Intermittent fasting isn’t just a weight loss strategy or a hack that bodybuilders use to lose fat quickly while maintaining lean muscle mass. It is at its best a healthy lifestyle informed by human evolution and the study of metabolism. It asks the human body to be much more efficient and self-protective than it is accustomed to being in modern times.
There are many things that happen when we fast that either don’t happen when we are always in a fed state, or that happen very slowly in the background of glucose metabolism.
INTERMITTENT FASTING 16/8 PLAN
What it is: Fasting for 16 hours and then only eating within a specific 8-hour window. For example, only eating from noon-8 PM, essentially skipping breakfast.
Some people only eat in a 6-hour window, or even a 4-hour window. This is “feasting” and “fasting” parts of your days and the most common form of Intermittent Fasting.
You can adjust this window to make it work for your life:
1.If you start eating at: 7AM, stop eating and start fasting at 3pm.
2.If you start eating at: 11AM, stop eating and start fasting at 7pm.
3.If you start eating at: 2PM, stop eating and start fasting at 10pm.
4.If you start eating at: 6PM, stop eating and start fasting at 2AM.
INTERMITTENT FASTING 24 HOUR PLAN
Skip two meals one day, where you take 24 hours off from eating. For example, eat on a normal schedule (finishing dinner at 8PM) and then you don’t eat again until 8PM the following day.
With this plan, you eat your normal 3 meals per day, and then occasionally pick a day to skip breakfast and lunch the next day.
If you can only do an 18 hour fast, or a 20 hour fast, or a 22 hour fast – that’s okay! Adjust with different time frames and see how your body responds.Two examples: skipping breakfast and lunch one day of the week, and then another where you skip lunch and dinner one day, two days in a week.
Those are the two most popular intermittent fasting plans, and the two we’ll be focusing on, though there are many variations of both that you can modify for yourself:
1.Some people eat in a 4 hour window, others do 6 or 8.
2.Some people do 20 hour fasts or 24 hour fasts.
3.Another strategy is to eat only one meal a day (OMAD).
Recommended foods and tips
While the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan does not specify which foods to eat and avoid, it is beneficial to focus on healthful eating and to limit or avoid junk foods. The consumption of too much unhealthful food may cause weight gain and contribute to disease.
A balanced diet focuses primarily on:
1.fruits and vegetables, which can be fresh, frozen, or canned (in water)
2.whole grains, including quinoa, brown rice, oats, and barley
3.lean protein sources, such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, low fat cottage cheese, and eggs
4.healthful fats from fatty fish, olives, olive oil, coconuts, avocados, nuts, and seeds
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are high in fiber, so they can help keep a person feeling full and satisfied. Healthful fats and proteins can also contribute to satiety.
Beverages can play a role in satiety for those following the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help reduce calorie intake because people often mistake thirst for hunger.
1.Weight loss and fat loss, Eating during a set period can help people reduce the number of calories that they consume. It may also help boost metabolism.
2.Intermittent Fasting Can Reduce Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in The Body
3.Intermittent Fasting Can Reduce Insulin Resistance, Lowering Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
4.Intermittent Fasting May be Beneficial For Heart Health
5.Better Outcomes for Stroke Survivors
6.Boosted Brain Function
7.Cancer Protection, Some studies have shown that alternate-day fasting may reduce cancer risk by decreasing the development of lymphoma, limiting tumor survival, and slowing the spread of cancer cells
8.Increased Cell Turnover, an important detoxification function in the body to clean out damaged cells.” Put differently, a break from eating and digestion gives the body a chance to heal and get rid of junk inside the cells that can accelerate aging
9.Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Issues
11.A Better Night’s Sleep
Intermittent fasting is a weight loss tool that works for many people, though it doesn’t work for everyone.Some people believe it may not be as beneficial for women as for men. It’s also not recommended for people who have or are prone to eating disorders.
If you decide to try intermittent fasting, keep in mind that diet quality is crucial. It’s not possible to binge on junk foods during the eating periods and expect to lose weight and boost your health.