I often find myself falling into a loop of wanting to lose weight and eat healthily, but most of my attempts prove futile. With new diet trends going around like the ketogenic diet or food pairing, it is a lot to keep up with. Diets are hard, don't get me wrong, but I discovered that intermittent fasting might be the easiest way for weight loss.
First, let me give a disclaimer: I am not a health professional and started intermittent fasting to feel good about myself, not for the attention of others. I am writing this article for anyone who may be in a similar boat and just wants to improve their healthy eating lifestyle.
So what is intermittent fasting (IF)? Well, there are multiple different types of IF, but the two most commonly practiced variations are the 8:16 and 2:5. This may seem a bit odd, so let me break it down for you.
The IF 8:16 method is where you eat for eight hours out of the day, and fast for sixteen hours. This means you could start eating at 1 p.m. and stop at 9 p.m. or any window that works best for you. I currently practice this method, and I begin eating at 11 a.m. and stop eating at 7 p.m. and begin my 16 hour fast.
The IF 2:5 method is where you fast two out of the seven days in the week, eating around 500 calories a day, and eat normally for the other five days, consuming a normal, nonrestricted caloric amount. I am unable to practice this method of IF due to my hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar, so I stick to the 8:16 method.
This may seem complicated, and you may be wondering how it works. During a fasting period, your body is forced to tap into your fat storage in order to produce energy. This is something called ketosis, which is often referred to in the ketogenic diet, which is a diet that cuts out carbs and focuses on consuming foods higher in protein and fat. You reach ketosis in IF however because of these fasting windows, without the need to cut out carbs.
IF isn't really a diet because it's not about what you eat, but rather when you eat it. Obviously, if you eat an excessive amount of calories during your eating window, then you may not see results, but if you eat a normal amount of calories for your height, weight, age, and gender, then you may be able to see results in weeks! People have reported losing up to half a pound a week by using the 8:16 method, and up to a pound per week with the 2:5 method!
So let's get to the point of the article: does it really work? The answer to that question from my own personal experience is yes! After a month of intermittent fasting, have lost two pounds and have noticed significant slimming in my waist. In addition, I noticed my metabolism sped up as well as significantly less bloating after meals. I had around three days during this month when I did not practice fasting, so a few cheat days did not harm my progress. I only work out three times a week at the moment with little cardio because of a heart condition I have, so losing weight is not always dependent on exercise. I do weight training, which may have affected my stats, but I have never been able to lose weight before this, so I feel as though I can say intermittent fasting worked for me.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet for everyone, especially those with a bad relationship with eating, diabetes, or any conditions that would make the fasting period dangerous to your health. Always consult a healthcare professional if you want to begin a diet but have a condition that may affect how your body reacts to the diet. I consulted my family doctor before starting IF because of my hypoglycemia and I was told to be careful, so always talk to a doctor first.
In short, intermittent fasting in a good way to tap into your fat storage without cutting carbs out of your diet, as well as an effective way to lose body fat without intense cardio in the gym. It worked for me, so maybe it could work for you too! Here's to a healthy, happy last few weeks of summer!