So, when people hear about fasting to lose weight a lot of eyebrows go up. How on earth do you expect me to fast all day to lose weight? You mean I don’t get to eat all day? What of ulcer?
Come to think of it, we all fast. Either for religious purposes or some other reasons. When we sleep, we are basically fasting. Although we are unaware of it. Intermittent fasting just means extending your ‘normal’ fasting period and being conscious and aware of it.
What is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is mainly a change in eating pattern, not what you eat. It is a cycle of eating at a particular time and fasting the rest of the day. Intermittent fasting is NOT a diet.
With a diet, you are required to change what you eat & how you cook. For example, you have to stop frying your foods. But with intermittent fasting there is no need to go through all that process.
In intermittent fasting, you pick a time that is convenient enough for you and space out your eating pattern.
How Does It Work
In order to grasp the mechanism of intermittent fasting, we have to understand what fed and fasting state means.
Fed state begins when you finish eating. It last for about 3-5hours. In the fed state, the body absorbs and digests the food which you just ate. During the fed state, insulin is at its peak. Insulin promotes the entry of glucose into the adipose tissue enabling glucose to be stored a s fat. Therefore, during the fed state, there is minimal or no burning of fat.
Fasting state begins 8-12 hours after the fed state after absorption and digestion. At the fasting state, your blood glucose level is at its lowest. Therefore, your insulin levels off and its counter part glucagon comes into action to regular your blood glucose by breaking stored fat into fatty acids and amino acids into glucose for energy.breakdown of fat. It is almost impossible that during the day we are in the fasting state, seeing as we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Intermittent Fasting Protocols
#1. Daily intermittent Fasting, 16/8:
It is also known as Leangains method. This is the easiest form of intermittent fasting (when you adjust to it). It is best for people who want to lose weight and build muscle. In the daily intermittent fasting, you eat for 8/10 hours and fast for the remaining 16/14 hours. You could:
- Eat between 1 pm and 9 pm then fast till the next 1 pm.
- Eat between 8 am and 4 pm and then fast till the next 8 am.
- Eat between 2 pm and 10 pm and then fast till the next 2 pm.
Eating between 1 pm and 8 pm and fasting till the next 1 pm is quite popular with those who are on the intermittent fasting regime. Most people have this eating pattern as part of their daily eating habit but are not aware.
The daily intermittent fasting is quite easy as it done every day and could easily become part of your daily life.
Men: 16 hrs, Women: 14 hrs.
Drink water to keep hydrated or any other low calorie liquid.
This involves fasting for 24 hrs once or twice a week. For example, you could eat lunch on Monday and not eat anything till Tuesday lunch. During this period food isn’t consumed but calorie free drinks like water/black coffee can be taken. This method could be hard, so only pick this if you are sure you can cope with it.
Pick an appropriate time that suits your timetable. You could end your fast with a large meal or a snack, depending on your preference.
#3. The 5:2 Diet
Here, you eat normally on five days of the week but fast on the remaining 2. On the fast days, you limit your calorie intake to 500 for women and 600 for men. The days for fasting can be picked according to your preference but there should at least be a day of non-fasting in between them.
But take caution when eat on non-fast days. Do not overeat or it would be like taking 2 steps behind.
Tips before embarking on a fast:
- Drink a lot water to remain hydrated.
- use caffeine wisely as appetite suppressant during the morning to help you prolong your fasts.
- Go to the gym so you get the full benefit of fasting.
- Consult a doctor for advice especially if you have a health issue.
- Aim to fast at night so that about 8 hrs of your fast would be covered while sleeping.
We hope this answers most of your questions regarding intermittent fasting for losing weight quickly. If you guys have any suggestions please comment below to let us know.