I couldn’t contain my excitement after recently stepping on the scale to find that I’ve dropped 5 kilos (11 pounds) in less than two weeks!
It’s certainly the most – not to mention fastest – amount of weight I’ve lost since picking up over 15 kg in a year. I talk a little more about how I picked up weight after quitting cigarettes and refined sugar here.
And while I’ve definitely upped my workout sessions and their frequency as the summer looms, I have good reason to credit the weight loss to intermittent fasting. By the way, I didn’t even conduct properly until exactly 7 days ago so I’m really mind blown.
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
At its core, Intermittent Fasting (IF) refers to cycles of prolonged periods of complete, voluntary abstinence from food that alternate with windows during which eating is ‘allowed’.
Unlike a conventional diet, where strict emphasis is placed on creating caloric deficits and removing certain foods from the menu, Intermittent Fasting is more focused on timing one’s approach to eating.
While there’s no specification on the quantities and kinds of foods one is allowed to consume during their eating periods, nothing with calories may be consumed during the fasting windows.
Although, for those who intend to torch the weight considerably faster, a significant reduction in calorie consumption during the normal food intake windows is not such a bad idea.
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Amongst a plethora of proven health benefits attached to this system of eating is weight loss and maintenance. Improving one’s overall health, simplifying your life and minimising the effects of aging are all part of the reason why intermittent fasting is gaining all the buzz.
WHAT IT’S NOT
TYPES OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
This approach is considered the most effective catalyst for rapid weight loss. This method requires part takers to choose two days of extremely low caloric consumption in a week.
On the two days, you have no more than a total of 500 calories. You can continue eating normally on the other 5 days of the week.
Further to weight loss, according to TheConversation.com, research also indicates that this method can help with reducing levels of glucose and cholesterol in the blood.
- Alternative Day Fasting (ADF)
Similarly, the Alternative Day Fasting approach to Intermittent Fasting comes with alternating between days in which calorie intake is extremely limited (up to 500 cals a day), and normal eating.
The main difference with ADF is that you are to repeat these cycles every other day of the week, which makes them about twice as frequent as those on 5:12.
This is partly why weight loss tends to be faster with this approach. The downside to ADF is that it’s often quite unsustainable over time.
This is part of the reason why a high number of those who attempt are more likely stop, after a while, compared to the other methods.
- Time Restricted Fasting
This brings us to the most popular approach of the three. As explained above, this is where you alternative between interval of normal eating and complete voluntary abstinence.
There are three options in this formula.
Weight loss is the main reason most people are trying out intermittent fasting. However, this lifestyle intervention comes with a plethora of health benefits that make it even more appealing.
According to Heathline.com, intermittent fasting can also help with reducing insulin resistance, which contributes to the lowering of blood sugar. That, in turn, can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent can also reduce inflammation. While inflammation is your body’s natural way of defending itself from illnesses, injuries, and promote healing, prolonged inflamation is linked to such diseases as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
IF is also noted for its role in preventing cancer, while stimulating overall heart and brain health.