Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss: All You Need To Know
Weight loss doesn’t mean starving yourself - it is about eating the right foods in the right quantities at the right time. Intermittent fasting for weight loss works to keep your eating hours to specific hours of the day, working on your metabolism and helping reduce weight. Here’s how.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Social media and health and wellness websites today are peppered with the term intermittent fasting and talk about its benefits. But what is it? It doesn’t mean you stop eating altogether - it is a pattern of eating where you observe regular fasts for short periods of time, or observe hours of minimal or no food consumption.
So, by giving your stomach breaks, or restricting the hours within which you consume foods, you are allowing your digestive and metabolic system to align and adjust and work better.
Types Of Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss:
There are different methods of intermittent fasting for weight loss that you can follow.
16:8: This is one of the most popular forms of intermittent fasting for weight loss. The 16 and 8 stand for the number of hours in the day. You limit your window of eating to 8 hours in the day and stay away from food for the remaining 16. So, if your last meal of the day is at 7 pm in the evening, your next meal will be at 11 am the next day.
Limiting your “eating hours” can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure. One thing to remember is that stuffing yourself during that 8-hour eating window - or eating too many unhealthy foods - will not help you lose weight.
5:2: This refers to the days of the week. For 5 days a week, you eat as per usual - no limits, no restrictions. For the remaining two days, you consume only 1/4th of the calories you would consume on a regular day. So if you are on a 2000 calorie diet for 5 days of the week, the remaining two days would require an intake of just 500 calories.
Here too, following the 5:2 diet doesn’t mean you get most of your 2000 calories from junk food - you should aim to eat healthily and eat a good volume of low-calorie nutrient-dense foods on the other days.
This is simpler than most of the others and a good fasting diet for weight loss. You fast every other day and eat what you like on non-fasting days. There is also a modified option where you can consume 500 calories on the “fasting” day. Adding an element of physical activity can further improve this method of intermittent fasting for weight loss.
Pioneered by the author of the book Eat-Stop-Eat Brad Pilon, this plan involves selecting two days in the week (non-consecutive) where you abstain from all food for 24 hours - nope, no food at all! The idea behind this practice is that consuming few to no calories in that time frame helps in weight loss, by prompting your body to use the existing fat as an energy source.
3. Warrior Diet:
This one is a bit extreme - and draws from the manner in which ancient warriors used to eat, as the name suggests! Created in 2001 by Ori Hofmekler, it requires the patient to eat very little food for 20 hours in the day, and eat as much as required for a 4-hour window at night.
During the 20-hour fast period, a limited intake of dairy is allowed, along with boiled eggs, raw fruits and vegetables and zero-calorie fluids for hydration. It can be difficult to follow, but it is a good method of intermittent fasting for weight loss.
How It Helps
Here are some of the benefits of intermittent fasting.
- Weight loss
- Reduction in belly fat/shedding inches along the waist
- Reduces cardiovascular disease
- Helps in reduction of calorie intake
- Better metabolic health and rate
Breaking The Fast
For intermittent fasting for weight loss to work well, you need to be intelligent about how you break it, taking care not to cause sudden spikes in blood sugar by eating junk food and sugary foods.
- Your first meal should be light and small
- Stick to lower amounts of carbs and fats in the first meal
- Fill up on proteins, vitamins and minerals
- Be mindful of portion size
Combining your diet with exercise will bring you intermittent fasting results that are long-lasting.
If you are looking for intermittent fasting tips for weight loss, or even a complete overhaul of your diet plan to manage your weight, get in touch with us. Our Weight Management Program targets both fat loss and muscle building - and our tailored plans will help you achieve your goals.
How to do intermittent fasting for weight loss.
There are different intermittent fasting methods, the most popular ones are the 16:18 method, the 5:2 method, Warrior Diet, Eat Stop Eat method and ADF or alternate-day fasting method.
What to eat on intermittent fasting for weight loss.
Intermittent fasting does not restrict any particular food group, but you should always stick to whole, unprocessed foods that are rich in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Avoid refined flours and sugars and packaged foods. A shot of diluted apple cider vinegar can help keep you hydrated and prevent cravings during a fast.
Is intermittent fasting good for weight loss?
Yes, it is an effective way to lose weight in a sustainable manner if you eat the right combination of foods.
How much weight can you lose in a month with intermittent fasting?
Weight loss varies from person to person and also depends on physical activity. Ideally, weight loss at the rate of half to one kg per week is considered healthy and sustainable, whether you are following intermittent fasting for weight loss or another weight loss plan.
Which intermittent fasting is best for weight loss?
You can choose the intermittent fasting plan that works best for you - people have different metabolic rates and dispositions so it is a matter of testing which plan works to keep you satiated.