One of the easiest and effective ways to shed out body fat is the process of Intermittent Fasting. The first aspect to understand is that Intermittent Fasting has nothing to do with ‘dieting’. You have at your disposal an open pantry. Eat whatever you want as long as the quantities suit your goals.
“Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle change rather than a diet.”
Three Methods of Intermittent Fasting
- The 16/8 Method – Skip breakfast every day and eat during a 6-8-hour window, and fast through the remaining 14-16 hours. This is the most common method used to lose weight.
- The 5:2 Diet – This diet allows you to eat 500-600 calories on two days of the week and the rest of the 5 days, you eat normally.
- Eat-Stop-Eat – This is a 24-hour fast done once or twice a week. For example, you can skip dinner one day until dinner the next day.
Regardless of what method you choose as per your personal choice, make sure, you eat every 3 to 4 hours. Most importantly listen to your hunger cues to determine when it’s time to eat. Listen to your body and tune in with your inner voice.
The methods do not designate or mention how much you can eat however the idea is to avoid overindulging. For you may end up consuming more calories than your body needs in a day. Remember always to stick to eating balanced and nutritional foods.
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How does intermittent fasting help you lose weight?
When you are following Intermittent fasting, you eat all the food your body needs but during a shorter period of time. You tend to eat fewer calories, and also help optimize some hormones related to weight control.
Thus, it is an eating pattern where you incorporate regular periods of fasting into your meal schedule. When you fast, your body goes into a starvation mode and is not in a digestive state. Then, your body goes into ketosis and has the ability to burn all the stored fat.
(Ketosis: “a metabolic state characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in the body tissues, which is typically pathological in conditions such as diabetes, or maybe the consequence of a diet that is very low in carbohydrates”)
Our body stores fat as a protective mechanism for many reasons. When we’re constantly eating, digesting and absorbing, our insulin levels rise up and it is difficult to lose weight.
Intermittent fasting also succeeds where other weight loss methods fail: That is by targeting and reducing visceral fat. What is visceral fat? It is the stubborn, internal fat deeply compressed around your abdominal organs. People following the Intermittent fasting program were able to shed 4 to 7 % of their visceral fat.
Research shows that Intermittent Fasting for weight loss has huge gains for your body and brain. It can ward off chronic disease, improve memory and brain function, and boost energy levels. Furthermore, Intermittent fasting helps reduce weight quickly and keeps it off.
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5 Tips while practicing Intermittent Fasting
Three main Tips are to be understood before you begin any of the three intermittent fasting methods:
1. Food and Environment Quality
Eat mostly whole foods and foods with single-ingredient. You can also add-in superfoods that activate your metabolism to help you lose weight. Such as ginger herbal teas, lentils, olive oil, turmeric, Indian gooseberry, quinoa, brown rice, oats, and many others. Break your fast with healthy food instead of junk.
For people who really have a problem getting into the routine fasting – ‘fast incubator’ is rising in popularity. The ‘fast incubators’ from Mexico are created in a manner that you are surrounded by nature. You are kept away from any kind of noise, the smell of food and this helps you to fast for any period of time ranging from 10 to 30 days. As a result, there have been improvements noticed in the healing of cancer, better eyesight, and an increase in hearing ability.
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2. Calories Matter
During the non-fasting periods, eat normally and do not overeat more calories than your body needs. Do not compensate for the calories you have missed during fasting. Even though calorie counting does not matter. However, if your weight comes to a standstill, then calorie counting can be a useful tool.
Another study found that obese adults following an alternate day intermittent fasting program (eating 25% of their daily calories in one day, eating normally the subsequent day) lost up to 13 pounds (5 kilos) in an 8-week period. People following this diet also lost 4-7% of their waist circumference, indicating that they lost belly fat and not muscle.
3. To be Regular and Consistent
Just how every other workout or weight-loss diet takes time to show results. In a similar manner, you need to be consistent with intermittent fasting as well for considerable results. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting does indeed facilitates weight loss. In a 2015 review combining 40 studies, participants were able to shed 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) in a 10-week period by practicing intermittent fasting.
The diet also recommends strength training, that can be done either by Yoga or Gym. Remember it is important to do strength training only if you want to burn body fat and not your muscle.
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4. Patience and Determination
Each body type takes time to adjust to a new diet. Similarly, it can take your body some time to adapt to intermittent fasting. If you stick to the diet and its protocol, it will get easier.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition stated that the 5:2 diet method of intermittent fasting was more effective for weight loss than a regular long-term low-calorie diet.
Dieters ate normally for 5 days and for the rest of the 2 days, they had to restrict their calorie intake and bring it down dramatically to 500-600 calories. The study also concluded a drop in systolic blood pressure and a high rate of body fat being metabolized by those who followed intermittent fasting.
5. Beverages to Drink during Intermittent Fasting
During intermittent fasting, you should opt for calorie-free drinks mostly:
- Drink as much water as you can. It is important to be hydrated.
- Herbal teas.
- No sodas (even diet) or fruit juices.
- Morning coffee with less than 50 calories of added substitute such as coconut oil, almond milk and so on.
- Alcohol is a big no. It is a toxic compound that will put your body under stress and slow down the metabolism process.
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Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
1. Lowers Insulin levels
Intermittent fasting lowers your insulin levels keeping control of your diabetes and blood sugar levels. This helps to prevent weight gain. However, fasting also decreases your fasting insulin levels that give your body a signal to burn extra stored fat instead of glucose. This helps your body to lose weight.
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2. Improves cholesterol
This diet impacts the cholesterol levels and lowers it down especially for people who are overweight and obese. Since they are likely to have high levels of cholesterol that could cause a risk tot heir heart.
3. Boosts metabolism
Intermittent fasting also boosts your metabolism that allows your body to burn more calories, even while you rest. It also works in stimulating your hormonal balance, increasing your immunity, and helps in detoxification of your body. This diet leaves you feeling energetic and good from the inside.
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4. Spiritual Healing
Intermittent fasting improves spiritual health through meditation increasing your well-being. Meditation is more effective on an empty stomach. It reduces stress in your body and mind as both the elements are given complete rest. Even Yoga during intermittent fasting is beneficial to the whole body.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Through intermittent fasting, you can decrease inflammation and inflammation markers such as leptin and adiponectin (hormones that regulate energy levels and glucose levels in the body). Lowering inflammation can help to lose weight, boost longevity, and reduce the risk of illness such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Note: However, those suffering from diabetes or any other metabolic disease that require eating food after every few hours should avoid following intermittent fasting for weight loss. However, practicing Yoga Poses is a good solution.
You can certainly lose weight through intermittent fasting. It helps loose bodyweight because of low-calorie intake and better metabolism. Moreover, there is a range of many benefits of intermittent fasting. Even though it’s super beneficial and an ancient form of fasting with its roots in ancient Indian eating traditions – intermittent fasting is not for everyone.
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