Do you want to lose weight? Energize your body? Boost your brainpower? and Live longer? Who doesn’t, right? Believe it or not, these perks or more are the proven benefits of fasting. So today, I am going to talk about how to use intermittent fasting to lose weight and feel great at the same time!
What is intermittent fasting?
In simple terms, it’s alternating between periods of eating and fasting. I call it feasting and fasting. It’s totally the opposite of what we’ve been told to never skip a meal.
What does Science say about intermittent fasting?
1.It improves the metabolism. Short term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate. by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories.
2. It helps you lose weight as calorie restriction. We see in multiple studies that when compared to a calorie controlled diet, people tend to lose the same or sometimes more weight with fasting.
3. It targets fat. In a study of Italian Athletes, one group was assigned to intermittent fasting for 8 weeks, while the other consumed normal routine of 3 meals a day. After 8 weeks, the intermittent fasting group lost significantly more fat mass than the normal diet group without losing any muscle mass. Since the more lean muscle tissue you have on your body, the more calories you’ll burn naturally.
4. It is easier for people to stick with. According to research, people find fasting much easier to stick with than traditional, everyday calorie restriction.
There many different types of intermittent fasting. I’ll be talking about 4 of the most popular ones right now.
a. The 5:2 Diet. Founded by Dr. Michael Mosley, It became extremely popular following his BBC Documentary, “Eat, Fast, and Live Longer.” In this method, you eat normally 5 days a week. Then you fast partially for 2 days a week, eating about 1/4 of a normal day’s recommended calories which translates to 500-600 calories a day.
2. The 16:8 method (Time-restricted diet). You eat within an 8-hour window every day and then fast for 16 hours every day. People usually just skipped breakfast and eat a later lunch at around 1-2 PM then stop eating at 8 PM – 10 PM.
3. Alternate day fasting. You fast for 24 hours every other day. Alternating days of eating without restrictions with fasting days.
And number 4. Eat-stop-eat method. You fast for 24 hours, 2 days out of the week usually from 5 in the evening until 5 PM the next day.
Common Questions About Intermittent Fasting.
Which type of intermittent fasting is best for weight loss? It’s really up to you. The eat stop eat diet is one of the most researched, since most of the fasting studies performed involved 24-hour fast and are usually not done back to back. The 16:8 method is the most popular because of how convenient it is. Try both and see how you feel.
Is it safe? Fasting for the larger majority of the population is safe to do. The only time intermittent fasting is not recommended is if you are pregnant or breast feeding, experiencing chronic stress, underweight, diabetic or on in any medication especially insulin. Also, fasting longer than 24 hours is not as well researched at this time, so keep that in mind if you are thinking of extended fasting.
How do I start? Choose an intermittent fasting style that fits in your daily and weekly routine. Plan in advance what you’re going to eat.
Can i exercise on the fasting days? Yes, you can. It’s not for everyone, but you can do it without fear of losing muscle mass and you will likely burn a little more fat training fasted.
What can I drink during my fast? Unsweetened tea, water and black coffee are best.
I can only train in the evening, after work. Should I wait until then to break my fast? Depends. You can wait to break your fast if the following apply to you:
- You don’t mind eating your first meal at 6 or 7 PM.
- Your workout won’t suffer from the extended fast.
- You won’t have an issue getting in all of your calories and macros before bed.
If those things are not an issue for you, sure, you can wait to have your first meal until after your workout. But, you don’t have to. The second option is to simply break your fast at around 1 PM with a moderately sized protein rich meal, have a shake or something like it a bit later than one and then have some BCAAs before training at about 5:30 PM. When you finish your workout, start eating the rest of your calories. Speaking of shakes, I suggest buying Skinnyco’s meal replacement weight loss shakes as they are packed with protein, fiber, and high-quality ingredients to keep you feeling fuller, longer plus you get free shipping for all orders!
I’ll mention that option one is probably better suited to fat loss, while option two is better for muscle gain.
If you have any experience using fasting, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!