Intermittent fasting for weight loss. How to? What? When? Is this some sort of diet plans that help you to lose weight and flatten your belly fat? Maybe you have tons of questions when you are trying to lose weight and belly fat with this method. Well, in this article, we are going to clear things up.
You are going to learn the concept and effectiveness of intermittent fasting in losing both weight and belly fat. Even if you are a beginner and never try intermittent fasting before, you are going to discover how to do it for weight and belly fat loss after reading this article.
What Really Is Intermittent Fasting?
First of all, intermittent fasting is not a type of diet. Yes, you have to be clear that this is not about calories counting, plant based diet or any other diet that you can name. So what is this really about?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern which involves cycles between eating period and fasting period. You are going to have your meals in the period of eating window but you won’t take in any calories within your fasting window.
According to Dr. Eric Berg who is a chiropractor specializes in healthy ketosis and intermittent fasting, he said there are a lot of intermittent fasting patterns that an individual can follow. These include daily intermittent fasting ( 8 hours of eating window and 16 hours of fasting window / 6 hours of eating window and 18 hours of fasting window / 4 hours of eating window and 20 hours of fasting window ).
He also mentioned about two other patterns of intermittent fasting which are every other day fasting and intermittent fasting for once or twice in a week. These patterns of intermittent fasting may involve a whole 24 hours of fasting window.
However, Dr. Eric Berg recommended to practice daily intermittent fasting as he felt this is the best pattern to stay consistent in intermittent fasting. For daily intermittent fasting, you may choose an eating and fasting time frame that your body can adapt with.
He also mentioned that for a younger individual who has a higher metabolism can choose 16 hours of fasting window. Meanwhile, for an older person with age 50 and above who has a slower metabolism, he or she might want to fast for a longer period to benefit from intermittent fasting.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Lose Fat?
High insulin level causes us to have a big belly. When we are having meals especially with high carbs and sugar, this spike our insulin level. On the other hand, if you want to lose belly fat or weight, you want to maintain insulin level as low as possible.
According to a published article in Harvard Medical School, within this fasting period, our insulin will go down and use up the energy in our stored fat. So the concept of intermittent fasting is to let our insulin level has a long period without any other sources of energy supplies and go down very far to burn off the energy in our accumulated fat.
As a result, This will lead us to lose belly fat and weight effectively and successfully.
Besides that, when we are doing intermittent fasting, we are simply skipping a meal. We are actually having lesser meals and creating a calories deficit. For example, if our eating window starts at 12pm and ends at 8pm, we are actually skipping breakfast. But this doesn’t mean we can eat anything or even eat a lot of junk food within this eating period. If we do this, we will not lose any weight but getting fatter and fatter because we just take in too much of calories.
How to Do Intermittent Fasting?
First, you need to find out which pattern of intermittent fasting do you prefer. Most people are more comfortable with the 16:8 daily intermittent fasting which is 16 hours of fasting window and 8 hours of eating window.
Dr. Eric Berg suggested that you might want to improve your intermittent fasting gradually over time. For instance, an overweight individual who has a bad eating habit of besides 3 meals per day, he also takes in a lot of snacks or junk food. He said that a beginner like this may start of from a non intermittent fasting and improve gradually and enter heavy fat burning intermittent fasting
Initially, this individual from the example above is having many meals in a day including snacks. This results in spiking his insulin all day long. So Dr. Eric recommended that for him to start out, instead of doing intermittent fasting immediately, he might want to first cut down all his snacks and limit himself to have only 3 meals in a day.
After sometimes, he might want to move on and starts his fasting period. He can first try out 3 meals for 16:8 intermittent fasting. Then after two weeks, he may proceed with 2 meals for 16:8 intermittent fasting. As he continue to show improvement, he might want to transit into a heavy fat burning 20:4 intermittent fasting.
I personally prefer 18:6 intermittent fasting as this pattern of intermittent fasting has an 18 hours of fasting window and 6 hours of eating window. 6 hours of eating period is a nice fit for 2 meals without feeling hungry in between meals. So, I don’t even need to eat any snacks for this pattern of time frame.
I would like to break my fast at 11am. At this time, I skip my breakfast and have a brunch instead. Next, I will have my last meal of the day at around 4.30pm to 5pm. After my dinner, I still have a couple of hours for digestion before my bed time. Hence, I can benefit the most from this pattern of intermittent fasting.
When you are doing intermittent fasting, you might need a Fittrack scale to check the amount of your visceral fat. This is to monitor your progress on losing belly fat and weight while doing intermittent fasting.
What Can I Eat Or Drink On Intermittent Fasting ?
What can I eat within my eating window? In order to enhance the power of fat burning and losing weight, you might want to have keto diet. You need to eat more healthy fat and vegetables and you will stay full for a longer time within your fasting window. With keto diet, you are burning off fat faster by encouraging insulin to tap on the stored fat for energy supplies.
What can I drink within my fasting window? We can drink black coffee with no sugar and herbal tea. These drinks have very little to no calories which are suitable for fasting period. In addition, we need to drink plenty of water to keep ourself hydrated. We can even enjoy a soothing sparking water. If you want to make sparkling water at home, you can easily purchase a soda maker from Amazon.
Who Should NOT Do Intermittent Fasting?
According to Doctor Jason Fung from Dietdoctor, women who are pregnant or even breastfeeding should not fast. This is to ensure that a mother has abundant of nutrients to provide her child. An individual with underweight or suffering anorexia should not try out intermittent fasting. Whoever under the age of 18 should not involve themselves in any fasting as they require a lot of nutrients to grow.
Intermittent Fasting is an effective method to lose weight and belly fat. However, do not push yourself too hard and always do things within your limit. If you feel unwell or any side effect that bothers you, please see a doctor immediately.
If you haven’t try any intermittent fasting before, do it at a slower pace and making progress gradually. Why don’t just add some HIIT exercises for maybe twice a week during your fasting period. This can even boost your fat loss and weight loss effect. If you ever feel like you are falling in a weight loss or fat loss plateau, you may try to increase your fasting window in order to continue in losing weight or fat.
Nowadays, people are just too busy to prepare and plan for their meals. When you are doing intermittent fasting for weight loss, it is important to eat fresh and healthy meals. If you have no time to think of what to cook and no time to spare in the kitchen, you can even purchase healthy meals online which suit your needs from Bistromd. They even do meals delivery right to your door. So you can save a lot of your time while doing intermittent fasting.
Can you let us know if you had tried intermittent fasting? If you did, can you share your experience on trying it? Or if you haven’t try, can you let us know which pattern of intermittent fasting do you most likely want to try?