Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

Losing weight can be daunting and demotivating for an average joe, especially when one cannot achieve immediately noticeable results. 

Have you ever wondered why your back-breaking home workouts and painstaking gym sessions do not provide desired results? 

If yes, then the problem may be in your meal plan. Believe it or not, your entire body weight can be affected significantly based on what you consume throughout the day. 

When dieting and calorie cutbacks do not seem to work, Intermittent fasting can often come to your aid. 

Intermittent fasting is a meal plan which has garnered popularity over the years due to being linked to several A-List celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Halle Berry, and Jennifer Aniston.

While most consider it to be a mere diet plan with certain dietary restrictions, Intermittent fasting is a timed or scheduled approach to eating. 

Intermittent Fasting has become a new and common weight reduction trend in modern-day nutritional communities. 

In fact, Intermittent fasting as a weight loss plan is being accepted by more and more nutritionists as time progresses. 

If you are someone who wants to follow the intermittent fasting plan for weight loss, look no further. 

Here is all you need to know about intermittent fasting plans for weight loss to help step on the right path to achieving desired results.

What is Intermittent Fasting Anyway?

Intermittent fasting is the nutrition practice or eating pattern that involves distributing meals at regular intervals and an alternative pattern of fasting and eating on a consistent schedule. 

According to some nutrients, it is an efficient way of reducing access to body fat as the individual is promoted to consume only one meal per day in the span of a few weeks. 

Among the most eating patterns of intermittent fasting is the 16:08 which includes fasting for 16 hours and eating on schedule for 8 hours.

Another common eating plan is  20:04 including 20 hours of fasting and 4 hours of regular eating, and lastly, 14:06 which includes fasting for 14 hours and eating for 6 hours. 

Learn in detail about Intermittent fasting: 

How does Intermittent Fasting work?

There are several different patterns or schedules of intermittent fasting that are based on regular time periods of eating and fasting.

For example, you can try eating for a total of 8 hours a day and remain fasting for the remainder of the day.

Or you can also plan your fast by eating either one meal a day or two to three meals a week. 

Ideally, Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period of time when the body has burnt excess calories consumed during the last meal. 

What are the different Intermittent Fasting Methods?

To answer briefly, yes, there are different methods of Intermittent Fasting that incorporate distributing the days or weeks into varied scheduled intervals of eating and fasting. 

While fasting is a significant part of intermittent fasting, it is important to remember that you either eat tiny portions or nothing at all during your fasting intervals. 

Here is a list of some popular methods you can choose from to start your own Intermittent fasting diet plan:

16/8 Intermittent Fasting Method:

The 16/8 Intermittent diet plan involves fasting for 16 hours along with eating during the 8-hour window. 

Ideally, one can say the 16/8 Intermittent Diet plan to eat between the 1 pm to 9 pm time period. 

This type of fasting involves skipping breakfast and avoiding eating anything after consuming dinner.

5/2 Intermittent Diet Plan:

The 5/2 Intermittent diet method involves 24 hours of fasting for one or two days of the week and consuming your daily intake of calories to compensate for the two days of fasting. 

You can cut back on about 20 percent of your daily calorie intake for the two days of fasting.

Alternate-Day Intermittent Fasting Method:

This method of intermittent fasting often involves regular intervals of both fasting and eating every other day of the week.

But unlike other Intermittent Diet Plans, with the alternate-day intermittent fasting method you can only consume zero or only a couple hundred calories during the days, you can eat.

Eat-Stop-Eat Intermittent Diet:

The Eat Stop Eat method of intermittent fasting involves full 24-hour fasting for one or a maximum of two days in a week. 

For example, you can have your dinner one day and fast till the next day’s dinner completing the 24-hour goal. 

While it seems feasible to fast for 24 hours to reduce weight rapidly, however, it is important to note that not eating for the full 24 hours can cause long-term harm to health.

The 14/10 Intermittent Diet Plan:

The 14/10 intermittent diet plan is similar to the 16/8 intermittent fasting diet plan, where you fast for 14 hours and consume an appropriate amount of calories for the remaining 10 hours. 

This version of Intermittent fasting is easier when compared to the 16/8 intermittent diet plan, however, it is less effective when it comes to the weight loss process.

The Warrior Intermittent Diet Method:

Do not let the name of this Intermittent Diet Plan intimidate you! The Warrior Method of intermittent diet plan is based on the eating pattern of ancient warriors. 

Developed in the year 2001, the term was coined by Or Hofmekler a fitness author and is more restrictive than 16/8 as well as Eat-Stop-Eat methods. 

This diet plan involves eating small portions and fewer calories for 20 hours during the day and consuming as much food as you would like during the 4-hour window at night. 

Is Intermittent Fasting good for weight loss?

Intermittent Fasting is a great way of reducing your calorie intake while keeping your diet nutritionally balanced. 

Most people resort to this method of fasting for its benefit of reducing weight, as a lack of calorie intake can lead to significant weight loss. 

The intermittent fasting process also has direct benefits to the lipid profile in the body and is directly associated with weight loss as it helps with the distribution of body fat. 

Intermittent Fasting also helps with the improvement and control of glycemic levels in the body which helps with obesity as well as type-2 diabetes.  

Furthermore, intermittent fasting helps regulate the production of a fat-burning hormone called norepinephrine. 

By fasting at regular intervals for a prolonged period of time the metabolic rate often escalates from 3.6 to about 14%.

What can you eat during Intermittent Fasting?

Your results will be as good as your methods, hence your food intake will affect the results of your intermittent fasting plan. 

By now you know consuming copious amounts of calories during intermittent fasting might set you behind and make you gain a couple of extra pounds. 

To help you know what best to eat in order to maintain your goal weight, here is what you can eat during intermittent fasting:

1. Fresh Veggies

Consuming fresh vegetables is a great way of minting a nutritionally balanced diet while cutting back on calories. 

Fiber-rich and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are great sources of nutrition during intermittent fasting. 

These vegetables make you feel fuller for prolonged periods of time and ensure a smooth bowel movement even when you are on restricted food intake.

2. Fruits

According to research unsaturated fats such as fruits can keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time. 

Any form of fruit including berries is a great way of cutting back on excess calories while maintaining a healthy and nutritionally balanced diet. 

Fruits such as berries are a great source of flavonoids that help regulate cellular activity in the body and protect the body from cellular damage.

3. Unsweetened Beverages

Hydration even when fasting is a must, especially when you are cutting back on a significant amount of calorie intake. 

While most people consider liquid consumption during intermittent fasting to be prohibited, drinking water is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy and hydrated. 

Unsweetened caffeinated beverages such as black tea and black coffee can also be consumed as effective energizers. 

Other beverages such as lemon water, buttermilk, milk, and coconut water can also be enjoyed without adding extra sugars.

4. Lean Proteins

Lean proteins such as fish, paneer, tofu, chicken, and egg whites are the right source of vitamin B that supports brain function, induces metabolism, and regulates energy levels.

5. Whole Grains

Whole grains can be your best friend, especially during intermittent fasting. These foods are packed with fibers that keep you full for a longer time and provide you with the requisite energy to push through the day. 

Whole grains are also beneficial for the digestive system especially when you are switching between eating and fasting meal patterns.

6. Legumes

The last item on the menu is legumes. Beans and lentils are great sources of protein and fiber that can help you maintain a clean bill of health while intermittent fasting. 

Legumes have almost no fat or cholesterol content and are rich in zinc, proteins, iron, and magnesium.

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