Many of us have started becoming health conscious. In our effort to remain fit and healthy, the first thing we want to focus on is losing weight. So, we make exercise and dieting, parts of our lives. However, many of us also look for quick results for weight loss. This is where intermittent fasting comes into the picture. In this article, we will discuss all the necessary points that will help you to know whether you need to start intermittent fasting to lose weight or not.
What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
Intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat rather than what you eat. It is a way of fasting that allows a person to fast for a specific duration of time in a day and consume food during the rest of the period. For example, there can be plans like 16/8 or 12/12. In these plans, a person will fast for 16 or 12 hours in a day and eat in the remaining hours.
IF is all about setting windows of specific hours in a day for eating. Many of us get addicted to snacking all day long in our sedentary lifestyle. IF can help eliminate the reverse effects of these habits.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
There are unlimited benefits of IF. It not only works positively for your body but also your mind and brain. So, one might start IF to lose weight but ends up gaining overall benefits in the long run.
Here are some of the benefits of intermittent fasting:
- It helps you to eat fewer calories and increases your metabolic rate. Thus, it helps in faster weight loss.
- It decreases insulin levels and increases norepinephrine. Thus, it helps in reducing body fat.
- It also increases the human growth hormone (HGH) and expedites the process of fat burning.
- It helps in lowering the risk for type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance.
- It reduces oxidative stress in adults which is the main reason behind many chronic diseases.
- This type of fasting improves your heart health by maintaining your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, blood triglycerides, and total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- It has been proved to show better verbal memory.
- The best part about IF is that it loses fat while maintaining muscle mass.
- Fasting helps in a “waste removal” process by cells and it is called autophagy. Autography enhances the defense system against many diseases including cancer and Alzheimer’s, etc.
Some Popular Intermittent Fasting Methods
There are different ways of starting IF. The most popular methods are listed below.
16/8 method – It is known as the Leangains protocol. Under this method, you keep your window of eating for 8 hours and fast for the remaining 16 hours. Most people follow this method by skipping breakfast as it becomes easier to continue fasting for a long time.
Eat-stop-eat – This fasting method encourages a person to fast 1 or 2 days a week. You continue with your normal diet the rest of the days of the week.
5:2 Diet – This is one of the interesting ways to lose weight. You need to consume only 500 to 600 calories on 2 consecutive days. You can continue with your regular diet for the rest of the days.
Tips for Intermittent Fasting to Lose Weight
Now that you know the benefits of IF, let’s help you to get started with it. Here are some tips before you start intermittent fasting for weight loss:
- You must consult your physician before starting Intermittent fasting to lose weight if you are suffering from any eating disorders or medical conditions.
- As far as women are concerned, they must take the doctor’s advice if they have low blood pressure, pregnant or breastfeeding, or even has amenorrhea.
- Try to avoid sugar in your drinks while doing IF.
- Coffee can kill hunger prangs.
- You can work out while fasting. In this case, many people suggest taking BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) supplements.
- Make sure to add adequate protein to your diet.
- Many people find the 16/8 method is the easiest way to start IF.
Many people have adopted intermittent fasting to lose weight and gained satisfactory results. They have understood the benefits of IF and saw improvements in their overall health. However, if fasting is something you have never enjoyed, then you should not go for intermittent fasting for weight loss. Instead, you can focus on exercise and diet control.