Intermittent fasting for weight loss is something that has become a popular health trend. Unlike dieting, there is no food restriction and it is more of an eating pattern. However, for optimum weight loss it is important to make healthier eating choices while fasting. The key factor behind intermittent fasting involves alternating between eating and not eating. Some people do intermittent fasting for weight loss. And the thought is that the eating pattern leads to weight loss. In reality, it’s the calorie deficit created by reducing your meal intake. If you continue to eat unhealthy, calorie dense meals during your eating window, you are unlikely to see weight loss. Here are a few options to consider when deciding if intermitting fasting is best for you.
WHAT ARE THE 3 MAIN INTERMITTING FASTING METHODS:
- The 5:2 Method: This method of intermittent fasting calls for you to consume a total of 500-600 calories on two non consecutive days of the week. On the remaining 5 days you eat normally. Women are recommended to eat 500 calories on the fasting days. During these days it is common to eat 2 small meals of 250 calories.
- The 16:8 Method: This method involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours. So, for example you might decide to eat between 11-7, fasting the rest of the 16 hours. Within this time you can fit 2 or 3 meals in, perhaps even more smaller meals. It is as simple as eating dinner and then skipping breakfast. During the fasting period you can drink water, coffee and other non caloric beverages. This can actually help reduce your hunger levels during the fasting period.
- The Eat Stop Eat Method:24 Hour Fast: This method involves skipping breakfast and lunch and having one meal a day at dinner time. And fasting for the next 24 hours. For example, you would have a normal dinner on one night and then go the entire next day only having liquids until dinner time the next night. During your fasting time you can drink water, coffee and other non-caloric beverages.
TIP: If you do decide to give intermittent fasting for weight loss a go, remember to be aware of your body. Continue to drink plenty of water and if you feel light headed or faint, eat something! Always consult your medical professional before starting out.
Article references: Ruth Patterson et. al, Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting
START INTERMITTING FASTING FOR WEIGHT LOSS:
- Do not overeat
- Avoid snacking
- Avoid processed refined carbs sources (pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, sweets)
- Select carb sources with a lower insulin index
- No juice, sodas, or drinks with carb sources
- No Artificial sweeteners
- Avoid high fructose corn syrup
- Eat unnatural processed fats
- Use extra virgin olive oil or butter
- Avoid processed lunch meats/ bacon
- Increase fiber
- No more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day (avoid dessert wines, mixed drinks- beer is ok but red wine is best)
- Reward yourself with a desirable food but only once a week!
*Regardless of which diet philosophy you choose, always take it one day and one pound at a time and always consult a physician.
TIPS FOR FASTING SAFELY:
“Intermitting fasting has been used for centuries for religious reasons, and it has become a very popular tool for weight loss in recent years. Followers of this dietary approach enjoy the flexibility of being able to choose when and how to fast, and the fact it only requires calorie restriction on fasting days helps many patients continue with this approach for longer than they would with a traditional diet involving daily restriction. While studies show intermittent fasting is effective for weight loss and the reduction of insulin resistance, any type of fasting could pose risks if done improperly. The guide below outlines some key principles to keep in mind for safe fasting. As alWhile studies show intermittent fasting is effective for weight loss and the reduction of insulin resistance, any type of fasting could pose risks if done improperly. The guide below outlines some key principles to keep in mind for safe fasting. (Consult a physician prior to starting a new diet).
1. Drink lots of water:
Some people experience fatigue during a fast, and this can be exacerbated by dehydration. Most individuals get twenty to thirty percent of their daily fluid intake from the water naturally contained in the foods they eat, so it is especially important to stay hydrated on fasting days. You should aim to drink more fluids on fasting days than they would on non-fasting days. While water is best, herbal tea, black coffee, and calorie-free beverages all count for fluid intake.
2. Don’t break fast by feasting:
Choosing to break a fast by feasting on large meals is very hard on the body’s digestive system. People who do this could experience bloating, stomach pain, and fatigue. Additionally, feasting after a fast could hamper weight loss, slowing down the speed at which an individual can lose weight or perhaps preventing them from losing any weight at all. Instead of consuming a large meal after breaking a fast, experts recommend gradually reintroducing food over several hours. For example, it can help to start by consuming a small quantity of fruit juice or a smoothie. If the dieter is feeling well about thirty minutes after this is consumed, solid food can be added. It is suggested to eat something bland such as cereal, toast, or mashed potatoes so the stomach is not upset by spicy foods.
3. Stop fasting if feeling sick:
In the short-term, intermittent fasting may sometimes trigger symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. Less commonly, you may experience low blood pressure and heart rhythm abnormalities as a result of fasting. If you notice any of these, the fast should be discontinued immediately, and you should see a doctor for an evaluation. To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, care should be taken when getting out of bed and when standing up from a seated position. You may want to sit on their bed with their feet on the floor for a few minutes before slowly attempting to stand up. Monitoring blood pressure and pulse readings regularly during a fast can help individuals understand how their heart is affected by their particular fasting regimen, and these measurements can be taken with an automatic blood pressure monitor at home.
4. Consider taking supplements:
You may wish to consider taking supplements during intermittent fasting to ensure they still receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals for each day of the week. This is especially important for individuals taking medications and those with chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes. Supplements can be taken with water to avoid breaking the fast, and choosing supplements in tablet form instead of gummy formulations will allow individuals to avoid consuming sugar and calories from the supplements. Those who already take supplements should continue to take all of their usual supplements on fasting days, and individuals who do not currently take supplements may want to consider taking a multivitamin on their fasting days. Other supplements that may be beneficial on fasting days include vitamin B12, iron, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Always check with a physician about the safest supplements for their needs.”
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INTERMITTING FASTING EATING EXAMPLE: 16:8 (12 PM-8 PM)
6 AM: Wake Up
7 AM: Drink water and tea
9 AM: Drink more tea
10-11 AM: Stay active and engaged during this time to not only focus on food
12 PM: First Meal of the day (not too heavy because you want to break fast with fruits, vegetables, light proteins, etc. to make it easier on your stomach)
3 PM: Snack- (Make sure to still drink plenty of water and fluids throughout the day)
5 PM: Workout (That is if you didn’t do a workout in the AM)
6:30-7 PM: Dinner
8 PM: Last snack
10-11 PM: Bedtime
TIP: Always consult a physician when starting a new diet.