10 Things To Know Before Starting Intermittent Fasting
10 Things To Know Before Starting Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting (IF) is not a diet per se, it is a eating pattern. Intermittent fasting is intentionally not eating for a long hour at least 16 hours. It is one of the most popular weight loss tool in recent times.
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Intermittent fasting is scheduling your meals for the day into at most eight hours or less. IF divides your day into “fasting” period and “feasting” period (eating window). Intermittent fasting is a flexible eating pattern, you simply choose what works for you.
You have to get familiar with the various Intermittent fasting patterns and pick the one that is comfortable (its not comfortable skipping a meal though). It is advisable to start gradually, spacing out meals to 12 hours or more (no snacking), then progress.
PATTERNS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
Various patterns of IF are available, as mentioned earlier, Intermittent fasting is not rigid. You can always increase your fasting hours when it is convenient because the longer you are in a fasted state, the more fat you burn.
1. The 16/8 pattern: this is the best IF pattern for beginners. The simple trick to a 16/8 IF is to stop eating by 8pm and start eating by 12noon the next day. In a 16/8 IF, you have 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating. You can spread your meals into small portions through the 8 hours eating window or eating two normal portion meal. Other modifications of the 16/8 pattern also exist such as: 18/6 pattern, 20/4 pattern and the rest.
2. 24 hours fast: Sounds tough right? Yes it is and it is also tough to those fats. In 24 hours fast, you don’t get to eat for 24 hours, if you have your last meal by say 8pm doing a 24hours fast you have till 8pm the next day to eat.
3. OMAD: OMAD is short ONE MEAL A DAY. Basically, you’re allowed to eat once a day and you’re done, till the next day. A beginner shouldn’t start with this, progress gradually.
4. Alternate day fast: Alternate day fasting involves fasting for 24 hours or eating a few calories say 500 calories in a day and eating normal the next day.
5. 5:2 fast: This is eating normal for 5 days in a week and reducing calories intake for 2 days. Its is advisable to take at most 500 or 600 calories at most on the fasting days. An example of 5:2 fast is eating normal everyday of the week expect Tuesdays and Saturdays.
CAN I EAT ANYTHING AND ANYHOW DURING THE EATING PERIOD?
The answer is NO, you can’t eat a bowl of chips or a pack of chocolate and expect to lose weight. You have to eat heathy: healthy fats, healthy carbs, proteins and fibers. Avoid refine sugar and foods that cause inflammation. Control your portion, because you have fewer hours to eat is not a ticket to pack 4000 calories inside your body. It is recommended to be at a calorie deficit while doing IF. That’s actually one of the goals of Intermittent fasting, because you are cutting meals, you should also cut calories. In summary, diet quality and quantity is crucial.
HOW DOES INTERMITTENT FASTING HELP IN WEIGHT LOSS?
Basically, Intermittent fasting when done CORRECTLY works in two ways; The first is calorie deficit. The trick is, you have few hours to eat and more likely not going to consume as much as you used to when you had all the time to eat. You have few hours to consume few calories.
The second is based on insulin sensitivity, it is important to create a system where your body is very sensitive to insulin. This will cause the body to release fat that is stored as reserved energy. Insulin store energy in form of fat in the body. The longer your insulin stay high, the more difficult it is to release the stored energy, rather, more energy is being stored. Insulin level sparks when we eat and stay high for approximately 8-12 hours depending on individual
body system and the quality and quantity of food consumed. Fasting is a way of keeping the insulin level low and cause stored energy (fats) to be released and used for bodily activities and other activities.
TIPS TO INCREASE WEIGHT LOSS WHEN DOING INTERMITTENT FASTING
1. Workout: working out while fasting will naturally release more fat. This is because your body is tapping energy for the workout from stored fat. Your body will automatically turn into a fat burning machine.
2. Eat healthy: this is where most people get it wrong, because Intermittent fasting does not limit to what you can eat does not mean you should load your body with unhealthy foods. Try to eat a balanced healthy diet incorporating protein good healthy carbs and healthy fats.
3. Stay hydrated: often times dehydration can boost hunger feeling, therefore, staying hydrated while fasting can help reduce hunger and keep you going till its “Eating” time. Then there comes the problem of what to drink. The best fluid to take while fasting is WATER because it has zero calories and hence will not throw you out of fasting state.
PROBLEMS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
- Hunger: the most common problem of intermittent fasting is the urge to eat when it is not yet eating time. Well, you can’t escape from this especially on first few weeks. Staying hydrated will help keep you going till its “feasting time”.
- Keeping track of time: most people have difficulty in calculating the eating window and the fasting window. It is recommended to study the intermittent fasting patterns correctly and pick the one and the time that suites your lifestyle.
- Getting all the nutrients your body needs in fewer meals: its a problem trying to get your one or two meals balanced. It is important to get a balanced diet while doing IF so as to stay healthy.
OTHER BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING ASIDE WEIGHT LOSS.
1. Human growth hormone (HGH) that helps in building and maintaining muscles is being released in an increased quantity.
2. It is the cheapest way to lose weight: because IF doesn’t really select on what to eat makes it easier and cheaper option for weight loss.
3. Autophagy: Autophagy is the body’s natural way of removing toxins and dead cells to generate new ones.
INTERMITTENT FASTING MISCONCEPTIONS
1. Muscle loss: fasting is a catabolic stressor and such does not support muscle growth and at the same time doesn’t destroy muscles. You can still build muscle while fasting when you take enough (not excess) calories and good amount of protein. What matters the most in building muscles is protein synthesis and workout. Workout helps in protecting and building lean muscles.
2. Starvation mode: you might be scared of being starved and probably getting sick. Starvation mode is exaggerated. It takes a very long time of not eating before the body goes into starvation mode. A 24 hours fast or 16 hours fast cannot get you into starvation mode.
3. Damage metabolism: while fasting, your insulin level is low hence More fat is being used as body fuel. Hormones such as human growth hormone (HGH) is increased and as such metabolic rate is actually improved.
As you are burning fat and building muscles, you maintain a healthy metabolism.
Intermittent fasting is a flexible eating pattern that. Picking your timing right for your lifestyle is very essential for sustainability. Skipping meals and eating right is worth the benefits.
Now let’s hear from you, what do you think about intermittent fasting (IF)? Let us know by leaving a