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Intermittent fasting: The A-Z of Fasting for Weight Loss

Weight loss has become a current major challenge to individuals of all ages. Gym and fitness gurus can attest to this. Due to the modern lifestyle, the number of people struggling with weight loss is upward.

Weight loss programs exist from exercise dieting and unique fasting styles; all these techniques give results. However, there are factors to consider before choosing one that is most appropriate and comfortable for you. Level of fitness, work schedule, weight, age, and budget are a few primary factors considered when deliberating on a suitable plan.

Fasting is not a new thing as it has been practiced for centuries and is also practiced by different religions – Muslims, Christians and even some cultures around the world. Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular trends in weight loss corridors. In these dieting techniques, specific eating cycles are designed for you, depending on your weight loss goals you can find one on more that suits you most.

How to practice intermittent fasting

Given that there is no standard fasting pattern that works efficiently for each one, health and fitness gurus have developed quite a number of them to fit individuals with their conditions and targets.

Nevertheless, they’re all based on the principle of completely isolating your eating period from the fasting stretch. The different methods are differentiated by the change in the eating and fasting period’s ratio. In other situations, it may involve changing days.


METHODS OF INTERMITTENT

The 16:8 method

This is one of the most popular fasting methods as it is claimed to be an easy, suitable, and convenient, effective, flexible way for weight loss, burning fat and improving your health and well-being. It involves limiting food consumption to a set window of 8 hours per day and abstaining from food for 16 hours.

This pattern can be repeated as frequently as you like, from twice a week to every day, depending on your choice.

Not only does 16:8 enhances weight loss, but it also improves blood sugar control and boost brain function.

To get started, pick an 8-hour window and limit your food consumption to that period. Ensure you eat a balanced, healthy diet during your eating time.

For example, if you eat dinner at 6:00 pm, you will wake up the next day and wait until 10:00 am before taking a meal. However, during the fasting period, you can grab a coffee, water, and any other calorie-free beverage to keep away the feeling of hunger. On the other hand, the eating period should have two or three meals at defined intervals. The intervals may have slight variations depending on gender, body weight, and other variables. 

The 5:2 diet

This type of intermittent fast was made famous by Michael Mosley, British broadcaster, and Jimmy Kimmel, late-night host. It reduces risks of chronic ailments and, most importantly, enhances weight loss. It involves eating whatever you want for five days and fasting for two days.

A model of this method can be:

  • Day 1: Eat normally 
  • Day 2: Fasting
  • Day 3: Eat normally 
  • Day 4: Eat normally
  • Day 5: Fasting
  • Day 6: Eat normally
  • Day 7: Eat normally

Women should consume 500 calories on fasting days, while men are supposed to consume 600 calories. An example is eating normally all week long except on Wednesday and Friday, where you can take only two meals with 250 calories each.

Alternate day fasting (ADF)

This is not recommended for you as a beginner and also not an excellent long-term fasting method.

This method involves fasting by alternating the days, which means that you will have to go a day without a single meal. Doing this every other day might be difficult, especially for starters. You may not have to fast totally, but you may take a low calories meal. If not, most experienced participants can only use calorie-free beverages and plain water.

The warrior diet

This version of intermittent fasting was founded by Ori Hofmekler, fitness and nutrition guru. It involves eating cycles of ancient warriors who consumed little during the day and then feasted at night.

Eat stop eat

Involves fasting for 24 hours, twice a week, and eating clean for the remaining five days. Thanks to Brad Pilon, who founded this method.

For example, you fast from 8 am to 8 am the following day. You could eat breakfast before 8 am on the first day, and then break your fast after 8 am the next day.

In general, intermittent fasting is a way of limiting calorie consumption through programmed eating patterns. These cycles make sure your body exhausts the available calories before you eat again. However, it would help if you complimented the fasting with healthy and clean meals. Eating calorie-loaded foods will undermine your fasting efforts.


Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting

  • PROS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING: BENEFITS

    • Can reverse type 2 diabetes
    • Increases fat burning
    • Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels
    • Possibly increases life span.
    • It possibly activates cellular cleansing by stimulating autophagy.
    • Enhances weight and body fat loss
  • CONS: Why you should avoid intermittent fasting

    • Not much proof on intermittent due to less research done on it
    • It’s not great for individuals with heart disorders, high blood pressure, and diabetic people.
    • May promote overeating.
    • It is not advisable for the long term.
    • It may reduce physical activities.

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