Eating what you want and then not eating for some time and lose weight. Sounds simple and worth the sacrifice. Right? Maybe if you do not make it too complicated.I’d suggest not jumping into a 40 DAY fast with goals of being successful.
Trust me; I had all the faith in the world I was going to attempt a simple seven-day fast and kick start my weight loss goals. I failed miserably after day 2.
She wasn’t ready!?
Fasting is not easy, and you must prepare days in advance. I suggest eating lighter meals prior, increasing your fluid intake, and getting yourself mentally and spiritually prepared for such a task.
Why Intermittent Fasting for Fat Loss
Intermittent fasting decreases insulin spikes and forces the body to burn stored fat for energy versus caloric intake, which results in weight loss. Rather than being on a diet, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that promotes weight loss. Some find it less complicated or restrictive since you are not following a specific diet plan or having to count calories.
It’s a known fact that decreasing calories increase weight loss. Time-restricted fasting increases those chances. The Lancet Diabetes Endocrinology researchers studied caloric restriction over a two year time period. Participants focused on cutting their calories to roughly 300 calories on average. Results included weight loss and a decrease in body fat: improved blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and better blood glucose control. You can read the study here.
Benefits of Fasting
There are many benefits to fasting that range from:
- mental clarity
- weight loss fat loss
- improved blood sugar levels
- reduced inflammation in the body
- improved heart health
- improves digestion
- reduces stress
- breaks weight loss plateaus
- decreases hunger and sugar cravings
- Increases Leptin also known as the satiety hormone (the brains signal that you are full)
There are also many variations to Intermittent Fasting.
Spontaneous fasting – I consider this more like intuitive eating. There are no rules involved you will eat when you are hungry and fast during the times you don’t have an appetite. You will need to be really in tune to hunger versus thirst cues from your body. Most times, we are thirsty when we think we are hungry. Increasing your fluid intake will help significantly with this fast.
Eat-stop-eat You will pick one to two days each week to fast for 24 hours at a time. The best way I have found to do this is to eat nothing from dinner one day to dinner time the next day.
16/8 Fasting, is also known as time-restricted fasting. You will fast for 16 hours and only eat in an 8-hour window. For example, eating hours can be from 10 am – 6 pm only.
5/2 Two days each week you will eat around 500 calories a day, and the remaining five days you will eat as you usually do.
Alternate Day Fasting This includes every other day eating or eating very fewer calories, such as the 500 calorie plan for fasting days.
The Warrior Diet, OMAD The Warrior Diet or one meal a day dieting is equivalent to a 23:1 fasting schedule. You will have one large meal once a day.
My experience with intermittent fasting
As mentioned earlier, I have not yet succeeded at any extended day fast over about two days. I have tried the 24 hours fast to help break a weight loss plateau and was successful in doing so. Using the dinner time to dinner time fasting method made it easier to do.
I also, at times, practice the spontaneous fasting. When I am not hungry, I don’t eat regardless of if it is time to eat or not. I have found it is easier to do this when you are drinking more during the day.
Why intermittent fasting may not be working for you
You are eating the wrong foods.
Even though intermittent fasting does not require you to follow any specific diet plan, it doesn’t mean you can eat a hamburger with fries and a slice of pizza. Most times, we choose those types of foods due to convenience. I suggest meal-prepping your meals for at least three days.
Check out my Pinterest board below on ideas for clean eating. Click Here
You are drinking the wrong drinks.
Cut out the fruit juices, soda, diet soda, and excess alcohol if this speaks to you. During a fast and any other time, it is best to provide your body with the proper hydration. Increase your water intake along with other beverages composed mostly of water non-sweetened teas, black coffee, sparkling water, or lemon-flavored water.
You are not getting enough physical activity.
Light yoga or walking is what is recommended on your fasting days. HIIT High-intensity interval training on nonfasting days. This type of exercise increases your heart rate and burns lots of calories during the workout. Strength training is also suitable for nonfasting days. Having increased muscle mass burns fat even when you are not working out.
Weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise.
Two excellent tips:
Cook your food at home and implement meal prepping
Count your calories on the first few days so that you can get an idea of your caloric intake on a typical day. Then judge where you should improve from there.
You Drink zero-calorie drinks with artificial sweeteners.
This too can hinder the effects of Intermittent Fasting. Studies have shown that drinking diet drinks are worse for you than the sugary one and more addictive. Artificial sweeteners are known as being intense sweeteners and are sweeter than regular sugar. The fake sugar sends a signal to your body that the real sugar is coming, which can cause insulin release and a drop in blood sugar. In turn, it increases hunger cravings.
Lastly, those who should not fast include pregnant women, breastfeeding, or women trying to conceive. People with any underlying medical condition such as low blood pressure, diabetes, or underweight individuals should not attempt fasting without clearance from your personal physician.
Intermittent fasting may be beneficial for a reasonably healthy adult looking to lose weight and decrease body fat. There are many methods to choose from, so pick one that resonates the most with you.
Suggested Reading: Dear Sugar Addict: Lose Weight and Reduce Belly Fat
One on One Coaching
Hi! I’m Denia, I am a Nurse Practitioner and Health and Success Coach. I help women break free from binge eating and food addiction so they can finally lose weight and keep it off! I teach them how to shift their mindset to break addictive patterns and start eating intuitively. You can now stop the yo-yo dieting, the constant starting over and finally achieve your health and weight loss goals.