Intermittent Fasting To Lose Weight – Yay or Nay?
Intermittent fasting is an age-old fat loss technique for overweight. It’s equally effective for all age groups and offers numerous health benefits. A lot of studies have been done on the effectiveness of intermittent fasting to lose weight, and all declare it as a safe approach of fasting.
In IF, you switch between periods of fasting and eating. Your fasting windows are typically longer than your eating windows, and even during the eating windows, you must eat less than your normal diet to bring your weight down.
The best thing about IF is that it doesn’t ask you to make a detailed count of calories. You simply skip one or two meals a day to keep your calorie consumption less than normal. Moreover, the fasting doesn’t need to be done on consecutive days. Just choose two or three nonconsecutive days a week to make IF really work for you.
Does IF really help you lose weight?
As mentioned earlier, intermittent fasting is an effective technique to lose weight. Under normal circumstances when you eat three meals a day, the enzymes in your body break down the food into molecules that eventually become part of your bloodstream. During the breaking down process, the carbohydrates in your food transform into sugar. This sugar is then used by cells in your body to perform different functions. However, the sugar needs insulin to enter cells and stay there.
The benefit of doing intermittent fasting is that it lowers your insulin levels. When you take extended breaks from eating, the amount of insulin in your body comes down. As a result, the cells in your body fail to find insulin required to absorb sugar. This leads them to releasing their already stored sugar as energy, which ultimately burns off fats and brings your weight down.
How to make intermittent fasting simpler?
Did you know, difficulty in sticking to the schedule is the primary reason people quit IF? It’s true that most of us aren’t used to going extended periods without eating. As a result, we end up opting out of IF even before it starts to show any effects. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. There are several approaches that make sticking to intermittent fasting smooth as breeze. These include:
IF is Like Forming a New Habit
Sticking to intermittent fasting to lose weight becomes a lot easier if you take it like learning a new habit. According to experts, changing your eating patterns requires the same mental effort as forming a new habit. The experts also say that your brain needs 66 days to get familiar with a big shift in your routine. So, by constantly reminding yourself that you are modifying your eating patterns, you can make IF a lot lighter on your mind as well as the body.
Be Flexible In Your Approach
Because you will be going long periods without eating, make sure that the last meal before your fast is a healthy one. Taking foods that are rich in protein and fibre keeps you energized for the most part of your fast. Lentils, rice, eggs, fruit, and yogurt are few common examples of such foods.
Also, try to stay hydrated during your fasting period. Remember that just because you are fasting doesn’t mean you can’t drink anything. A cool thing about IF is that it lets you have a go at water and other calorie free drinks such as coffee, green tea, etc. to keep your stomach full. Breaking your fast early is also allowed if you can’t make it to the end. The key is to be flexible in your approach to make IF work for you.
Don’t Force Yourself into It
Fasting intermittently becomes a lot easier if you take pleasure in it. People that do it for fun can stick to it far longer than those that force themselves into it. Look at the positives that come with it such as weight loss, increased focus, self-discipline, etc. and overlook the negatives if any. Moreover, doing it on busy days is another effective way to divert your focus from fasting.
The majority of people that fast on busy days say that keeping their minds occupied simplifies IF for them. It shifts their focus away from hunger and moves time so rapidly that they hardly notice when the end of their fasting windows arrives.
How to make IF work for you?
These are the top ways to make intermittent fasting work for you:
- Replace sugars and refined grains with fruits and vegetables
- Avoid snacking between meals and nighttime
- Start your fast earlier in the day
Is it safe to fast intermittently?
A lot of people ask this question, and the answer is simple: intermittent fasting is safe for healthy people. But if you have a serious illness or are on temporary medications, then intermittent fasting can be harmful. However, you must consult with your doctor before deciding against it as they are the best person to tell whether IF is safe for you or not.
In general, doing intermittent fasting to lose weight is a smart idea. This is because a great deal of research has been done on this subject, and there is plenty of evidence suggesting that fasting for two to three days a week is effective to stay healthy. However, you must choose an eating plan that is sustainable and can work with your busy schedule.
According to experts, intermittent fasting works best when joined with healthy diet and lifestyle. While anyone can benefit from IF, this excellent weight loss approach is particularly useful for diabetes patients. As we all know, high blood sugar level is one of the main reasons diabetes occurs. Intermittent fasting brings your blood sugar level down and keeps it under control for long periods. This ultimately results in a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
However, if you have a history of eating disorder, breastfeed a baby, or are pregnant, then intermittent fasting is not for unless advised by your doctor.
Conclusion. Intermittent fasting is a simple but effective technique to lose weight. If you love the idea of doing intermittent fasting to lose weight, then start by consulting with your doctor. They are the best person to tell whether you should do it or not. Good luck!