This is a Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss. There have been a number of how-tos as far as weight loss is concerned. One thing that is common in all these how-tos if the fact that they will tell you to eat this, don’t eat that or eat more of this and less of that and so on.
However, with intermittent fasting, this routine only dictates when you should eat and does not particularly limit what you are eating. If you have been considering intermittent fasting for weight loss, here is a simple guide that will help you get started.
What is intermittent fasting?
The term intermittent fasting is rather self-explanatory as it means exactly that. Fasting intermittently for certain periods while eating on the rest. The bottom line for intermittent fasting for weight loss lies in the production of insulin in the body. This is because high insulin levels in the body lead to more fat production.
So intermittent fasting works in such a way that in the periods you are fasting, the insulin levels drop drastically hence limiting the production of fats in the body and this, in turn, leads to weight loss.
Want to figure out how to start intermittent fasting for weight loss?
There are different approaches to intermittent fasting and each approach differs in the period and frequency of fasting. In each approach, however, the calorie intake is at a minimum during the fasting days. Let’s take a look at some of the most common approaches to intermittent fasting.
Also referred to as the Leangains diet, this method of fasting consists of a 16-hour fasting window and eating within the remaining 8 hours. During the 16 hours, your body converts the remaining fats into energy hence leading to weight loss.
In a 12 hour fasting approach, you typically divide the 24 hours into half, leaving you with equal fasting and eating windows. This is ideal for beginners because you can ensure your sleep hours fall within the 12 hours fasting period. For instance, if you eat all your meals before 8 pm, the next meal you will have will be 8 am.
This involves eating healthy food for 5 days and then fasting for two days of the week. The 2 fasting days don’t have to be subsequent but can be spread out through the week. For instance, you can choose to fast on Tuesdays and Fridays and eat normally on the remaining days. This method has been proven to reduce insulin levels in the body eventually leading to weight loss.
Alternate day approach
The alternate-day approach involves fasting every other day. Although it is a very effective method, it requires a high understanding of how your body behaves. Therefore, it is usually not recommended for beginners as it could be strenuous to the body and people with other health complications such as stomach ulcers and diabetes.
Meal skipping approach
This involves skipping some meals of the day depending on your schedule or hunger times. This method is also ideal for beginners because it is easier to implement but as effective as other methods. You can start by meal skipping and gradually adopt other more complex fasting techniques for maximum benefits.
The warrior diet
It is believed that human beings are naturally adapted to eating at night. Therefore, the warrior diet comes naturally because it involves eating light, low-calorie foods during the day and then having a sumptuous meal at night.
The eating window is usually 4 hours and the fasting window is 20 hours. During the 4 hours, you want to make sure that you are eating healthy food with plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure that your body is not deprived of any nutrients.
In a nutshell, there are different types of intermittent fasting that you can adopt in order to lose weight. While all these methods may be an effective way to lose weight, to ensure you don’t encounter bodily breakdowns in the course of your fasting, you need to limit fasting to solid foods only.
This means that within any fasting window, you can have fluids and water to keep your nutrients and calorie intake afloat so that your body doesn’t shut down or develop health problems. Because of this, people with illnesses such as diabetes, heart conditions and ulcers are advised against practicing any form of fasting as this could aggravate their conditions.