Have you tried to find a successful weight loss program, but found that most diet plans set you up to fail? If you want to feel good, look good, and have more energy, then you have to be mindful of what you eat. Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that considers not just what you eat, but also when you eat. And it can do more than just help you lose weight.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting means you only eat during a particular time frame each day. Otherwise you fast and only drink water, tea, or coffee. The concept behind intermittent fasting is based on the fact that humans used to always have to hunt or gather food.
Back then we only ate when we could find something to consume, and our bodies got used to storing up energy for long periods of time before we might eat again and that’s still part of our DNA.
But these days many of us find ourselves eating all the time. Smartphones and other screens make it tempting to stay up late and eat at odd hours. Sometimes we aren’t even hungry and just eat because we’re bored.
But your body is still designed to only use the food that it needs and stores the rest for later. That means your body never gets the chance to burn up all of its energy and you store the excess as fat.
Options For Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting gives your body a chance to burn through its energy stores. Most people start to burn fat after 12 hours of fasting. One easy way to start intermittent fasting is to try the 14:10 approach. This means you try to only eat during a 10-hour window. For example, between 8 am and 6 pm. The rest of the time you give your body a break.
It’s easier if you schedule the majority of your fasting window while you are asleep. Another option is 16:8. For example, you might try to only eat between 10 am and 6 pm, and fast during the other 16 hours of the day.
Some people try the 5:2 approach, which mean they will eat normally for 5 days and restrict their calorie intake to only 500 or 600 calories all in one meal for 2 days. Others will eat normally for a day, then eat 500-600 calories the next day, then repeat the cycle.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is more than just an effective weight loss program. Studies show that it can:
- Lower your blood pressure and heart rate
- Reduce triglycerides
- And decrease cholesterol.
Studies also indicate that intermittent fasting can reduce inflammation and help stabilize blood sugar.
What Can You Eat?
You may already know that eating simple sugars like white bread or sweets can cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop. Eating a candy bar feels great in the moment, but then you often feel more tired than before.
When you try intermittent fasting, you can eat as much as you normally would during a day, but since you can only eat during a shorter time frame you learn to stay fuller longer.
Eating high protein, high fiber, and nutrient-rich meals will help you keep hunger away.
Intermittent fasting is an effective weight loss program that can help you look better inside and out, but it may take 2-4 weeks for your body to adjust to a different eating plan. Make sure and consult with your doctor first if you have any underlying health issues.