Are you struggling with obesity? A new trend in the fight against weight gain is intermittent fasting diet, which is becoming more widespread and better known in the world. As there are conflicting opinions about intermittent fasting, we decided to remove the veil of mystery from it and introduce you to the basic principles of this method.
Intermittent Fasting Diet
Sometimes, in order to lose weight, we would be able to do everything. Everything except stop eating. It’s paradoxical, but so it is! We expect a lot from the diet when it comes to losing weight, but we would still like to eat a lot, even though we are on a diet.
If you are the type of person described in the previous paragraph, then the intermittent fasting diet is for you.
The intermittent fasting diet is not exactly a diet in the classical sense, since no food is forbidden.
You can eat absolutely anything you want or have eaten so far and still lose weight.
The catch is in the meal timing schedule.
This is not a novelty, diets like 8-hour or Chrono diet are also based on a meal schedule.
This method, in fact, means that you schedule meals throughout the day so that there is a part of the day when you eat and a part of the day when you do not eat anything. You can only drink plain or carbonated water, tea, or black coffee without sugar in the part of the day when you are not allowed to eat.
Does it look scary?
Maybe just at first glance.
Where does this principle of nutrition come from?
Although it comes from the west and a very serious team of experts from the relevant fields worked on it, this concept seems to have similarities with some religious rituals in Christianity, but also in Islam.
For example, in Orthodox Christianity, fasting does not imply general abstinence from food in general, but it implies the restriction of fatty foods, meat, dairy products, and eggs – everything of animal origin. Fish is included. On Wednesdays and Fridays, fish is not allowed.
Although it has a religious basis, this way of eating actually keeps the human body very vital and healthy, so the benefits are manifold.
Islam has a more radical approach, and it implies that when the sun sets, and until it rises, you are not allowed to eat anything. On certain holidays, it is not allowed to eat all day, and when the sun sets, it is allowed to consume most everyday foods.
Here, in addition to the religious, they say, the health aspect is also very important. This way of fasting is very similar to the intermittent fasting diet, and it is clear why. It doesn’t matter what or how much, but when you eat.
Science has given its judgment on this, paraphrased as follows:
The body needs some time to rest from digesting food, more precisely, the stomach and its juices must have time to revitalize. By constantly ingesting food, the stomach is overloaded and it will not digest food as efficiently as it would if it had time to rest.
This method is contrary to the belief of frequent food intake, 5-6 times a day. Proponents of this method consider it completely inappropriate, considering that gastric juices are constantly active and that fatigue occurs.
Intermittent Fasting Diet 16/8
Here are more details! You may have once noticed these numbers, 16 and 8, next to the name of intermittent fasting diet.
What do they actually mean?
When you add 16 to 8, you get 24, and one day consists of 24 hours.
These numbers mean that with this method you are allowed to eat for 8 hours a day, and you are not allowed to eat for 16 hours.
At first glance, it doesn’t sound pleasant, but if you think about it, it’s two thirds of the day, and you will surely spend one third sleeping. So, the problem is, in fact, one third of our day.
It is encouraging that you are allowed to eat whatever food you want, in a quantity that you want, although it would be smarter, since this is a kind of diet, after all, not to overdo the amount of food you eat.
It is best to calculate daily caloric intake for your weight in relation to how physically active you are and then to know how much food you should eat.
The good thing is that you can eat once or twice in those eight hours, and that is, you will agree, enough meals. And if you can go a little overboard when it comes to quantity, even better.
The body quickly gets used to this regime. It only takes a day or two to establish order, so the result will be a smaller amount of food you eat, not more.
As meals decrease, so does the need for food, which is natural.
You can arrange your meals as you wish. So, you can choose to have your “window” (as they call the time in the intermittent diet when you are allowed to eat) start in the morning, and some start around noon, for example, if they work overnight or are more of a night owls.
If you choose to start your “window” in the morning, at some standard time, around 10am will be your first meal, the last one must be by 6pm, and then you enter the restriction by tomorrow at 10am.
Of course, those who are awake until late, cannot eat for the last time in the afternoon because then the period of “awake starvation” will be very long for them. They can start the “window” at 12 noon and finish it at 8pm. This is just a suggestion, you schedule the time when you eat.
One of the disadvantages of this intermittent fasting diet is the fact that most people who practice it, for fear that they will be hungry later in the day, decide to skip breakfast, because they do not usually feel hungry or eat in the morning, after getting up.
Many advise that breakfast should not be skipped and that this meal is the most important during the day.
Proponents of the intermittent fasting diet think that it’s good to skip breakfast, and they explain it scientifically. They say that our energy and focus are at a much higher level when we are hungry, that is when our stomach is empty.
A hungry body produces more adrenaline, and everyone knows that adrenaline allows us to be awake, in a good mood, sober, and to make clearer decisions.
If you think about it yourself, don’t you have that feeling of mild drowsiness that accompanies you after eating while the food is being digested? This is because insulin is then activated, another hormone which lowers our blood sugar and that is why we feel sleepy.
Adrenaline also has the ability to break down fat, which is the point of this diet, but it also breaks down amino acids, which are responsible for the appearance of our muscles, so in addition to fat, you will start losing muscle mass too.
It does not make men happy, especially athletes, or those who want their muscles to be formed and big. Intermittent fasting diet is not really for them.
Others, who exclusively want to lose weight, will be very satisfied.
Speaking of hormones, you will improve your sensitivity to a hormone called leptin, which is responsible for feeling full.
Contradictory, but if you starve for 16 hours, you will feel fuller than eating every 2 to 3 hours. This is a benefit of an intermittent fasting diet.
This gives the digestive tract time and a chance to be rested and regenerated, ready for the next meal. The production of white blood cells is better so that the general condition of the organism is at a higher level than usual.
If we go back in history and take a look at how people lived before, we conclude that there can be a lot of truth in this and this kind of research and thinking.
Intermittent Fasting and Keto Diets
Many proponents of the intermittent fasting diet say that the best results are achieved if you combine the intermittent fasting diet with the keto diet. If you are not sure about the term keto, find out here why the keto diet is a very effective way of losing weight.
In short, the keto diet involves a diet based on fat, with minimal or complete omission of carbohydrates, the combination of these two diets means that at a certain time (since we found that the intermittent fasting diet is based on time) you eat food rich in fat.
The combination of these two diets is expected to melt fat, such are all LCHF diets, but of course, it is also taken into account that sixteen hours of not consuming food will contribute to losing weight.
This is not an easy way to lose weight and you should not suddenly enter this type of diet or diet combination.
It would be best to first adjust the body to one, say, the keto diet, and then after some time, say, a month, start practicing intermittent fasting.
Depending on the condition of the body, this combination of diets can be exhausting, especially if the body is accustomed to consuming large amounts of carbohydrates.
General health must be taken into account. Especially if the blood pressure is low, you may faint or some other long-term condition can occur in which the body collapses.
Water Fasting Diet
If you think this is radical, wait to hear the most radical version of the intermittent fasting diet called the water fasting diet.
What does this diet mean?
It implies that a certain number of days, and that is usually 7, you eat absolutely nothing and drink absolutely nothing, except water.
Sounds shocking! As you know, many of the diets are not undertaken just to lose weight, many of them are carried out by people also due to a certain health condition.
This is one such diet. In addition to losing weight, which is completely logical because you do not eat anything, some people start it due to certain diseases of the skin, heart, bones, and muscles, believing that by detoxifying the body, they will lose absolutely all toxins and negative substances that can harm their body.
While practicing this diet, you must not exercise, work or be physically active in any way, you only need to rest for a week because everything else would be bad for your body.
This diet should not be started without a doctor’s supervision because quitting food, even for a few days, can be very dangerous. Our body is accustomed to certain “fuel” food that it needs every day, and we can’t just eliminate it.
It is also recommended to reach this stage gradually. Let’s say that an intermittent fasting diet is carried out for some time before that. Although even then, medical supervision is mandatory.
Proponents of this ascetic method recall past times, when people ate little or nothing, due to poverty, wars, staying on the fronts and other crisis situations, and absolutely remained alive and healthy. However, lifestyle and diet have changed, so be careful. We don’t really recommend something like this!
Intermittent Fasting Diet Results and Experience
Many who have tried this diet share their experiences and results, which come down to the following:
Implementing an intermittent fasting diet is not difficult, it just sounds difficult when you first hear what it is about. In fact, you only need a day or two to get used to the 16/8 diet and after that everything will go smoothly.
There are results that weight loss becomes obvious after only ten days, but in addition to fat layers, muscle mass is also lost, which will not bother those who want to lose weight.
If you start an intermittent fasting diet, you have to be persistent because by interrupting it you will not achieve anything.
What many users state as bad is that after you stop following this diet, especially if it did not last long, the weight returns very quickly, in fact, faster than they lost it.
Benefits of an Intermittent Fasting Diet
Let’s list all the advantages since there are quite a few.
- you determine when you will eat
- you eat everything you want, there are no forbidden foods
- you are in a better mood, given the secretion of adrenaline
- you are less hungry than usual, although you eat less, thanks to leptin
- you spend less time worrying about what you will eat
- you spend less time preparing food
- you lose weight very fast!
Disadvantages of Intermittent Fasting Diet
Not everything is so simple, there are drawbacks:
- skipping breakfast, in most cases
- lack of physical strength, if you do physical work
- lack of physical strength, if you exercise regularly or do sports
- with the end of dieting, the pounds return quickly
- if you want lasting results, this must become your way of life
Judge for yourself if this is for you. In general, the conclusion is that an intermittent fasting diet can be fantastic for some people, for example, who are engaged in so-called “sedentary professions”.
They are in the office for a certain number of hours, and they have a regular daily routine. It is unfavorable for those who do not have a regular schedule and who are engaged in physical work and physical activity.
The general condition of the organism is also important.
You should only follow this intermittent fasting diet if you are completely healthy.
Those with chronic diseases, especially people who have diabetes, impaired insulin secretion, should not be exposed to such diets on their own. Certainly a consultation with a nutritionist, regardless of health condition, would be desirable.
Have you tried this way of losing weight? Share your experiences with us in the comments!