There are many different methods that a person can use to lose weight. One of the most popular plans for weight loss is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting means following a specific eating pattern using short-term fasts along with short-term periods of eating. Studies have found that one of the benefits of intermittent fasting is on average, a person can shed between 7 and 11 pounds over a period of 10 weeks.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Some of the common benefits include-
- Weight Loss by decreasing a person’s caloric consumption
- Regulates hormones and helps the body function properly to burn calories the way it was designed to do so
- Improve your metabolic health
- Insulin levels drop dramatically, and lower insulin levels mean more fat burning
- Nervous system sends norepinephrine to fat cells, which breaks them down into fatty acids that can burn for energy
Come along as we explore the many benefits of intermittent fasting and its effect on weight loss.
Intermittent Fasting Plan Choices
There are several different fasting plans to choose from. Each plan is different; however, all plans will help improve your metabolic health and help with weight loss. Here are four popular intermittent fasting plans to help choose the best one for you.
- 16/8 Plan – This plan involves a fasting window of 14 to 16 hours and an eating window of 8 to 10 hours. This plan, the Leangains protocol, was made popular by Martin Berkhan, a fitness expert. This plan is quite simple don’t eat anything before noon and stop eating before 8 pm. If you are hungry in the morning, this plan may not be for you.
- 5/2 Plan – This plan involves restricting your caloric intake 2 days of the week (days 2 and 5) and eating normally through the rest of the week. The plan is also referred to as the fast diet, made popular by Michael Mosley. On your fasting day, a woman consumes only 500 calories and a man 600.
- Eat Stop Eat Plan – This plan was made popular by Brad Pilon, a fitness expert. The Eat Stop Eat plan features one to two days a week of a total fast. For example, a person might eat dinner on Monday at 6 pm and then not eat anything else until dinner on Tuesday. Water, coffee, and other zero calorie drinks can be enjoyed during the fast, but no foods are allowed.
- Warrior Plan – The Warrior plan involves eating small portions of raw vegetables and fruits throughout the day and then enjoying a large dinner. This diet is recommended by Ori Hofmekler, a fitness expert, and was one of the first diet recommendations that included a period of fasting.
There are many other intermittent fasting meal plans that can help a person lose weight. These meal plans are not for everyone. You must have the willpower to avoid eating during the fasting times. Additionally, these are general and may not be appropriate for a person with a history of eating disorder. In order for this plan to be successful, you must choose nutrient rich foods.
Intermittent Fasting Affects Hormone Levels
Intermittent fasting can help a person lose weight and can also impact hormone levels. Fasting involves skipping meals, which will enable you to decrease your caloric intake as long as you do not overcompensate during non-fasting periods. Belly fat along with waist circumference will also be reduced when you fast intermittently.
Many people are concerned that they will lose muscle mass when they are fasting. However, unlike diets that cause muscle loss, intermittent fasting allows you to lose body fat while maintaining your muscle mass. One of the best ways to prevent muscle wasting is to include strength training exercises in your workout routine.
Intermittent fasting is simple. There are no calories to count; instead, you simply choose healthy and nutritious foods. Then, simply eat during the hours allowed on your intermittent fasting plan.
Tips to Ensure Weight Loss Success
There are many things you can do to help you lose weight and keep it off with intermittent fasting. For successful weight loss, it is important to choose healthy nutritious foods like whole grains, lean proteins, fresh fruits and veggies. During your non-fasting days or hours, make sure you are not trying to compensate for the calories that you missed during your fasting time.
As with any diet or weight loss method, consistency is key. In order to succeed, you must remain consistent with your meal plans, nutrition, and diet. Weight loss does not happen overnight. It takes time and patience to be successful. Your body must adapt to the change in the way you eat and the timing of your meals. Over time, it will become easier for you to stick to your schedule.
Including strength training in your intermittent fasting protocols helps you to maintain muscle mass as you gain weight. If you hit a weight loss plateau, you may need to count your calories and increase your exercise to overcome your plateau.
Check out this Intermittent Fasting Calculator
How We Can Help?
Our team of weight loss specialists understand the benefits of intermittent fasting and have experience guiding patients just like you towards your weight loss goals. Although intermittent fasting is a useful weight loss tool, you must also eat a healthy diet and reduce caloric intake. Intermittent fasting is not for everyone.
At your appointment, your weight loss specialist will go over your health history, your lifestyle choices, and your current diet. We will work with you to develop a customized weight loss plan that may include intermittent fasting as well as hormone balancing and improving your gut health. Additionally, we will develop an exercise plan that includes cardio exercises, strength training exercises, and flexibility exercises to help improve your weight loss efforts.