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Intermittent Fasting: A Guide to Losing Weight

Updated: Jun 13, 2022


Intermittent Fasting: A Guide to Losing Weight




In today's age, individuals are highly concerned about how they look and if they have a nice body shape and size or not. Those who believe they are out of shape or overweight seek methods to lose weight.


While there are different options available such as workouts, diets, and weight loss supplements, one thing that has been trending over the internet for quite some time is intermittent fasting.


People have been practicing intermittent fasting to lose weight, maintain their health, and even prevent gaining weight. It is a relatively new concept but has been proved to be one of the simplest ways to lose weight.


Since it is a new concept, some people are still unaware of what intermittent fasting is and how they can practice it. If you are one of them, we are here to guide you in this post.


We have prepared a comprehensive guide on intermittent fasting that will tell you all about it and how you can use it to lose weight.


Let's get started.



Explaining Intermittent Fasting



Intermittent fasting is a weight loss technique that is focused on when you eat rather than what you eat. It works around the time interval between your last and next meals. To explain, fasting identifies an eating pattern by refraining from eating anything for a specified period. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting people tend to lose 7-8 pounds within weeks.


The time duration of intermittent fasting could last from 12 hours to 40 hours. During this fasting, you could intake water, coffee, or any other beverage that does not contain any calories. Other than that, you're not allowed to eat solid food.


As a beginner, you must start intermittent fasting for a shorter period. As you get into the habit, you can increase the time duration. For example, you can start with a 12-hour break; you can have your breakfast at 7 am and then have dinner at 7 pm.



After a while, you could start taking a break from breakfast to breakfast or dinner to dinner. However, the time duration of intermittent fasting entirely depends on the individual.



Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting



Since intermittent fasting is an extreme way of losing weight, you should weigh all the aspects of the technique. You must understand the benefits of intermittent fasting to identify if it is worth it.


Here we have a list of a few benefits of intermittent fasting that could help you decide if this is the right way for you to proceed or not.


Allows Access to Extra Body Fat



When you don't consume any solid food for a while, your body works by restoring energy from the extra body fat that has been stored in your body. Your hormone levels change, and your body starts experiencing a few changes.


For example, not eating makes your insulin levels drop, which results in fat burning. With this fat burning, you could deal with the stubborn fat on your body and lose it.


Improved Metabolism



There are two ways in which your body loses weight: burning the extra fat or improving the metabolism, which creates energy out of the food you intake. Intermittent fasting helps you with both.


It helps boost your metabolic rates and speeds up the process of transmitting energy into your body. Research has shown that intermittent fasting is one of the most effective techniques to boost metabolism.


Lower Risks of Diseases



With intermittent fasting, you are eating less and healthy. That helps you reduce the risks of heart problems, diabetes, and even obesity. It enables you to maintain a healthy lifestyle that is not only helping you lose weight but also keeping your body healthy and strong. It brings a new change to your lifestyle, which even adds to making you active.



A Guide on How to Use Intermittent Fasting To Lose Weight



While intermittent fasting seems like a simple process, it does require care and attention because if anything goes wrong, you could face some severe consequences that could negatively affect your health.


Here, we have a guide for you that you could use to adopt intermittent fasting as a weight-loss technique.


Know Your Requirements



Before starting intermittent fasting, the first thing you need to do is understand your body. You need to know how much your body weighs and what is your weight-loss target. Once you know how much weight you need to lose, you can decide on an intermittent fasting plan that would work for your body.


However, you should know that intermittent fasting does not work for everybody because all bodies work differently. So, our suggestion would be to consult your dietician to guide you on the intermittent fasting methods that would work for you or even if intermittent fasting is the right way for you.


You must be aware of the consequences you could face if it does not work out and must take precautions for it. The most common side effects of intermittent fasting include low blood pressure, nausea, weakness, etc. Therefore, to avoid this, it is better to understand your body before taking extreme steps.


Methods of Intermittent Fasting



There are several methods of intermittent fasting based on the time duration and the allowed edibles during the fast. To figure out which option is best for you, you must review them all and decide which method your body will be able to take.


12-Hours Fast


This is the simplest method of intermittent fasting and is preferable for beginners. The rules here are pretty straightforward, and the person has to do a 12-hour fast every day.


Studies have shown that fasting for 12-15 hours a day helps turn body fat into energy, directly releasing the ketones into the blood. This helps utilize the extra fat in your body, which results in weight loss.


This method of intermittent fasting is relatively more manageable than the others, as you can count your sleeping time during the 12 hours of fasting and have your regular food rest of the day.


For example, you can have your dinner at 8 pm and then go to sleep around 9-10 pm, wake up at 7 am, and have breakfast at 8 am. This way, most of your fasting time will be covered by your sleep, and you will not find it hard.


16-Hours Fast


If you are not satisfied with the 12 hours of fasting, it is time for you to level things up a little. You can try out the 16:8 method or the Leangains diet. In this method, you fast for 16 hours and have a break of 8 hours of eating.


Studies have shown that people following the 16:8 method of intermittent fasting have been observed to lose weight faster and are likely to stay away from experiencing problems such as obesity, diabetes, inflammation, etc.


To practice this method, you can simply have your first meal at 12 pm and your last meal by 8 pm, and then you keep your fast for the rest of the night, wake up at your routine time, skip breakfast, and eat your lunch around noon. And continue for a week or two, depending on your requirements.


Intermittent Fasting: A Guide to Losing Weight
Intermittent Fasting: A Guide to Losing Weight


Two Days A Week


If you think you can't observe fasting for hours every day, you can adopt this 5:2 method in which you fast for two days a week and normally eat for the rest of the five days. Also, note that these two days of fasting are not consecutive, and there must be at least one day of food consumption in between.


During the two days of fasting, please remember that it is not advised to have a period of 24 hours of no eating at all if you are a beginner. Decide on a time duration your body can take, it could be either 12-hour or 16-hour fasting, but you will be taking fewer calories than the non-fasting days.


It is totally up to you to decide which days you want to fast. You can observe fast on Monday and Thursday and have regular food intake on the rest of the days. However, there's a catch; while you will be fasting the two days of the week, you need to be careful what you eat the rest of the week. If you don't, you might gain the weight you lost.


Alternate Fasting


If you are looking for fast results, alternate fasting is the right option. As the name suggests, you fast on alternate days of the week and eat on the rest during alternate fasting. With this method, you are neither entirely hungry nor entirely eating, so in a way, it is a balanced method of intermittent fasting.


If your weight-loss target is high and you want to achieve that in less time, the best way this method would work is to avoid all solid foods on the fasting days and even watch what you are eating on the regular eat. Don't overeat on the days without fasting, or else the fasting would not be suitable for your weight.


If you are a beginner to intermittent fasting, we would say no to this method as it is an extreme form of intermittent fasting. If your body is not used to fasting, this could raise some health concerns. Start with a more straightforward method, and once your body has accepted it, you can move toward this method.



Intermittent Fasting: A Guide to Losing Weight
Intermittent Fasting: A Guide to Losing Weight

24-Hours a Week


This method of intermittent fasting is also called the Eat-Stop-Eat diet. In this method, you fast 24 hours a day every week. During these 24 hours, you cannot consume any solid food. You can have zero calories beverages such as water, tea, or coffee, but nothing more than that.


You can normally eat during the rest of the week, but it is suggested to take control of your diet a little. The method is specifically for those who aim to reduce their calorie intake without compromising entirely on their favorite food.


Also, keep in mind that eating nothing for 24 hours straight could bring some problems such as headaches, fatigue, weakness, etc. It isn't easy at the start, but people get used to it with time.


Skip A Meal


Skipping a meal is one of the most flexible methods of intermittent fasting. Here, you are not bound by any rules, and in fact, you are the one who makes the rules.


You can eat according to your appetite and decide what meal you want to consume or what meal you want to skip.


This is a free-style method of intermittent fasting. For example, after having a proper breakfast, you don't feel hungry at lunch, so you can skip it and have dinner later at night. This method does help lose weight, but the catch is that it does take longer than other methods.


Diet as a Warrior


This is the most extreme form of intermittent fasting as it allows you to eat very little even when you are not fasting. Also, you are not permitted to eat any of your high-calorie food. This diet reflects what a warrior would eat at war and tries to replicate that to help lose weight.


During this diet, your routine would include having fruits or vegetables in the morning, fasting for 18-20 hours straight, and then having a full-portion healthy meal at night. You have only four hours of eating, but that does not mean that you start eating like a panda.


You need to make sure you consume fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbs, and other critical nutritional items during this break.



KEY TAKEAWAY!



Intermittent fasting comes in many forms, and it is not necessary that the method that worked for your friend would work for you as well. Keep your options open, start with the more straightforward method, and gradually transition to an extreme one to achieve the best results.


Choose your method wisely, but always make sure you know what your body can handle!

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