We go into detail on how you can lose weight with intermittent fasting on another page of this site but felt it was worth spending some more time to help out those who may be new to this type of dieting. Hopefully, this will answer your questions on how you should go about this. When done properly, it can be a great way to shed unwanted pounds!
Intermittent Fasting 101
This is a practice is known to have been in use since ancient times, but inadvertently dates back to the early man as well. If you think about it, our neanderthal ancestors didn’t have a wealth of food at their disposal like we do these days. They didn’t have a packed cupboard, nor a grocery store down the street. They were hunter-gatherers and ate what they could kill or forage. That wasn’t always plentiful, so there were lean times between.
The simple description of intermittent fasting is going through cycles of eating and relatively starving yourself. There are a few different schedules we described in the earlier linked post, where we go into more detail, but here they are in short:
- Alternate Day: Go one day where you have no limits on what you eat. Follow this with a day of not eating, or restricting yourself to 400-500 calories.
- Whole Day: 5 days a week, eat whatever you want. On the other 2 days, go without eating or a restricted calorie meal of 400-500 calories.
- Time Restricted: Restrict a certain time of day for fasting, like during work hours 9am – 5pm, with unrestricted eating outside of those hours. Starting fasting after your coffee, for instance, until it’s dinner time.
Ever think about the term “breakfast“? Split it up into two words: “break fast”. That’s exactly what it is, going back to eating after 12-14 hours since you had your dinner the night before. It’s exactly what this type of dieting entails.
Why Does This Diet Plan Work?
The reasoning behind this eating schedule is to shock your system. If you consistently eat the same amount of calories around the same time every day, your body adapts. If you stay on a low-calorie diet over a long enough time, you adjust to it and stop losing weight like you did when you first began.
With intermittently cycling periods of fasting and eating, your body never normalizes to a regular caloric intake. With this, you are always shocking your system and it keeps metabolizing your food at a higher rate, whether it be a time of eating or starving.
Beyond just the fat burning and weight loss, there are a number of other ways that it improves your health. It can give you improved mental clarity and focus. It has been shown to lower insulin and blood sugar levels, as well as cholesterol levels. All of these are keys to living a longer, more fulfilled life!
If you are stuck in a rut in your weight loss goals, don’t give up. Maybe you’ve been on the same diet for way too long and you aren’t burning fat like you used to. It’s time to change it up! While it may be a bit of a pain to adjust to at first, intermittent fasting may be the diet plan you need to reach your goals.