Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss.
Intermittent fasting (IF) refers to an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting. IF has been considered as a health and fitness trend that helps to lose weight and improve health at the same time.
What to Eat?
Intermittent fasting does not provide a diet plan on what foods to eat but rather provides a guide on when to eat. However, as much as IF does not dictate the kind of food to eat during the eating periods, you should note that you will reap the health and weight loss benefits when you consume foods that are healthy, contain lots of vegetables and foods that are high in fiber. During the fasting periods, one is advised to take lots of water or no-calorie drinks such as green tea and coffee with no added sugar.
Intermittent Fasting Schedule
Intermittent Fasting hours can include the following :
1. The 16/8 method: This involves skipping breakfast and restricting your eating period to 8 hours and then you fast for the next 16 hours.
2. Eat-Stop-Eat: This is where one fasts for 24 hours once or twice a week.
3. The 5:2 diet: Here you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week and eat normally the other 5 days of the week.
Many people find the 16/8 method to be the easiest and most sustainable, however you can pick any method and stick with it for at-least a month to determine the one that suites you most.
According to the intermittent fasting studies done, the following are the healthy benefits that come with it.
-Helps to aid weight loss.
-Prevention of diseases
-Has anti-aging effects
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
IF aids in weight loss as it limits your eating period which implies that you end up consuming fewer calories and the body burns the stored fats to fuel the body which leads to weight loss.
Intermittent Fasting Weight Gain
Unfortunately not everyone loses weight during intermittent fasting. There are several things that may lead to weight gain during intermittent fasting including the following:
1. Overeating during the eating periods. We all know that weight gain results from consuming more calories than the body needs, therefore the excess is stored in the body as fats which leads to weight gain. It is therefore advisable to avoid eating excess so as to be able to lose weight.
2. Eating unhealthy foods- One should consume foods that provide the required nutritional value to the body which includes proteins, foods with good sources of fat and full of fiber. Consuming junky food with no nutritional value may not help in aiding weight loss.
3. Consuming drinks with calories such as sweetened coffee during the fasting hours may stall the weight loss process.
Intermittent fasting Not for Everyone
IF is not recommended to the following groups of people as it can be harmful.
People on medications
People who are underweight
People with medical conditions
People suffering from low blood pressure
Intermittent Fasting Side Effects
For healthy individuals engaging in IF, they may encounter minor side effects such as weakness, headaches and hunger during the initial stages. However this symptoms may disappear with time when the body adjusts. IF is not recommended for those with health problems as it may have adverse health effects.