Intermittent fasting for weight loss is not a diet, but rather it is an eating plan to help you lose weight. This is not s starvation diet where you completely restrict food and liquid consumption.
With this weight loss program you cycle between periods of eating and periods of fasting during a 24 hour period. This eating program differs from dieting, in which the goal is to lose weight by reducing the consumption of calories, fat and sugar. This eating plan helps you lose weight by the body consuming stored fat and sugar to supercharge metabolism to burn sugar and fat for energy to power the body.
You use an intermittent fasting app, such as DoFasting. With this fasting app, you can easily set up your daily eating and fasting periods. The app shows you your fasting window, and counts down the hours, minutes and seconds until your eating period begins.
You already fast everyday when you are sleeping. Intermittent fasting is simply the process of extending the fasting either in the morning before you begin consuming food, stopping food intake at a set time each evening before you go to sleep.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
Most diets focus on what you eat during the day, such as reducing or eliminating fats, sugar, or carbs, to help you lose weight. With intermittent fasting, you can eat foods, such as low calorie, low fat, low carbohydrate, vegan, and vegetarian meals. With this eating program, you only eat at specific times during the day, and fast the remaining hours.
Two common intermittent fasting programs are 16/8 and 14/10. That means during a 24 hour period, you are allowed to eat for 8 hours or 10 hours a day, then you fast the remaining 14 or 16 hours.
The goal of intermittent fasting for weight loss is to prolonging the fasting period, so your body has more time to burn through the calories and fat stored in your body. During the fasting period, calories and fat have more time to be converted into energy. Water consumption is important for the success of intermittent fasting. You should try to consume 8-10 glasses of water per day.
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5 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Weight loss
As blood glucose is consumed for energy during fasting periods, IF leads to several positive benefits. Five key benefits of intermittent fasting include:
- A set fasting and eating schedule keeps you on track.
- Reduce consumption of fats and sugar.
- Increased Water Consumption
- Intermittent Fasting and Metabolic Rate
- Lowers Insulin resistance
1. Set Fasting Schedule
With Intermittent Fasting (IF) you have a set schedule each day for the hours you will be fasting, and the hours available for eating. To bu successful, you need to stick to your fasting and eating schedule. Your body will quickly adapt to the schedule.
The two most common Intermittent Fasting schedules are 16/8 and 14/10. You can fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours; or fast for 14 hours and eat for 10 hours. Whichever method you use, the total time is 24 hours.
Most people fast in the evening and while they sleep. They skip breakfast and have their first meal for the day at 12 noon. The last meal of the day should end at 8pm.
You can also follow a 14/10 intermittent fasting schedule. You can begin eating at breakfast time such as 10am, then stop eating at 8pm. This allows you to eat for 10 hours and fast for 14 hours..
Stick to your Fasting Schedule
Once you set your 10/14 or 8/16 intermediate fasting schedule, it is important to stick to this schedule. Sticking to your schedule will ensure your likelihood of being successful, and will discourage you from cheating.
2. Reduces Consumption of Sugar and Fat
Intermittent fasting (IF) reduces the consumption of fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol, which are common in today’s diet.
With 10/14 or 8/16 intermediate fasting, you are fasting for either 14 or 16 hours each day. Intermittent fasting has been shown to lower blood pressure, Reduces insulin resistance and stabilizes blood sugar level.
With most intermittent fasting programs, you skip breakfast. Your first meal is during lunch. By extending your fasting period from dinner until your lunch period, it allows your body to consume more fat and sugar which promotes healthy weight loss.
Some intermittent fasting apps include healthy meal planning options that offer low fat, low calorie, keto, vegan, and vegetarian meal recipe options you can make in your own kitchen.
3. Water Consumption and Intermittent Fasting
Water is key to basically every body process. Hydration is critical for dieting, especially since the human body is approximately 60% water.
Consumption of water, black coffee, and tea are encouraged during intermittent fasting. Staying hydrated actually reduces feelings of hunger, which prevents you consuming unnecessary calories.
Registered dietitians Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, and Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, state “drinking water may even help you feel less hungry during the fasting hours.”
4. Increases metabolism, which improves weight loss
Metabolism is the process of converting sugar and fat into energy to power your body. Metabolic rate (MR) is the rate at which sugar and fat is converted to energy to power your bodily functions.
Your metabolic rate, which is also called basal metabolic rate (BMR), is the amount of energy needed to power basic bodily functions.
By increasing the fasting hours during the day, which is up to 16 hours with IF, the body more rapidly consumes stored fat and sugar to power the body. The lower your metabolic rate, the fewer calories you burn, the more weight you gain. Conversely, the more calories you burn, the more weight you can lose. This can lead to rapid weight loss and increased energy during the day.
5. Intermittent Fasting Improves Insulin Resistance
A leading cause of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease is insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that takes up blood glucose to power cells. With insulin resistance, the body’s cells don’t respond normally to insulin. This allows sugar and insulin to builds up in the blood. This can eventually lead to Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and internal inflammation.
With Intermittent Fasting, restricting food consumption allows the body to consume the build up of blood sugar and insulin, from carbohydrates, to power bodily functions. Insulin levels eventually return to normal as fat cells release their stored sugar, which allows the body to again efficiently take up the excess sugar in your blood. This can help reduce the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes.