Intermittent Fasting For Beginner (Diet)

Things To Know Before You Try An Intermittent Fasting Diet

Some people find fasting helps them lose weight quickly and even help relieve the mental stresses of always trying to figure out what to cook and eat.
If you’ve been contemplating if this option is right for you, here is a basic beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting full of useful information!

Intermittent fasting (IF) is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends.
People are using it to lose weight, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles.
Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain and may even help you live longer (1, 2, 3Trusted Source).
This is the ultimate beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Iit’s first important to understand what it is. Intermittent fasting is basically just as the words sound: varying times of when you eat and when you don’t.
Iintermittent fasting is simply a pattern of eating: It’s not a diet plan, it’s a conscious decision to skip meals on purpose. You would intermittently eat during a short time window of the day and “fast” for the rest of the day.
For example, I typically eat my first meal around 11 am and freely eat till 7 pm that evening. After 7 pm, I purposely don’t eat till 11 am the next day. Intermittent fasting is an effective way to correct imbalances of hormones responsible for weight gain and obesity.
Fasting Options
There are many opinions on what you should or should not be eating between fasting periods. You should be enjoying nutrient-dense, lower carb, unprocessed food from whole food sources, NOT a diet of burgers, fries, candy and soda on your “days off”.
There are many different varying methods for intermittent fasting, but here are a few of the more popular ones that people tend to gravitate towards:

Fasting For 12 Hours a Day

This intermittent fasting method is pretty straightforward and simple. Many people who are just starting out tend to like this option because the fasting portion can occur during times of sleeping as well. Fasting overnight is a great way to knock out a large chunk of the fasting time, leaving very few “awake” hours to not eat.
An example of a 12 hour fast is fasting between the hours of 7 pm – 7 am. So your cut off for eating is 7 pm, no more evening snacks.

18:6  Intermittent Fasting

This fasting plan is becoming more commonplace. You fast for 18 hours each day, and eat within a 6-hour “window”. The reason it has become so popular is that you gain the benefits of fasting, but in reality, you are simply skipping breakfast and stopping all late-night snacks.
Practically, this may look like this. An eating period of 1 pm-7 pm, and fasting outside of these hours.

5:2  Intermittent Fasting

On this fasting plan, you eat low-carb for 5 days out of the week, but for the other 2 days, you limit yourself to a) 500-600 calories OR b) extremely limited carbs. It’s up to you to monitor your caloric intake and how to spend them.
Some prefer to have the fasting days back to back, such as Monday and Tuesday, while others prefer to space the days during the week such as Monday and Thursday. But ultimately, it needs to work in with your lifestyle and your schedule.

One meal a day

As the name suggests, this is simply enjoying one meal each day. It is generally accepted this meal should be as nutrient-dense as possible and based on low-carb healthy fat principals.

Eat – Stop Eating – Eat

In the fasting world, this is one that many people would probably need to work up to. It literally is a pattern of fasting for a 24 hour period, once or twice per week.
Working up to this choice would be a good option as it can be more difficult in the beginning to do.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

In order to understand how intermittent fasting works and how it affects the brain and body, it’s important to learn the differences between the fed state and the fasted state.
When we eat food, the body absorbs energy for immediate use and stores excess amounts away in our liver and fat cells through a storage hormone called insulin. Because insulin rises whilst we’re in this “fed state,” the body is unable to burn fat at the same time.

Once we stop eating, the insulin levels start to fall, and the body begins to burn the stored energy for up to 24 hours, after which it will begin to burn fat during a “fasted state.”
In a nutshell, our bodies are either in this fed or fasted state.
If we spend more time in the fed state than the fasted state, we’ll gain weight. Conversely, if we spend more time in the fasted state than the fed state, we’ll lose weight and burn fat.
Intermittent fasting is simply a fancy term to explain spending more time in the fasted state.

Can you lose weight with intermittent fasting?

Study has found a link between intermittent fasting and weight loss, but there isn't much research to prove that intermittent fasting is a better weight loss method than other diets. Intermittent fasting had similar weight loss results to a traditional calorie-restricted diet.
In some cases, even when intermittent fasting did lead to weight loss, it wasn't the most sustainable diet. One randomized clinical trial of 100 metabolically healthy, obese adults found that those who fasted every other day for a year had only slightly more weight loss than those who ate a restricted-calorie diet on a daily basis. The difference in weight loss was so slight that it wasn’t considered clinically significant, and 38 percent of people in the alternate-day fasting group had trouble sticking with the diet.

You can lose weight on an intermittent fasting diet, but you can also lose weight by watching what you eat. It’s also worth pointing out that weight loss due to intermittent fasting isn’t guaranteed to last. Some people may experience weight loss in the short-term, but many people eventually gain that weight back.
And, most intermittent fasting research has only been done on people who are obese. There is almost no credible research that shows intermittent fasting is good for people at a healthy weight. If you're curious about intermittent fasting but don't have much weight to lose, it might not be the best diet for you.

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