Intermittent Fasting for Fat Loss and Simplicity
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, intermittent fasting is a great tool in your toolbox for simple yet quick fat loss. But, I didn't really tell you much about it, because I wanted to take some time to explain why it works, and then get into the type of intermittent fasting plan that works well for a lot of people.
What Is Intermittent Fasting, and How Does It Work?
First and foremost, intermittent fasting is not a diet! It is a pattern of eating. You don't really change what you eat, but when you eat, simplifying your weight loss efforts.
You see, your body is in one of two states, the "fed" state and the "fast" state. The fed state starts when you eat food, and for the next 3-5 hours as your body digests and absorbs all of the nutrients from the food. It's during this time when burning fat is harder, because your body is producing insulin.
Next, you enter a sort of limbo state called post-absorptive state. It just means your body is not in fed state, nor is it in fast state. You enter fast state after the 8-12 hour post-absorptive state, and it is during the fast state when you burn fat like crazy because your insulin levels are low! Your body taps into your fat stores for fuel instead, because there is no food for it to break down. It is because it takes 12 hours for our bodies to enter a fasting state that fat burning does not occur during a typical meal schedule of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
What Are the Best Methods for Intermittent Fasting?
While there is no one "best" method for intermittent fasting, there is one that I think makes the most efficient use of the fed and fast states, the Leangains Method. You will have a fasting period of 16 hours followed by an 8-hour eating period.
An easy way to do this is eat two meals, one at noon, and then one at 8 pm. You eat all of the calories you would normally consume in one day in these two meals. Yes, you're skipping breakfast, but if you eat breakfast, you will break the fast...literally.
If you find for any reason the 16-hour fast is not for you, modify the Leangain method to fasting for 14 hours and eating for 10 hours. A lot of women seem to prefer this method, so just try both and see what works best for you.
If you're looking for other methods to try, this article breaks down the pros and cons of the Eat Stop Eat method (fasting 24 hours 1 to 2 times a week), the Warrior Diet (eating one large meal per day, and fasting for 20 hours), the Fat Loss Forever plan (fasting varies from day to day), and the Alternate Day Diet (a.k.a., the 5/2 diet, with 2 days of limited calorie consumption and 5 days of normal calorie consumption).
ntermittent fasting is just another tool in your toolbox. Just as eating a healthy diet of real, whole foods is another tool. And exercising regularly is another tool. And meditating or doing yoga to reduce stress is another tool. And sleeping at least 8 hours per night is another tool.-(not my quote)