I know how hard it can be to reach your weight loss goals. If you have been struggling with weight loss and are not seeing the results you want, or maybe you are just looking to see what options are out there for you, you might consider intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is yet another one of those techniques used for weight loss, which could be just what you are looking for to find the success you want.
Intermittent fasting is a term that is used for several diet plans that cycle between a period of fasting (refraining from eating) and non-fasting over a determined period of time.
There are many pros and cons of fasting and there are several different methods of fasting, all of which we will discuss.
Pros of Fasting
This is a simple diet method that is easy for people to understand. There are also many benefits from using this method, which is what makes it so popular.
- No Calorie Restriction
- Lose Weight
- Lower Stress
- Improve Health
- Reduce Inflammation
- Increased Resistance to Age Related Disease
Intermittent fasting is a very simple concept. There are no counting calories or trying to figure out what you are or aren’t allowed to eat. You simple eat at designated times. You can eat what you would normally eat.
Since you only eat at certain times and are going a period of time without eating, your body burns fat during those times you are fasting. Being able to lose weight can also help to lower your stress levels.
Many people struggle with their weight. When they are unable to get to where they want to be, they get frustrated, increasing their stress levels.
Similarly, studies have shown that it can lower blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and triglycerides. This helps your overall health, which is what many of you are working towards.
Cons of Fasting
As with most diets, there are some negatives that come with it. The cons associated with intermittent fasting are:
- Hard to Stick to Long-term
- Affect Social Life
- Negative Health Consequences
With intermittent fasting you need to stick to your fasting and eating times. When looking at the long-term it can be difficult for people to maintain.
In order to see results you have to stick to your fasting times. And when you decide to go out for a night, you have to still be able to adhere to that schedule. Some people find it hard to not eat or drink when they are out with others who are doing just that.
So, it is easy to see why some people’s social life can get affected.
Also, with intermittent fasting, you can have some negative health consequences such as hormonal imbalances. For those that are more active, this is more frequent. These imbalances can cause insomnia, increased stress, and thyroid problems.
Types of Fasting
There are several different methods of fasting. Some are more intense and stricter than others, so it is best to start off with an easier method and work your way from there is need be.
Also, give it some time when you are trying these. If you don’t see results immediately don’t just jump to a more intense version. You need to give your body time to adjust.
This is a great method for beginners to start with. It is very simple to do and much easier to stick with. To practice this type of intermittent fasting, you make a 12-hour fasting window every day. It is that simple.
Most of the fasting window occurs while you are sleeping, and you can still eat what you would normally consume in a day.
Obviously if you make healthier choices and use portion control, you will see better results, but you could see results without restricting your diet. You just have to make sure you aren’t eating in that 12-hour period.
An example of the fasting time could be 7 PM to 7 AM. That means you stop eating by 7 PM and you do not eat anything again until after 7 AM.
This is also known as the 16:8 method. This is just like the 12-hour fasting but you up the fasting window. It is now 16-hours in a day and the eating gap is 8 hours.
This is a good approach to take for those who have done the 12-hour fasting but did not see the results they wanted. Studies have shown, limiting you’re eating time to 8 hours a day protects against obesity, inflammation, diabetes, and liver disease.
An example of the 16:8 method could be 7 PM to 11 AM. You would make sure you are done eating by 7 PM and would fast until 11 AM the next day.
You can adjust these times to whatever fits your schedule best. Maybe you take lunch right at noon so you could make your times 8 PM to noon. Just make sure you have 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours where you can eat.
Meal skipping is also good for beginners to start with and might be where you want to start. It is pretty simple too.
So if you are unsure if you can stick to a schedule but want to try some sort of fasting, this might be your go to. You get to decide when or what meal you skip. What it comes down to is eating when you are hungry and skipping it when you aren’t.
However, you will want to be conscious of what you eat and make healthier choices. This will allow you to see more results.
Fasting 2 Days a Week
This is method goes by the name 5:2 diet as well. With this method, you are meant to make healthy food choices when you eat during the 5 days. You then restrict your calorie intake on the 2 days of fasting.
Men typically consume 600 calories on these days, while women consume 500 calories. It is also important to have at least one day between fasting days.
A schedule you might use for this method is fasting on Monday and Thursday, while eating on the other days. Again, you can pick whichever days work best for your schedule. If you plan it out to fit your schedule, you have a better chance of sticking to it.
Alternate Day Fasting
With this type you alternate between feeding and fasting days. On an average fasting day, you have a meal at lunch that consists of about 25% of the calories you need.
This differs for everyone, because normally each person needs to consume different amounts of calories in a day. Based on your schedule, the fasting period can be anywhere between 30-40 hours.
Some people allow 500 calories on fasting days, while others completely avoid solid foods. Typically, people will eat as much as they want on days they can eat.
24-Hours a Week Fasting
This is also known as the eat-stop-eat diet. In this diet you do not eat any food for your 24-hours of fasting. During that time, you are allowed to drink calorie-free drinks. This could include black coffee, water, or tea.
Then on non-fasting days you can eat normal. This reduces your calorie intake without restricting what you can eat. Many people experience headaches, fatigue, and irritability. These effects lessen over time.
Typically, you would work your way up to this method. You would go from the 12-hour fasting, to 16-hour, and then this one.
It is more intense, so working your way up to it gives you a better chance of sticking to it. It also isn’t such a shock to your body then either.
A normal fasting period for this type is from breakfast to breakfast, or lunch to lunch.
This is another type of fasting. For this type you fast for 20-hour and eat as much as you want during your 4-hour feasting gap at night. It is strongly suggested to have your eating period at night. They claim to have better results that way.
During the fasting, you are allowed to have small amounts of dairy, hard-boiled eggs, raw fruits and vegetables, and non-calorie drinks. During your 4-hours, you can eat whatever you want and as much as you want.
Many people have trouble reaching their ideal weight. Some even try several diets without seeing any results. Sometimes you don’t know what is going to work for you until you try it.
Intermittent fasting could be the method that works for you!
Start out slow, always pick the best eating and fasting times for your schedule and stick with it. There are many benefits you can experience from intermittent fasting, if you do!
If you are going to start fasting, check out The Best Intermittent Fasting Tips to help you get going and stick with it.