Intermittent fasting results in tremendous and quick weight loss while boosting your immune system. Get started on your journey to revamp your life with this century old technique.
Fasting is a concept that has often been associated with religious practices. Believers feel that is the ultimate version of self-sacrifice out of love. Modern science has another take on it. In western society, research into the weight loss effects of fasting dates back to 1915. Regardless of your reason to fast, this article is to help you get the best intermittent fasting results with expert strategies that work.
There are numerous ways to do intermittent fasting. Muslims who observe Ramadan observe fast from when the sun rises to sunset. This is also the most common type of intermittent fasting for weight loss too. Apart from the religious beliefs, Muslims too believe that fasting helps them purify their soul, helps build self-control and clean their bodies.
There is no doubt that fasting has a lot of health benefits, modern science supports these claims. Fasting is also one of the best ways to cleanse your body and burn an excess amount of calories.
Before we start, the difference between fasting for religious purposes and intermittent fasting is being able to drink fluids. While fasting for religious purposes, you are not allowed to consume any food or drinks till the sun sets. In intermittent fasting, you can drink water and even set your own timings.
This article will talk about the different types of fasting, how to get the best intermittent fasting results and the numerous health benefits of fasting like weight loss.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
There are three main types of intermittent fasting that are popular in the world. During Ramadan, Muslims fast for 29 to 30 days back to back without taking any gap days. They refrain from taking drinks or food from sunrise to sunset. This is to meet religious obligation and not for diet or health reasons primarily.
Intermittent fasting done for weight loss has three main types that are being followed worldwide. These methods go from hardest to easiest, with the 16/8 method being the most popular method worldwide.
- The “Eat-Stop-Eat” method: Also known as the 24 hour fast, this is only done once or twice a week because it is not for the faint hearted. Resisting food for 24 hours is a tremendous feat in its own and is not recommended for beginners.
- The 16/8 method: This is similar to what Muslims do during the month of Ramadan. You eat for 8 hours and then refrain for another 16 hours. Expert advice from researchers is having your eating window from 12 pm to 8 pm. However, Muslims eat from sunset to sunrise and refrain from eating from sunrise to sunset.
- The 5/2 method: This is another method, also not done on a daily basis. In this method, you are eating normally 5 days a week, but on two non-consecutive days you are only eating 20% of your total calorie intake or 500 to 600 calories.
Each method has a different intermittent fasting result. The more consistently you fast, the more weight you will burn. In our opinion, the 16/8 method is something that can be done for a longer period of time without it becoming a burden.
Tips For Effective Intermittent Fasting Results
When you hear your stomach growl after the first 3 hours in to your fast and can only think about that juicy thigh piece sitting in your fridge waiting to be consumed by you, you need to tell your body no. There is a difference between wanting to eat and your body needing food.
When your body needs food, it will start to show physical symptoms that you can feel. If you start feeling weak or dizzy then this is a sign from your body that you need calories ASAP. However, just chilling and feeling like you need some Doritos or a PB&J, is just boredom.
“Ask yourself whether the hunger is boredom or actual hunger” says Eliza Savage, a dietician at Middleburg Nutrition. Until the physical symptoms hit, which don’t generally appear in the 16/8 method, keep yourself distracted at all time so you don’t think about food.
Go Hydrate Yourself:
Sipping on some peppermint tea is known to help numb your appetite. Even drinking a few glasses of water can help curb the need to eat food. It’s all about developing self-control and pushing yourself every hour until you can break your fast. These pro tips only work when you have a resolve to not give up.
Eliza Savage, the dietician from Middleburg Nutrition, advises people to drink around 2 to 3 liters of water throughout your fasting period. Coffee, teas and water can really help you get through your first couple of days.
Eat The Right Foods:
“You need to either add more nutrient- or calorie-dense foods during your eight-hour period” says Michel Hertz, RD, another dietician from New York. If you add foods with healthy fats like nut butter, avocados, olive oils and combine them with healthy proteins, then staying hungry becomes much easier.
Carbs burn faster, once they are done, you are left feeling hungry again. Fats and proteins take more time to digest, hence you can go longer with these kinds of food.
Don’t Overeat When You Break Your Fast:
Ever heard of a food coma? Thought they only existed in online humor and memes? Research says the worst thing you can do after fasting is becoming a human vacuum and eating like there is no dawn for mankind. Eating large amount of food is horrible for your waistline and digestive system, kind of beats the purpose of doing this intermittent fast, doesn’t it?
Eating too much at one time can make you feel lethargic, hence the term food coma. Remember, it’s not about the quantity of food you are eating in this period that matters, but it’s the quality of food that can help you get through fasting easily and lose weight.
Remember Why You Started:
Fasting requires a strong resolve. You need to keep yourself constantly motivated so you don’t give up. It’s not easy avoiding a necessity like food and water when it is readily available in your home. An easy way to motivate yourself is by keeping a journal for fasting.
Note down your journey, which foods worked best for you, how you felt throughout it, your weight loss progress or how healthy you’ve started feeling. This entire process of intermittent fasting results in an increase in willpower, self-control and self-esteem. And always motivate yourself by visualizing the reasons that made you start this journey, trust us, it helps.
Science Says Intermittent Fasting Results In Weight Loss
Studies show that people have seen a 2.5% to 9.9% decrease in weight loss during intermittent fasting. See, body fat is a storage system of the human body. It stores all of the extra calories we have consumed but not used in the form of body fat which is then stored in different areas of the body. Our body stores this fat in case we need to use it.
When you are in fasting mode, your body still needs energy. It starts burning this stored fat to meets its needs. When you are fasting, your insulin levels decrease and to balance this, your body starts to burn fat. Another study in 2014 found that intermittent can help lose a significant amount of weight if done consistently. It was seen that body weight was reduced by 3% to 8% over a period of 3 to 24 weeks.
This same study went on to prove that with intermittent fasting, people lost around .55 pounds or .25 kg per week. Intermittent fasting results in drastic weight loss but that is not all, it has other health benefits too.
Intermittent Fasting Results In Numerous Health Benefits
Weight loss is the most apparent benefit of this diet program. Muslims say that fasting helps cleanse their body, detoxifying your organs during this month long intermittent fasting period. Here are some other benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Lower sugar and insulin levels
- Improved mental health
- Improved concentration level
- Increase in energy levels
- Short term increase in growth hormones
- Lower levels of cholesterol
- Reduces inflammation in the body
Key Takeaway For Worthwhile Intermittent Fasting Results
Fasting is a holy practice that many religions practice year round. This practice has been in play since centuries. While western researchers are late to the party on the benefits of intermittent fasting, the numerous health benefits are apparent and proven.
Intermittent fasting results in weight loss, your body resetting itself, positive mental health, discipline in life and so on. These tips are to help you get the most out of this special diet program. Fasting can do wonders for your body.