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What is Intermittent Fasting? Beginners Guide

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Fed up with being obese or unhealthy?

Tired of your supermodel friend keeping diet secrets from you?

Learn about intermittent fasting and how it will work wonders for your physique and health. Intermittent fasting has been in practice for thousands of years. It only became a new phenomenon in the past couple of years.

Several bloggers and health experts endorse the use of intermittent fasting to achieve your fitness goals. So if you have ever found yourself wondering:

What is intermittent fasting?

Then worry not! In this guide, I am going to explain all about intermittent fasting and how intermittent fasting can help you lose weight?

What is Intermittent Fasting?

The term, intermittent fasting, is very popular in the fitness world. It involves various eating plans, which I am going to mention in this guide, that involves alternating time frames of eating and fasting.

According to studies, when you do intermittent fasting correctly, your weight, body, and metabolism are instantly affected. There is also a reduction of metabolic biomarkers that come with chronic diseases. The effects are known to vary from person to person because of the nature of these eating plans. But you don’t have to stress out, I will show you the best way to do IF.

What Are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting requires discipline so that it can be done correctly. According to a study published online in 2016, women tend to experience mood swings in the initial stages of intermittent fasting.

However, with correct practice and time, they actually begin to feel a sense of accomplishment, reward, pride, and self-control.

There are a number of factors that make this kind of dieting extremely impactful. A handful of them being:

  • It reduces oxidative stress.
  • It reduces biomarkers witnessed in chronic diseases.
  • Mental functioning improves a lot.
  • You don’t suffer from inflammatory issues.
  • There is an upgrade in the beta cell function.
  • Blood pressure gets lowered and a lot more controlled.
  • That crazy pang to eat in the evening gets reduced.
  • There is a major boost to your cardio-metabolic health.

2. How Long Should You Do Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting, in its essence, is basically just varying timings of when you don’t eat and when you do eat. Although you will come across a number of different ways to do intermittent fasting, you should only choose the one you can actually practice!

There are a couple of ways to practice intermittent fasting but the most common ones are:

  • FASTING FOR 12 HOURS A DAY
    This is a 12-hour fast where you pick a time not to eat such as between 7pm-7am. Therefore, 7 pm is your cut off time for evening snacks and other items you would generally gravitate towards in the nighttime. Fasting overnight is great because it leaves very few “awake” hours not to eat.
  • FASTING FOR 16 HOURS A DAY
    This is quite similar to the 12-hour plan. All you have to do is to add 4 more hours of fasting to your total time! This is also known as the 16:8 methods because you get 8 non-fasting hours and 16 fasting hours.
    You can add the fasting hours by setting 5 pm as the cut off time and 9 am as the resume. Or, you can go about it the usual way and set 8 pm as the cut off time, wake up by 8 am and fast for 4 additional hours. You can continue food consumption at 12 pm.
  • 5:2 PLAN
    This fasting plan is laid out in such a way that you stick to a low-carb diet 5 days a week and the other 2 days you confine yourself to

    • Extremely limited carbs OR
    • 500-600 calories a day
  • 18:6 PLAN
    This is one of the most popular plans when women start off in their mighty motivation. It is also the toughest. But it is also the most effective one as it leads to the quickest results in the first stages of this plan. So if you are trying to lose significant amounts of weight, I would recommend this length of intermittent fasting to you. Of course, you can cut it down to 15, 12 and then 7 hours later! In this plan, you fast for 18 hours and eat within a 6-hour window.

3. What Can You Eat/Drink after Fasting?

No matter if you are following vegan, Keto or Paleo diet plans, you still have to follow the principles of intermittent fasting. You really have to compromise on a lot with IF. This means when the window opens for you to eat after fasting, you have to stick to clear liquids, cold/hot tea (no sugar), black coffee, apple cider vinegar etc. Keep a hard check on your caloric intake for the best results.

I recommend combining a Keto diet plan with intermittent fasting because IF helps to get into ketosis quickly and Ketogenic diet plan helps to lose weight more effectively.

4. Tips to Ensure Effective Weight Loss with Intermittent Fasting

  1. Count your calories and don’t over-consume during the non-fasting period. You don’t want to lose the progress you made during the time you were fasting.
  2. Don’t give up after a couple of weeks just because you are not transforming into the diva you envisioned. You need to stick by intermittent fasting for a good period of time for the results to show. Consistency is the key!
  3. Be patient. Your body will take its time to adapt to the intermittent fasting rules, just focus on being consistent with the meal schedule you have drafted. Success has always begged for sacrifice!
  4. In order to boost the results of intermittent fasting, I strongly recommend strength training. Your body will burn fat while sustaining muscle.

Wrapping it Up

I hope this beginners guide to IF will help you achieve your fitness goals. Let me know your progress in the comments section below.

Images Credit: pexels.com

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