Your ULTIMATE Guide To Intermittent Fasting
When it comes to losing weight, everybody has their own unique take on the best way to go about doing so. Some believe that low carbs are the answer, whereas others believe the exact opposite. Some eat 3 square meals per day, while others consume 5-7 small meals throughout the day. When it comes to fasting however, the jury really is out.
To begin with, experts were convinced that fasting was essential when it came to weight loss. Then suddenly, it was believed that fasting was extremely dangerous. Now, thanks to breakthroughs in modern technology and research, we have once again found that fasting could potentially be the secret to weight loss. Arguably the most popular and effective form of fasting is one known as intermittent fasting, and it is intermittent fasting which we’re going to be looking at today. Here is your ultimate guide to intermittent fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
First up, we need to establish what intermittent fasting actually is. Basically, intermittent fasting is not some radical new concept thought up by some Z-list celebrity, or online personal trainer on Instagram. It’s something that the human race has been doing for literally hundreds of thousands of years. The basic premise behind intermittent fasting is that you alternate between periods of eating and fasting. One of the main benefits of intermittent fasting is the fact that does assist with weight loss. However, in reality, intermittent fasting is not just some diet plan designed to promote fat loss. It is instead a lifestyle change and so it most certainly is not just some quick fix. There are many different variants of intermittent fasting which we’ll be looking at shortly, but to summarize, intermittent fasting is basically the process of fasting and eating.
Is Intermittent Fasting dangerous?
Some naysayers out there are convinced that intermittent fasting is dangerous. They’ll say that fasting for prolonged periods of time is dangerous, when in reality, the exact opposite is true. The human race has been fasting recently for many centuries, both for religious and economical/ecological reasons. Each and every single one of us actually follows a type of intermittent fasting diet plan every day, without even realizing. When we go to sleep at night, we sleep for around 7-9 hours. Many of us eat an hour or two before bed, so that’s 9-11 hours without food, assuming you eat breakfast right away. It is called ‘breakfast’ because you are literally breaking your fast when you eat. If you want to go back further in time however, the human race has actually been fasting since we were cavemen. Back then, we didn’t have food on hand whenever we needed it. Back then if the food couldn’t be found, foraged, or killed, we didn’t eat. Cavemen would literally alternate between periods of feast and famine. Evolutionarily speaking, the human anatomy is far-better suited to this method of eating than what most of us are accustomed to now. Providing that you follow the diet plan correctly and are sensible with the food choices you make, intermittent fasting not dangerous in the slightest and it is actually very beneficial.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting include:
- Fat loss
- Increased energy levels
- Improved mental clarity
- Regulated blood sugar levels
- Reduced LDL cholesterol
- Better night’s sleep
- Strengthened immune system
Different Forms of Intermittent Fasting
Now we’re going to take a look at some of the main different forms of intermittent fasting currently in existence. Different people get different results from each form of diet they choose to follow, so it is always best to go with what you think will work best for you.
The 5:2 Diet – The 5:2 diet is very popular nowadays, yet a lot of people don’t realize that it’s actually a type of intermittent fasting. This form of intermittent fasting allows individuals to eat normally for 5 days of the week, and to fast on 2 days. On your fasting days, you will consume just 500-600 calories per day. On normal eating days, it’s important to remember that you should not binge. It isn’t an excuse to binge and eat as much as possible. If you do that, you will likely gain weight and you will put your health at risk. It does however, mean that, if you have eaten relatively clean but fancy a dessert after your meal, you can do so without feeling guilty.
16/8 Method – The 16/8 method is very simple, but highly effective. With this form of intermittent fasting, you consume your assigned amount of calories within a 6-8 hour period. For the remaining 16 hours (or thereabouts) you will fast. Most people will start eating from between 2pm and 10pm. This does not mean that they are constantly eating from 2pm until 10pm. It simply means that during those times, they are allowed to eat and if they feel hungry, they should eat. The rest of the time they will fast. Liquids such as water, are still allowed and are essential during a fasting period. Some people will start their day with a ‘bulletproof coffee’ which is fresh coffee combined with grass-fed butter and MCT oils. This is beneficial for the brain and the metabolism, and will help keep hunger at bay.
Eat-Stop-Eat Method – This next method is extreme for some, but still very effective. With this form of intermittent fasting, you will restrict all food for an entire 24 hours, either once or twice per week. The rest of the time, you will eat as usual. Again, this is not an excuse to binge.
So, which one suits you the best?
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