More and more studies show that intermittent fasting can help with weight loss. Anyone overweight should start with implementing an intermittent fasting plan!
Even though it can help with weight loss, intermittent fasting is not technically a diet. It is a time-restricted eating pattern where you alternate between periods of fasting and eating. One of the best things about intermittent fasting is cutting out snacking or binge eating around the clock which is one of the reasons people gain unwanted weight.
Common periods of fasting can range from 12 to 18 hours per day. And then, once you are more comfortable with fasting you can include longer, multi-day fasts.
A common misconception about intermittent fasting is that because you fast, you eat less. Because intermittent fasting is a time-restricted eating pattern, you don’t restrict the number of calories you eat unless needed. The number of calories you eat can and should match your goals of losing weight, maintaining weight or gaining weight.
If you’re considering intermittent fasting, ensure that you check-in with a physician, particularly if you are underweight, have a medical condition or taking medications that may make fasting unsafe.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
Our bodies alternate between one of two states: the fed state and fasted state. Intermittent fasting increases the amount of time our body is in a fasted state.
When your body is in a fed state, it burns energy from the food you’ve recently eaten. After a certain amount of time you do not eat, your body enters a “fasted state.”
In that fasted state, after several hours your insulin levels significantly drop. When insulin levels drop, your body burns stored energy (glycogen) instead of energy from the food you’ve recently eaten. With your body burning stored fat instead of food for energy, it becomes easier to lose weight.
In addition to burning fat, your metabolism works faster, and your body clears old cells (Autophagy) in the fasted state. Studies suggest that Autophagy starts from 18 to 24hrs and reaches its peak at 72 hours.
Set aside periods of time to fast in order to help your body enter a fasted state and time to heal.
Other Potential Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Although intermittent fasting research is in its early stages, current studies suggest that intermittent fasting can have many lasting health benefits:
Controls insulin spikes
Decreases fat mass
Increases lean muscle mass
May reduces the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease
May lead to a longer life
May increase your energy
In addition to those health benefits, intermittent fasting can be a simple plan to implement. You simply figure out your eating and fasting hours that work best for your lifestyle and stick to it.
Here are various intermittent fasting methods you can implement:
16:8 Method. The 16:8 intermittent fasting method is when you fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hour time window. Some people who skip breakfast instinctively follow the 16:8 method.
One example of the 16:8 method would be having your first meal of the day at 1 pm and allowing yourself to eat until 9 pm each day.
Another example of the 16:8 method would be eating breakfast but skipping dinner.
The above examples are common but I would not recommend skipping breakfast, skipping dinner or eating food at 9pm. A much better timeframe for a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan would be breakfast at 10:30 and then dinner finished by 16:30.
The reason for this is you do not want to eat too late, close to bedtime and you do not want to miss out on the morning hormonal state our bodies are in to skip food altogether.
Everyone that attends an RDS weight loss camp eat during a 16:8 window.
18:6 Method. This will naturally be your next level after consistently doing the 16:8 routine for several weeks and you will find you will easily build up to an 18 hour fast as long as you are consistent with the 16:8 routine.
One Meal a Day (“OMAD”). Also known as the 24-hour fast, the OMAD is simple to understand: you restrict your eating to one meal a day. I recommend this method to my over 55 clients whose metabolism has significantly slowed down along with their lifestyle. If you are not very active you simply do not need to eat as much! OMAD & 24 hour fasts become very easy after several months of practicing intermittent fasting.
5:2 Method. This fasting method involves five regular eating days with two scheduled fasting days. During the two fasting days, you limit yourself to eat only 500 calories per day.
Multi-Day Fasts. You can also enter the fasted state for multiple days. Consult a physician or specialist if you want to explore longer fasting periods.
An easy way to start fasting is with the 16:8 method plus a weekly 24hr fast. With 16:8, you simply restrict your eating periods by cutting our any snacking and only eating your main meals of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. The majority of your fasting period would be while you're sleeping.
To easily incorporate a 24 hour fast do it from dinner to dinner so you do not go to bed on an empty stomach. For example, after you have eaten your dinner on a Friday evening at 17:30 your next meal will be Saturday evening at 17:30 so you have essentially only skipped breakfast and lunch on Saturday, yet you have completed a 24 hour fast.
This is the exact same method I have done with hundreds of weight loss clients.
Intermittent fasting works differently for everyone but overall it can give a great boost to your health and be used as a tool to help weight loss.
Just don’t use fasting as an excuse to load up on junk food during your eating window! You still need to eat mindfully and clean!
If you need help losing weight contact Scott direct to discuss whether he can help you with your weight loss goals!
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