A Beginner's Guide to Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
There’s a lot of talk out there about intermittent fasting. While I don’t specifically prescribe a certain diet or way of eating for everyone, I do like to offer different theories so that people can try tactics to see what works for them. Everyone has different goals and different body types and intermittent fasting may be a helpful tool for you, depending on what your needs are. I’ve successfully used intermittent fasting for over a year now to help me lose fat and stay lean and I attribute a lot of my success to intermittent fasting. I’m down 15 pounds and don’t think I would’ve been so successful without the use of intermittent fasting.
What is intermittent fasting?
Throughout the day, your body is in either a fed state (digesting food) or fasted state. In a fed state, your body will have higher insulin levels so it can use glucose for energy. In the fasted state, your glucose levels are much lower and your body will then use fat as its next fuel source. Intermittent fasting is simply an eating pattern where you eat during certain times and don’t eat during others.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Many claim that some of the benefits of intermittent fasting include:
What are the different types of intermittent fasting?
Some examples of the different types of fasting include:
The 16/8 method where you fast for 16 hours and eat within 8 hours in a 24 hour window. The idea is to eat the same amount you typically eat, just in a shorter window during the day
The 5 days/2 days method where you to eat normally five days a week and you fast the other two days, just limiting calories to 500-600 on those fasting days
Full 24-hour fasting where you you don’t eat for 24 hours, either once or twice a week.
The 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Method
I personally practice the 16/8 method where I eat the same amount, just in a shorter window of time. I eat during 8 hours of the day and abstain from eating for 16 hours. I’ll typically eat between 10 am – 6 pm, 11am – 7pm, or 12 – 8pm, which ever works best for my schedule that day and depending on what my body needs. I have tried full 24-hour fasts in the past and have a really difficult time with them. I’ll successfully complete them but then binge eat after, which takes me back to old habits that I’ve successfully broken otherwise. While I don’t practice 24-hour fasting, it doesn’t mean it might not work for you. Again, I encourage you to experiment with that works for your body.
Ashley Lillis is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach dedicated to helping women find their own version of healthy through sustainable lifestyle changes.