Posted July 13, 2020 by Tiana Carlyle
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a new health trend that thousands of people are trying to achieve lasting weight loss results. But the gag is, intermittent fasting has actually been around for thousands of years! Ramadan, a holy month of fasting during daylight and eating after dark, has been observed and celebrated by Muslims for more than 14 centuries. So basically we’re just calling it something different and making it cool.
Like you, I’ve been searching for a way to get rid of some extra weight and KEEP IT OFF. I had been struggling with the “yo-yo effect”, losing the same 10 pounds to no end. But I finally tried intermittent fasting and I love it! I can still eat some of the things I love without worrying about the Quarantine-15 coming back. So I’ve done some research and compiled everything you need to know about intermittent fasting – what it is, how it works, and the 4 most effective methods of intermittent fasting for sustained weight loss.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Simply put, intermittent fasting is the process of eating in a pattern that cycles between fasting and eating, usually on a daily or every other day schedule. Intermittent Fasting (IF) is not dieting, but instead, it is an effective way of achieving healthy living….a lifestyle change. There is a good chance you’ve complete an intermittent fast before without even knowing. How? Have you ever eaten your dinner and then not eaten again until lunch the next day? That means you’ve fasted about 12-16 hours!
Benefits of “IF”
Intermittent fasting has proven to have a powerful impact on our body and brain, and even increases lifespan. IF helps to shed weight, improve creativity, and overall daily performance. Well, people say it is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful nutritional intervention.
An in-depth review of the science of intermittent fasting carried out by de Cabo R, Mattson MP. New England Journal of Medicine, sheds some light. Fasting is evolutionarily embedded within our physiology, triggering several essential cellular functions. Flipping the switch from a fed to fasting state does more than helping us burn calories and lose weight. The researchers combed through dozens of animal and human studies to explain how simple fasting improves metabolism, lowering blood sugar; lessens inflammation, which improves a range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma; and even helps clear out toxins and damaged cells, which lowers risk for cancer and enhances brain function.
4 Most Effective Methods of Intermittent Fasting
Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)
ADF is an insanely effective method of Intermittent Fasting that involves fasting every other day. For example, you don’t eat on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and then eat normally on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. There are a few different versions of this method. One method allows individuals to consume 25 percent of caloric intake they normally eat on fast day, replaced with a feed day when we eat whatever we choose to eat. Following this method, on the 25 percent day (Fast Day), you eat strictly vegetables, protein, and fats but you must not eat any food that has to do with sugar or starch. A study carried out at the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health on normal weight and overweight adults found that Alternate Day Fast was effective for losing a reasonable level of weight and even helps in protecting the heart.
Eat Stop Eat
Eat Stop Eat is another effective method of Intermittent Fasting to keep your body in shape and stay healthy. This IF method involves you fasting for a complete 24 hours, two times a week, then eat whatever you desire for the remaining 5 days. When you deny your body food for such long period of time, your body will have to use its own stored glycogen from carbohydrates and fats, when the glycogen is used up, your body switches to a state called ketogenic, and start burning fat. So, this is an effective method if you’re looking to burn some excessive fat.
16/8 Method (my favorite)
The most practical and sustainable method of IF, the 16/8 method, consists of a plan of fasting for 16 hours out of 24 hours a day and eat for the remaining 8 hours. You consume all your calories during the 8 hours window. 16:8 require you to abstain from food at night, part of the morning and evening, leaving you only the middle of the day to consume whatever you wish to eat. There is no restriction on the type or amount of food you should take during the 8 hours window, making the method flexible enough.
OMAD (One Meal A Day)
Eating only one large meal a day, a.k.a. OMAD is a favorite in the intermittent fasting community. This meal is usually about 1500 calories and should be consumed within one hour. You fast for the remaining 23 hours of the day. According to the Diet Doctor, OMAD may help reduce hyperinsulinemia, control diabetes, and improve metabolic syndrome. Consistent clinical experience shows that widening the fasting window can help improve these metabolic conditions.
Getting Results with Intermittent Fasting
Here are some tips to help accelerate your results while on your intermittent fasting journey:
Make healthy eating choices
If you break your fast with a cheeseburger, French fries, and a milkshake, you are completely defeating the purpose. I completely understand, your mind goes crazy with all the things that you want to reward yourself with after the fast. But you must try to make healthy eating choices in between fasting. This is the best way to start seeing results quickly.
Drink lots of water (1 gallon a day)
Grab a gallon bottle with measurements from Amazon so you can keep track of your drinking because water is so important during this process. Here’s the bottle I have.
Get some exercise
I’ve found that incorporating some exercise with intermittent fasting drastically improves my results. But you don’t have to go hard and kill yourself. I usually walk 2-3 miles a day or do some light cardio. And that makes a crazy difference when I get back on the scale at the end of the week.
Get lots of sleep/meditate
It’s common knowledge that it is hard to lose weight if you aren’t getting enough sleep. But also, it helps the time go by quicker. For whatever reason, trying to not think about eating when you can’t eat turns every minute into an hour. So when I start feeling like I can’t get my mind off of food, I take a nap to help me get through. And if you can’t sleep, meditate helps too!
Join a Facebook group for support and accountability
I’ve found that being a part of a community helps me stay on track when IF gets hard. I discovered an amazing group on Facebook of women of color who are also practicing IF. We share our struggles, encourage each other to keep going, and keep each other accountable.
You Should Not Try “IF” If You:
- Are prone to or have a history of an eating disorder(s).
- Have certain health conditions, such as diabetes
- Take medications for conditions such as high blood pressure
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have not consulted your doctor
There is absolutely no reason why you can’t start today. Intermittent fasting is easy to jump into if you’re committed to making the lifestyle change. If you are a beginner and all of this seems overwhelming to you, I recommend starting with the 16/8 method as it is the simplest and most sustainable method of them all. After trying this out and you feel good about, then you may want to move on to Eat-Stop-Eat or ADF diet method. Good luck on your journey!