Is Intermittent Fasting the best way for you to drop excess fat? I tried it for 30 days to lose weight and here are the results.
I love food. I love to eat. It makes me feel better. I love how it feels inside my mouth. The flavors. The textures. The smell. The taste. The Instagram pics. I love everything about food. Whether I am going out or ordering in. I love eating. I love my breakfast, lunch and dinner and all the micro meals and snacks I have in between. It keeps me energized and boosts my mood. However, with all the eating (read over-eating) comes a rather unattractive, revolting and objectionable pot belly. And that’s how I stumbled on to intermittent fasting for weight loss.
“Fasting is truly a secret source of power.” – Jentezen Franklin
I am not someone who loves to diet. Not one bit. I love my greasy fried foods, fatty junk foods, salty processed foods, aerated beverages and sugary treats. I love dessert. I could write a whole article on how much I love desserts. So you could imagine my hatred for so-called ‘healthy diets’. When I heard that you can eat almost anything with Intermittent Fasting (IF) and still lose weight, I got intrigued. So I delved into doing some research as I wanted to try it out. My pot belly just had to go.
The more I learned and brought about some lifestyle changes to try IF, the more realized how helpful and beneficial it can be not just for weight loss, but also for your overall physical wellbeing. With more than 70% of adult American becoming either obese or overweight, intermittent fasting for weight loss just might be our best solution.
What is intermittent fasting anyway?
Intermittent fasting, popularly known as IF, is a simple eating plan and a proven method to help you lose weight. By cycling in and out of fasting & eating you maximize your body’s fat-burning mechanism. To put it simply, you fast for the majority of your day while you eat for a shortened period of time. Although conventional wisdom states that skipping meals is not a good idea, adopting the intermittent fasting lifestyle can lead to significant weight loss and help you become healthier.
“Periodic fasting can help clear up the mind and strengthen the body and the spirit.” – Ezra Taft Benson
After the post-absorptive state, which lasts from 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, your body enters the fasted state which is when your body starts to burn fat that was unreachable during the fed state. When your body enters the fasted state, your insulin levels significantly drops which leads to fat burning. Moreover, it also reduces oxidative stress & inflammation, lowers the risk of diabetes, makes your heart healthier, facilitates growth of new neurons in your brain and also helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Although I am no nutrition or health expert, these benefits do sound great. Intermittent fasting is a great tool for weight loss and is a lot easier to stick to than those strict diets.
6 ways to do intermittent fasting
“Fasting today makes the food good tomorrow.” – German Proverb
There are various types of IF that you can try and all these methods are effective if you do them properly. The great thing is, as there are different versions of this technique you can choose one that suits your lifestyle best and helps to accomplish your weight loss goals.
Here are 6 of the most popular types of intermittent fasting:
1. The 5:2 method
Fast for 2 days per week and eat normally for the rest of the 5 days. Alternatively, men can consume 600 calories and women can eat 500 calories during the 2 fasting days.
2. Alternate day fasting
Fast for 24 hours every alternate day per week. Fast one day, eat the next day and repeat this process throughout the week. If you need to eat on fasting days, restrict you consumption to 25% of your total calorie requirement.
3. The Eat-Stop-Eat method
Fast for a full day once or twice per week. You may eat normally the rest of the days in the week.
4. The Warrior Diet
Popularized by author and fitness expert Ori Hofmekler, this requires you to fast throughout the day and eating a heavy meal at night. Alternatively, you may eat small quantities of fruits and vegetables during the day and have a huge dinner.
5. The 16:8 method
Fast for 16 hours each day and eat 2, 3 or more meals in a 8-10 hour “eating window”. The fasting period can vary to 14-15 hours for women.
6. Spontaneous meal skipping
Choose to skip your meals whenever it’s convenient for you. Avoid eating a meal when you are running late or don’t feel that much hungry.