Intermittent fasting is currently one of the world’s most popular fitness trends. All you have to do is skip one meal a day and expect to shed pounds of weight in weeks! No wonder a lot of people use intermittent fasting.
If you’ve been contemplating if this option is the right one for you to lose weight, here’s a beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between fasting and eating. In simpler terms, you are making a conscious decision to skip meals on purpose. With this type of fasting, you choose to eat at specific window hours and choose not to eat for a larger window of time. A popular fasting method is to fast for 16 hours then eat only within a specific 8-hour window. For example, you’ll eat at lunch until 8 pm, then skip breakfast.
How it Works
When you eat three meals a day, and not exercising then every time you eat, you are consuming those calories and not burning the stored fat.
When you cut an entire meal each day, your body doesn’t have recently consumed meal to burn for energy. Therefore, it is more likely to pull the fat stored in your body as it is the only readily-available source of energy at the time. The more stored fats burned, the more you are able to reduce weight. Intermittent fasting teaches your body to use the food it consumes more efficiently and learn how to burn fat as fuel.
If done properly, fasting can promote weight loss and build muscle mass.
Is it Safe?
Intermittent fasting is an excellent method to lose weight. But this method is not for everyone. Before you try intermittent fasting (or any diet), you should consult with your doctor first. In general, people should stay away from this method if:
- You are under 18 years of age.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You have diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- You have a history of eating disorders.
Keep in mind that this method may have different effects on different people. Consult your doctor when you experience unusual symptoms such as nausea, headaches, anxiety, etc.
Should You Try It?
Intermittent fasting has been proven to deliver results, but before you give it a try, here are some things you need to know.
There are different types of fasting. A popular variation is the time-restrictive fast where you give yourself 6 to 8-hour window to eat each day. A more advanced method is to skip an entire day of eating once or twice a week.
You can drink during your fasting hours as long as what you consume has zero calories. Coffee and tea are great for suppressing appetite but do not add creamers or sweeteners.
If you get hungry during your fasting period, don’t be afraid to break the fast. Listen to your body.
It’s not all about weight loss. Intermittent fasting is known to improve hormones, increase insulin resistance, and decrease inflammation.
Intermittent fasting is one of the many lifestyle strategies that can improve your health. However, eating the right food, having enough sleep, and exercise are still the most important things you need to focus on if you actually want to lose weight. At the end of the day, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The best weight loss method for you is the one you can stick to in the long run.