluids should be consumed and that means no fruit juices, energy drinks, etc. What you can drink is apple cider vinegar, water, green tea, and some experts have suggested even sparkling water (soda).
What Happens to your Body when you do Intermittent Fasting?
- Improves insulin resistance.
- Prediabetic condition is cured.
- Triggers increase in human growth hormone which in turn leads to fat loss.
- Increase in cellular repair.
- Autophagy (your body’s way of removing damaged and clean itself). Your body would hunt down dead, damaged, non-functioning cells and eat them up to get fuel to do its normal functions. Autophagy triggers when you deprive your body of normal food and fast for prolonged periods.
- Weight loss. Since your body is deprived of food, it uses up stored sugar and fat and that would eventually lead to weight loss.
- Lowers type 2 diabetes risk. Intermittent fasting regulates blood sugar levels, thus lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
This kind of a diet improves overall health and boosts a sluggish metabolism. It also helps to clear away toxins, regulate blood sugar levels, increase mental alertness, and most importantly accelerate weight loss.
How Intermittent Fasting Helps with Weight Loss?
Intermittent fasting works for weight loss in two ways – consuming only two meals a day during the feasting period would eventually restrict your calorie intake drastically and result in faster weight loss. Intermittent fasting also triggers the release of human growth hormone which aids in weight loss. Intermittent fasting would help you to lose weight without lose or sagging skin, it helps you to spot reduce tummy fat without actually losing lean muscle.
Who Should Skip Intermittent Fasting?
Pregnant women and those who are trying to conceive should totally avoid this diet. Also, people who morbid diseases should definitely consult their doctor before embarking on any kind of a diet.
What Supplements to Take During Intermittent Fasting?
Since one is depriving their body of significant amount of calories, it would result in low nutrient intake as well. Experts suggest to include b-complex vitamins, folic acid, vitamin C, iron and zinc supplements (of course with your doctor’s permission). Just remember to take them along with your food, otherwise you would end up with an upset stomach.
Can I Work Out while Fasting?
Absolutely! In fact, working out while you are on the fasting period will accelerate weight loss because your body would start using up fat stores to fuel itself during workouts.
Can you eat Vegan on Intermittent Fasting?
Yes absolutely! No adverse effect has been reported when vegan and intermittent fasting have been combined.
How long does it take for Intermittent Fasting?
You can see results from intermittent fasting after one week when your body gets adjusted to low-calorie intake. Autophagy kicks in within 24 to 48 hours and you will feel more energetic after that time period. If you are aiming at losing weight, you will have to wait for a month or more to see the numbers tipping in your favour.
What are the Side Effect of Intermittent Fasting?
Although intermittent fasting improves overall health, for the initial two or three days, you might experience these side effects:
- You might feel irritated and “hangry” (bad tempered or foul mood because of lack of food).
- Brain fog (temporary state where you cannot concentrate or think clearly).
- Dehydration (reduced water intake).
How Long Should you do intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a healthy way to lose weight and it’s a good lifestyle switch to make. You can do intermittent fasting for as long as you desire because there are no documented side effects available to suggest otherwise.
Can I Lose Belly Fat with Intermittent Fasting?
Yes, you can! Though spot reduction of fat from any particular part of body, intermittent fasting results in overall shedding of weight and that means you would have to say bye bye to your belly fat pretty soon because intermittent fasting would give access to fat stores in your body and belly fat would just disappear sooner than you think.
So guys, what are you thinking, switch to intermittent fasting and lead a healthy life!