What’s Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Unlike a diet that tells you which foods to eat, intermittent fasting tells you when to eat them. It’s currently one of the most popular health and fitness trends in the world because following it can help you lose weight, improve your health, and may even help you live longer.
How to Do Intermittent Fasting
There are different methods of intermittent fasting, all of which involve splitting the day or week into periods of eating and fasting. While fasting, you eat nothing or very little. The most popular methods of intermittent fasting include:
- The 16/8 method. This method, also known as the Leangains protocol, involves skipping breakfast and only eating during eight hours of the day, such as 1-9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between. This method can be as simple as skipping breakfast and not eating anything after dinner. It’s also important to eat healthy foods during your eight-hour window of eating. If you eat junk food during this period, this method won’t work.
- Eat-Stop-Eat. This involves a 24-hour fast that you do once or twice a week. This can be accomplished by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day. Water, coffee, and other zero-calorie beverages are allowed, but no solid foods should be consumed during this period.
- The 5:2 diet. This method involves eating normally five days a week, then restricting your calorie intake to 500-600 for two days of the week. On the two days that you’re fasting, it’s recommended that women eat 500 calories and men eat 600.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Lead to Weight Loss?
Although there are many benefits associated with intermittent fasting, weight loss is the most common reason most people try intermittent fasting. Simply by reducing the number of meals you cook, you’ll automatically reduce your calorie intake. Intermittent fasting also changes hormone levels to help with weight loss, including increasing growth hormone levels and the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine. Intermittent fasting can also increase your metabolic rate by as much as 3.6-14%.
What Do You Eat on an Intermittent Fasting Diet?
It’s recommended that you eat healthy foods during the times you’re allowed to eat. Meal planning can help here and it doesn’t have to be overly restrictive. Planning your meals is a great way to stick to your calorie count and also ensures that you have the necessary food on hand for meals and snacks. In general, make sure to make your calories count and always consider the nutritional value of the foods you eat. Try to consume foods that are nutrient-rich and reduce your intake of junk foods.
Learn More About Weight Loss and Dieting Programs from Baptist Health.
Being overweight can cause health problems, and diets can be a great way to lose weight. Find a provider today to get peace of mind and get back on track for weight loss.