Intermittent fasting, or IF, is growing in popularity among bloggers, fitness gurus, and YouTubers primarily for the weight loss it brings.
This approach is turning some commonly-held ideas about weight loss on their heads, especially about the importance of breakfast.
Because of this, as with all new approaches to weight loss, it has been gaining steam in mainstream health and wellness.
Before you decide intermittent fasting is for you, why don’t you take a little time to learn more about it?
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not another fad diet; rather, it is a pattern of eating which is popular across the world.
Many cultures practice intermittent fasting for religious reasons or to mark special occasions.
Only recently has it become popular in Western culture.
With intermittent fasting, you are given an “eating window” during which you are allowed to eat; you fast during all other times outside of that window.
There are essentially three ways to follow this eating pattern.
1. The 16/8 method:
Also known as a “lean gains” method, you are given an eight-hour window to eat whatever you want; for the next 16 hours, you do not eat anything, though you are allowed black coffee, teas and water; some allow natural juices, green smoothie.
You can easily set your timings according to your routine. For example, you would start eating at 1:00 p.m. and then stop at 9:00 p.m., fasting until the next day at 1:00 p.m. This is the most common method because it fits in easily with most people’s current routines and produces results quickly.
2. Eat- Stop- Eat:
The eat-stop-eat method is one of the most difficult because it resembles a weekly body cleanse or detox as opposed to an eating pattern.
In this method, you fast for 24 consecutive hours once or twice a week.
This method allows low-calorie drinks to help you through your day.
Individuals may opt for this method if their routine or strenuous work hours do not allow them to skip breakfast.
They may intermittently fast on the weekends or on a day off throughout the week.
3. The 5:2 diet:
In the 5:2 method, you consume only 500 to 600 calories for two consecutive days. Known also by others as “The Fast Diet,” it has no requirements about what you can or cannot eat.
You can eat a 600-calorie burger and be done with your eating for the day or you can eat more low-calorie foods throughout the day; how you stay within your 600-calorie limit is up to you.
Why Intermittent Fasting?
People commit to intermittent fasting because it is easy to adopt and relatively convenient to their lifestyles.
Some people see rapid, visible results and report a host of other health benefits, such as:
- Quicker, easier, and more convenient weight loss
- Reduced risk of illnesses and diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer,
stress and inflammation in the body
- Better brain support
- Increased metabolism
- Improved body health similar to results from a cleanse or detox
Like with any change to diet or eating habits, consult a physician or nutritionist before embarking on intermittent fasting.
Now you may wonder:
Does this work for me? Would I lose weight and how much?
There is no exact answer to that. I have seen some people lose a lot of weight and some others none.
As a master certified transformational nutrition coach, I believe that we all are different and need a personalized approach to nutrition.
As much as IF can work for many people, it does not work for all.
I personally believe that a healthy, high quality nutrition adapted to the person, is far more important.
Thus, a protein-rich breakfast, eaten early, can help to balance blood sugar and minimize cravings. If this is the goal, I would recommend to start breaking the fast early and stop eating early at night which can also be beneficial for sleep.
I give you the perfect example, my husband loves intermittent fasting but I cannot do it, as I need regular meals to keep me focused and happy.
Having said this, my husband has been doing IF in the past with great success. More recently he tried it again without his weight budging much and after changing his way of eating, he dropped weight.
I am wondering, what is your experience with IF? Please let me know in the comments.
As I mentioned, we all are different and need to find the best approach that works for us.
Do you need some help to find the best approach for you? Contact me here to book a call.
Ready to get the best of both worlds?
I have put together several meal plans adapted to your needs and many of them are also available as intermittent fasting option. Find out more below