Numerous resources have been written with guidelines and methods for losing weight. But one of the most outstanding and recent ones is intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting adopts a specific eating pattern that includes short-term fast, regular fast, no food, or minimal food consumption. Many people see intermittent fasting as a way to lose weight fast.
However, observing it for a more extended period will help you burn fewer calories, resulting in losing weight. While other methods of losing weight focus on what to eat and diet, intermittent fasting is all about when you eat.
Scientific evidence has proved that eating during specific times for several hours can help you lose weight fast.
Also, the evidence has demonstrated that lifestyle and fewer activities during the day can cause higher risks of type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other diseases.
But, with intermittent fasting, these conditions can be reversed.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting works in different ways, but its effects are all pegged on the periods you choose to eat first.
You can select whichever fasting schedule works out for you. These schedules will work on your body when it has exhausted its sugar and burn calories.
Most importantly, it is essential to check with your doctor before starting an intermittent fasting plan. Their nod will help you pick on a leisurely start schedule and flow as you upgrade gradually.
Must Read: 6 Healthy Diet Facts You Must Know
Intermittent Fasting Plans
1. The 16/8 Method
You can implement different plans depending on your daily work schedule. For instance, you can opt for a daily program that restricts your daily eating routine to one-six to eight-hour period daily.
This means that you eat for eight hours and fast for sixteen hours a day. Within the eight-hour eating period, you can fit in different meal schedules.
It is also essential that you eat healthy foods during this window period.
2. The 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Method
The 5:2 plan is also known as the Fast Diet. It dictates that you eat for five days and limit yourself to one 500-600 calories meal for the remaining two days. This method is very effective when it comes to weight loss.
3. The Eat Stop Eat
This method requires that you fast for 24 hours once or twice per week. It is popular among fitness experts to manage their weight.
With this method, you can skip meals from dinner to dinner, breakfast to breakfast, or lunch to lunch. In between, you are allowed to take coffee, water, tea, or other drinks with zero calories.
No solid food is allowed.
Also, while breaking the fast, ensure that you eat the same amount of food as though you hadn’t been fasting.
4. Alternate-Day Intermittent Fasting
The alternate-day fasting method entails fasting about every other day. During this schedule, you are allowed to take up to 500 calories.
However, the technique is ineffective at losing weight because it seems rather extreme. The method is also not recommended for newbies.
5. The Prolon Diet (Aka The Fasting Mimicking Diet)
The Fasting Mimicking Diet gives your body all the health benefits of intermittent fasting while it provides you with other nutritional benefits. This method allows you to make soups, nut bars, kale crackers, and olives.
The benefits of the ProLon Diet include weight loss, enhanced performance, and improved metabolic health.
6. The Warrior Diet
This thrilling fasting method requires you to fast for 20 hours, followed by four hours of eating.
It encourages subsidizing your meals during the day with a small number of fruits and vegetables and eating one massive meal at night.
The warrior diet features three faces. Each face goes for a week-long, and it has stringent rules as to what you are allowed to eat.
The downside of this method is that it can deny you essential nutrients that are ideal for more so if you are pregnant, an athlete, or if you have sugar issues and or other chronic diseases.
7. Spontaneous Meal Skipping
This method sounds normal to some people. It’s just like skipping meals when you don’t feel hungry or are too busy to cook and eat.
The method doesn’t have a structured fasting plan. You can fast for a few hours until starvation creeps in or when you begin to lose muscles.
In brief, skipping one or two meals when you feel like doing so is simply spontaneous intermittent fasting.
However, ensure that you take a balanced diet when not fasting.
There are other longer schedules, such as 24, 36, 48, and 72-hour fasting, which may be dangerous to your health.
It might also cause your body to store more fats which will keep your body going in times of starvation.
However, with the numerous intermittent fasting plans available, your body might take two to four weeks before it gets used to the routine. Your consistency and determination will give super benefits to your brain and body.
Also Read: 6 Common Myths About Dieting
How Intermittent Fasting Helps with Weight Loss
How does intermittent fasting help you lose weight? That is the big puzzle that we need to unravel.
There is a range of health benefits associated with intermittent fasting, including weight loss. This practice can do more good to your body than burning fats.
Let’s have a look at some of the benefits.
· It May Help Burn More Fat
Science has proved that IF works great for weight loss as it prompts your body to burn more fats.
This is because when you go for a long time without eating, your body will run low on sugar ideal for energy; hence, it will begin to burn stored fat to function well.
For example, if you try IF (Intermittent Fasting) for ten hours a day for three months, you will begin to lose weight and reduce your waist circumference.
This practice also helps improve sleep, boost sugar and insulin levels, lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
· It Can Help Regulate Insulin
Besides losing weight, intermittent fasting will also help regulate your insulin levels. When you are not eating, your insulin levels will drop. This will prompt your body to start using sugar for energy.
When it remains low for a more extended period, it starts to burn fat, contributing to weight loss.
· Intermittent Fasting Syncs with Your Circadian Rhythm
Just as the practice helps you lose weight, it also synchronizes with your body, more so in the day when your body is primed for processing food.
For instance, if you take your lunch before 3 pm, you are likely to lose weight 25% more than someone who eats later in the day.
· It May Improve Metabolic Health
The practice will also help you lose weight by working on your metabolism.
For example, fasting may help enhance your blood sugar regulation, which reduces your fat mass and body mass index.
This will work best for people who don’t have diabetes.
· It May Decrease Calorie Intake
When you regularly eat fewer calories and observe a strict IF diet, you will lose weight. That’s because your appetite will be suppressed, thus consuming less chunk of food with low calories.
Restricting your eating between 8 am and 2 pm will lower the levels of ghrelin hormones that cause hunger in the morning.
On the other hand, it will increase the levels of satiety hormones that trigger need at night compared to when they ate within a 12-hour window instead.
The bottom line
In essence, intermittent fasting will help you lose weight by 3–8% for 3–24 weeks at a rate of approximately 0.55 to 1.65 pounds (0.25–0.75 kg) per week.
Its simplicity has made it win many hearts as the ideal method for weight loss. It also makes you adhere to a strict diet in the long run.
However, it doesn’t work for everyone. You first need to consult with your health practitioner before embarking on any of the methods listed above, more so if you have any underlying medical condition. They will help you determine the best plan that is safe for you.