Weight Loss 101: The Truth about Intermittent Fasting
There are countless diets and dieting patters that can help you with weight loss. One of the more popular ways to lose weight in recent years is known as intermittent fasting. It involves regular fasting for short time periods. Apart from helping you lose weight, intermittent fasting can also provide you with other health benefits like improved blood sugar levels.
The Three Different Types of Intermittent Fasting
If you’re interested in trying intermittent fasting then you should know that you’ll have to choose from three different plans. The first plan is known as alternate day fasting and it basically revolves around eating normally on one day and fasting the next. According to a study conducted by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, alternate day fasting can help people lose weight and improve their overall health.
The second method is referred to as time-restricted feeding. To follow this plan, you will need to set a time period during which you can eat each day. In order to ensure that you reach your weight loss goals, it’s recommended that you have an 8-hour time window during which you can eat every day. Many people consider time-restricted feeding to be much easier to follow than alternate day fasting.
The third method revolves around modified fasting regimens. This plan involves eating normally on some days, but being on a very restrictive diet on others. You can either eat normally every other day or five days in a row followed by two days of restricted eating. During the days when you eat less, you will need to consume only 20-25% of your energy needs. In other words, you shouldn’t eat more than 500 calories on these days. This is a far easier option than alternate day fasting and is recommended for people who are not used to fasting.
Ways to Make Fasting Easier
No matter which plan you choose, it will not be easy, especially at first. If you’ve never tried fasting before, then it will take you some time to get used to it. Nevertheless, there are some ways to make it easier. For example, you should make sure to drink plenty of water whenever you’re fasting. In case you find yourself craving food, you can simply squeeze a bit of lime or lemon juice into your water and drink it to reduce hunger.
Keep in mind that you can also drink calorie free beverages like tea and coffee. Although some of these beverages are great, you should definitely avoid artificially flavored drinks that don’t contain any calories. You shouldn’t drink them because they might stimulate your appetite and cause you to start eating even though you’re not supposed to.
It’s also recommended that you don’t gorge at your first meal after a fast. Instead you should practice mindful eating and thoroughly chew every bite. This will teach you how to determine when you’re full, which will help you stop overeating.
Reasons to Try Intermittent Fasting
It’s Easy to Follow
Instead of following a diet where you’ll have to know a list of prohibited foods and make special meals consisting of things you can eat, intermittent fasting will provide you with an extremely easy way to shed those extra pounds. You won’t have to follow a guidebook or worry over what you’re eating.
Despite the fact that you can eat anything on the days when you’re not fasting, it’s still recommended that you eat as healthy as possible. By cutting down on fast food and desserts, it will be easier for you to lose weight. Another great way to achieve your weight loss goals faster is to increase your metabolism. If you have a slow metabolic rate then it will be harder for you to reach your goals. However, there is no need to worry since you can increase it either by taking supplements or making some simply lifestyle changes.
There Are Benefits aside from Weight Loss
Weight loss isn’t the only health benefit that you can experience by trying intermittent fasting. In fact, this way of eating is known to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from that, it will improve your heart health, reduce inflammation, and improve mental clarity.
It Targets Belly Fat
Apart from it being an easy way to reach your weight loss goals, another reason to give intermittent fasting a try is because it will help you lose belly fat. This is something most people wish to lose, but find it incredibly hard. Losing belly fat can seem nearly impossible because your abdominal region has a high level of alpha-2 receptors, which can slow down fat burning. On top of that, this body region also contains a low level of beta-2 receptors that are tasked with speeding up fat burning.
Thankfully, intermittent fasting is known for shutting down alpha-2 receptors and increasing the number of beta-2 receptors.