If I had a penny for every time I was asked about intermittent fasting from a friend or family member I would be very rich! I have gotten the question so many times that I figured it was time to make a dedicated post to answer all your questions. I am going to go into detail about intermittent fasting, how it works, why it is useful and what you should keep in mind before you try it out. I will also talk about my experiences with the diet.
Intermittent Fasting – What Is It?
Intermittent fasting is a diet that has been around for hundreds of years, in some shape or form. However, it has become a lot more popular in the past few years, especially in Western countries.
The purpose behind intermittent fasting is to allow the body to go without food for a set number of hours in the day, or days in the week. As a result of the food deprivation, systems and organs in the body react in a way that not only results in weight loss, but improves overall health.
The most interesting thing about intermittent fasting is that it does not have one set of rules. Yes, you can follow the type of intermittent fasting diet done by someone you know. But you could also do it in your own way. It is all about knowing what works for your body and what type of results you want to obtain.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
The most popular intermittent fasting diet is one where you eat a normal amount of restricted calories each day, but you fast for certain portions of the day. For instance, you will decide that you are going to eat for six hours each day, while you will fast for the rest of the time that you are awake and your sleeping hours!
You could create the schedule how you wanted. Many people enjoy a schedule where they do not eat anything for around 10 hours after they get up. When they are done with work, school or errands, they will make a late lunch and dinner, enjoying their last six hours of the day before going to sleep.
It is a cycle that you can repeat each day for many months, as it will help you a great deal when you are trying to lose weight. Of course, how much weight you lose will depend on how much calorie restriction you can handle. For instance, someone who burns 2500 calories a day and eats 1500 calories a day will burn more than someone who burns those calories but eats 2500 calories a day too!
But then why would you intermittent fast? Read on!
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
When it comes to weight loss, intermittent fasting is an accelerant and beneficial aid. It is not the be all and end all of your weight loss program. Calories will always be king in that area. But when you intermittent fast, you are boosting fat burning and metabolism in your body in a significant way.
It means that you could burn anywhere from five percent to 20 percent more calories each day you intermittent fast, compared to someone of similar weight, height and gender who exercised the same amount as you.
Another reason why people love intermittent fasting is because it almost encourages you to eat less throughout the day. The problem for a lot of people is they eat while they are out and about. They will eat before they head out, eat something at work, eat when they are on their lunch break and then grab a snack as they head home. Then it is time to have dinner at home!
When you intermittent fast, you can cut out almost all of those snacks and meals, except your evening snack and dinner! Even if you have a large dinner, you could easily stay within 1200, 1500 or 1800 calories for the day, which could be your weight loss restriction goal.