Intermittent fasting is an important way to shed weight from the body. In this method, you have to reduce the frequency of eating food. When you eat less, you consume fewer calories in the body. Intermittent fasting is effective in boosting metabolism and burning fat in the body while maintaining lean body mass.
This type of eating strategy gradually reduces your body mass index and belly fat. It saves you from diseases that can happen due to excess body weight. Read on to find out more about intermittent fasting, its types, calorie intake, and tips to implement it.
What is Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss?
Intermittent fasting is a form of an eating pattern that involves cycling between phases of fasting and eating. It has gained a lot of popularity for being a safe and effective method to lose weight. Many people prefer intermittent fasting for other health benefits that it provides in conjunction with weight loss. These are better blood glucose levels, reduced cholesterol, and increases longevity.
Like other dietary programs, intermittent fasting does not make you starve. You have the freedom to eat all types of healthy foods but in a controlled manner. Time is a critical factor in this weight loss program. You are supposed to eat at a fixed time and limit your meals to a specific time window.
Ways To Perform Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can be performed in six different ways. Choose the one that you find convenient and effective.
1. 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
In this method, a person has to fast for sixteen hours and spread out the meals in a short time frame of 8 hours. As you have to limit your food intake within eight hours, this diet is also called as the 8-hour diet. For example, if you take your first meal at 9 am, then your last meal should end at 5 pm. You can’t eat anything till 9 the next morning. In this way, your meals are confined in an eight hours duration from 9 am to 5 pm followed by an intermittent fast of sixteen hours from 5 pm to 9 am.
2. Alternate Day Fasting
This is another type of fasting pattern wherein you eat with no restrictions on one day, and consume only around 20% of the body’s total energy needs on the following day. For example, your body’s energy requirement in a day is 2000 calories, then on the fasting day, you are allowed to eat only 400 calories. It means it is alternate feasting and calorie deficit fasting cycle.
Alternate day fasting, also known as ADF, is considered useful for weight loss, however the research conducted on ADF has shown that the weight loss results are no different than the traditional calorie restricted weight loss diet.
Studies also showed that ADF can also reduce the risk of heart ailments as well as type2 diabetes.
3. 5:2 Intermittent Fasting
In this intermittent fasting method, there is no time restriction. You can eat food at any time in a day but for only five days a week. The remaining two days you have to be on a calorie-restricted diet. On those days, you can consume only 500 calories. Please note, that these two days should be non-consecutive.
4. 24 Hours Fast
In this intermittent fasting pattern, you go on a full-day fast for one or two days a week. On other days, there is no restriction on eating.
5. Skip One Major Meal
There are three main meals that we consume in a day. These are breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In this type of fasting, you will skip one meal as per your convenience to reduce the calorie content in the body.
6. Warrior Diet
This eating pattern is believed to be the lifestyle of warriors. Here you will fast in the day and eat at the night. Eat a heavy dinner that comprises of protein-dense foods at night and does not eat anything in the day. Also, incorporate regular exercise in your routine. The balance of workout and fasting will help you lose an inch of extra fat in the body and make you fit and active too.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Help To Reduce Body Weight?
Intermittent fasting works in various mechanisms to reduce extra body weight in a person. All these ways contribute to a healthy and safe reduction of undesired weight from the body.
- By limiting the consumption of food to a specific time window, it reduces your calorie consumption. This is one way to achieve weight loss.
- Intermittent fasting is observed to enhance levels of a neurotransmitter and hormone called “norepinephrine”. The high levels of this hormone boost the metabolism of fat in the body. In this way, it increases the speed of calorie burning throughout the day. This makes the fasting ideal for obese, and overweight people.
- Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating sugar levels in the bloodstream. Poor insulin sensitivity or resistance towards insulin is one of the reasons behind weight gain. This is because our body is not able to metabolize sugar, or glucose properly. This causes sugar levels to rise in the blood. Fasting and restriction on calorie intake improve insulin sensitivity that speeds up the fat-burning process that, in turn, promotes weight reduction. it also normalizes blood sugar levels that reduce the possibilities of complications associated with diabetes.
- BMI, or body mass index is an indicator that shows whether a person falls in a healthy weight range or obese or overweight. This type of fasting shows reduced BMI and blood sugar levels.
- When you do not eat for six to eight hours, your body goes into a fasted state. It becomes convenient to reduce fat. In place of obtaining energy from glucose, it begins to convert protein to sugar. When it is completely used, it metabolizes fat to generate energy.
How Much Weight Can You Expect To Reduce By Intermittent Fasting?
The studies performed on intermittent fasting and its impact on weight loss showed that this eating strategy can reduce your body weight by eight percentage and reduce body fat by sixteen percentage over three to twelve weeks. Due to these compelling results, people are finding this fasting mechanism quite appealing.
The amount of body-weight you will lose will depend on the below factors:
- Present body weight
- Medical history
- The number of hours you exercise in a week
- Type of diet you follow (People who follow a ketogenic diet along while intermittent fasting observes accelerated weight loss)
How Does Intermittent Fasting Benefits Your Body?
Here are proven ways in which intermittent fasting enhances your overall health.
1. Detoxification of The Body
Health experts advise that fasting is good for a complete body. Besides weight loss, fasting also purifies the body. It helps in the elimination of wastes that get accumulated in the cells of the body. Clean and detoxified cells boost the rate of metabolic rate. Intermittent Fasting or IF provides the ability to cleanse every cell in the body that improves metabolism and lowers the chances of metabolic disorders.
2. Increases The Number Of Beneficial Bacteria In The Intestine
The next benefit of intermittent fasting that it increases the types of beneficial microbes in the intestine. These microbes help in the proper digestion of the food.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Intermittent fasting lowers inflammation and weight gain that is caused due to it. It assists in enhancing blood lipid profile and lowers sugar levels in the blood. Severe inflammation also weakens the metabolic function of the body and results in inflammation-induced obesity.
4. Increase lifespan
Intermittent fasting delays aging and may boost the longevity of a person.
5. Enhances cardiac health
Intermittent fasting reduces low-density cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides, which all contribute to risk for heart ailments.
6. High human growth hormone
It is seen that intermittent fasting improves the levels of HGH hormone naturally. This in turn helps to speed up metabolism, and enhance body composition.
Did you know that consuming Apples is beneficial for weight loss?
Which Diet Is More Effective In Intermittent Fasting?
The type of diet you follow while in intermittent fasting has a big role to play in weight loss. It determines how much weight loss you can achieve. The Ketogenic diet is seen to amplify weight loss. This diet has a high proportion of fats, moderate levels of protein, and a low proportion of carbs that forces the body to metabolize fat in place of carbohydrates for fuel generation.
So, the combination of a keto diet with intermittent fasting helps your body to maximize results. Keto diet enhances satiety that can help you fast easily without feeling starved.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting?
In some people, intermittent fasting can cause side effects. These includes:
- Children, individuals who have a severe disease
- Pregnant women or lactating mothers should consult the doctor to ensure that they get adequate nutrition from their diet.
- Diabetes patients may see a sudden reduction in their blood glucose levels that can cause complications. It is better to consult your doctor before you go on this fasting diet.
- Intermittent fasting can lead to menstrual problems in women. It can also impact fertility and blood glucose levels.
- People on diabetes medication should exercise caution as intermittent fasting may lead to a drastic drop in blood sugar levels and affect the performance of certain medications.
- If you do not include the right foods in your diet, then intermittent fasting can hinder your athletic performance as well.
Tips To Do An Intermittent Fasting
Following are some of the tips to perform intermittent fasting:
- Consume bulletproof coffee : This type of coffee keeps you full for a minimum of four hours easily. It is made by adding powdered form of roasted coffee beans, butter, and MCT oil. It is not just appetizing, but also fulfilling.
- Break the fast with healthy foods : Stick to only healthy foods during the day such as lean meat, veggies, legumes, etc. Abstain from junk food. Break the fast with such as nuts, fruits, and dates.
- Follow a low carbohydrate diet : Avoid refined and processed foods, sugar, fast foods, etc. as they are rich sources of carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and calories.
- Reduce your sodium intake : Salt have a property to hold water that increases body weight. Avoid consumption of salty foods such as potato chips, processed meat, salad dressings, packaged sauces, and cold foods.
- Get a peaceful sleep : Sleep is essential to relax yourself. It helps in effective metabolism, digestion, and absorption of food in the body. Sleep also helps in reducing the stress that can contribute to weight gain. A sound sleep of seven hours is essential for achieving weight loss in the body.
Frequently Asked Questions About Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss
Here are a few questions on intermittent fasting for weight loss benefits.
1. Who Can Do Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is beneficial for people who are obese or overweight. It is also advised for people who have a sluggish metabolism. This diet helps in improving insulin sensitivity in a person. So, people who suffer from impaired insulin functioning or insulin resistance will benefit from this dietary program.
2. How much should I exercise on Intermittent Fasting?
Exercise is equally important as following the eating guidelines. People who are on intermittent fasting should perform a minimum of three hours of exercise in a week. This will help them reduce weight, and tone their body. Doing strength training and cardio alternatively will help you reap the maximum benefits from this fasting style.
3. Are there any weight loss alternatives to Intermittent Fasting?
For some people, fasting is not their cup of tea. They experience headache, nausea, weakness, etc. that makes it difficult for them to fast. The good news is that there are other ways to reduce weight naturally and gradually. Below are some of the effective diets that can give you promising results:
- 1500 Calorie diet
- High-fiber diet
- Mediterranean diet
- Detox Diet
- Superfoods diet
- Vegetarian diet
- Indian diet plan
- A Ketogenic diet, and
- Balanced pineapple diet
4. Why am I not shedding weight while on Intermittent Fasting?
There can be a few reasons why you are not getting the desired results from this eating strategy:
- you fail to follow the rules and guidelines properly
- you have any existing medical issue or taking some medication that is preventing you from reaping results
- you are not exercising
- you are not getting adequate rest
It may be one of the reasons for not achieving weight loss. Figure out what is lacking and take necessary measures to see results.
5. Can I put on weight while on intermittent fasting?
Weight gain is possible but it will be in the form of muscle density as opposed to body weight. You will look toned, and slender. Regular strength training will help in the development of muscles. This process boosts metabolism and results in fat loss throughout the day.
6. For how many days should I need to do intermittent fasting to see results?
If you haven’t been on intermittent fasting before, you should start by one day per week. Once your body gets habitual of this new eating pattern, you can even increase it to two times per week. In this way, you can ingrain this fasting pattern in your routine life. If you are on any kind of medication or suffering from any health issue, then it is required that you consult your doctor before following this eating pattern.
7. How much fat can I expect to shed in seven days?
The amount of weight that you will lose is dependent on the present body weight, how well you stick to the fasting pattern, exercise routine, genes, medications, and age. In the first week, you can shed water weight that will be around one to two kgs.
With intermittent fasting, you will begin shedding the pounds gradually and feel healthy both mentally, and physically. It enhances your overall health. Out of the different types of intermittent fasting, choose the one that is convenient for you.
Stay hydrated, be optimistic, break the fast with the right types of foods, and perform regular workout to make the most out of this weight loss strategy. If you are overweight, then you should not delay incorporating this fasting strategy into your daily lifestyle.
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