There are a lot of ways to trim body fat down today. From diet plans to exercises, you name it. However, not all of them work based on their claims. If you’re looking for a sure way to lose weight and improve your health, intermittent fasting (IF) is your best bet.
The weight loss and health improvement effects of IF may even help you achieve a more straightforward, better, and longer life, and many experts point out how powerful it can be on your body.
Intermittent fasting has continued to rise in popularity, and its practice has become more accessible and more comfortable with the introduction of different tools aimed at helping individuals do it better. The most common are IF apps that you can download to your mobile devices.
This post is your quick guide to intermittent fasting. Learn more below.
Intermittent Fasting, What Is It?
Many people mistakenly think of IF as a diet plan when it’s not. It’s more of a pattern of eating; IF means skipping meals at your will for a specific period.
Since it’s an eating pattern, it would mean having to eat for a specific period of the day and fast for the majority of the 24 hours that you have.
A common practice is to set the eating window from 12 noon to 8 P.M. That’s the time when you could eat freely, but it’s recommended that you still choose the healthier options for your meals and snacks.
From beyond 8 P.M. until noon the following day, you won’t have any drink or meal that has calories in it. So, it’s basically skipping meals on purpose.
How Does It Work?
What happens if you do intermittent fasting? Since no calories or carbohydrates are coming into your system during your fasting window, the body uses its stored energy. All of us have stored energy in the form of fats. So, these are the ones that get burned to fuel your body for the day.
Many individuals get concerned about the safety of intermittent fasting, especially over those who skip breakfast because of it. As you probably already have read from other sources, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
What most people don’t realize is that humans have been fasting since the beginning of time. The human ancestors fasted for hours or days since they had to hunt food for themselves first. The good news is that it didn’t have detrimental effects on them.
If you’re not going to eat, you’re in a fasting mode; it’s all about balance.
The hormone insulin plays a role in storing food energy as either glucose or fat, depending on the circumstances within your body. It happens when you eat more since not all energy from food ingested gets consumed to fuel your system. Some of them get stored away for later use.
The fats can either get deposited in the body or get stored in the liver through de-novo lipogenesis.
The insulin level rises when you eat but falls when you don’t or when you fast. Since there’s no more energy coming through food, the body starts to burn stored energy. It’s how intermittent fasting acts to help in weight loss and bring other benefits.
What Are The Different Ways To Perform Intermittent Fasting?
There are several styles that you can follow if you’re interested in IF. Discover them below.
- Bulletproof IF – If you’re a coffee-lover, then you’re going to love this IF style. It allows you to drink bulletproof coffee to avoid getting hungry until the eating window opens. Doesn’t coffee have calories? Some of them, yes, but the bulletproof ones don’t. So, you’re still going to be in a fasted state despite feeling full in the morning.
- 5:2 – The name of this IF style says it all. So, you’re going to eat for two days and fast for the other five. Does it mean not eating for two full days? Not really, since you can eat but only limiting yourself to 500 to 600 calories, making it still achievable.
- 16:8 – This perhaps is the most popular intermittent fasting style today. Many people practice it because of its convenience. So, what happens here is that you eat for eight hours and then make the remaining hours as your fasting window.
An excellent example of 16:8 style is when you eat your first meal at around eleven in the morning and your last meal at seven in the evening. From nine in the evening until eleven in the morning the following day, you’ll be in a fasting state.
No doubt, intermittent fasting is an excellent way to trim fat from your body. However, it doesn’t work for everyone, at least under particular circumstances. An excellent example is when you have an eating disorder. The best thing to do is to consult an expert first and ask for recommendations.