Are you looking for a new strategy to speed up your weight loss?
Why not join the thousands of people who are discovering intermittent fasting and its benefits. Yes, fasting is making a comeback and it’s no longer the sole property of saints and ascetics!
There is one thing I should make clear from the beginning: intermittent fasting is not about starving yourself. It’s about strategically controlling the timing of your meals to maximize your fat-burning progress.
I’ve experimented with intermittent fasting since I discovered it over 6 months and have been able to go from 15 to 7% body fat whilst building muscle, getting stronger, and exercising regularly every day. Like most people, I also enjoyed the process along the way and learned a lot about my eating habits.
If you’d like to find out more, read on.
How it works
On a standard diet, you tend to space your meal throughout the day and eat every day. This approach is in accord with the standard recommendation to eat frequent small meals.
The problem with this approach is that your body is constantly busy digesting the food you put into it, and cannot effectively begin to burn the fat storage you already possess.This is similar to an office worker who’s constantly given new tasks to do. His boss keeps on pilling more and more work on his desk which means that he never gets the time to work on the overdue projects at the bottom of the pile.
If only you’d give him a break once in a while he could catch up and tackle the older projects. This is how fasting works. It lets your body rest for long enough so that it can actually digest the old food, repair itself and start digesting the old fat storages.
To give your body a rest you can do two things. First, you make your eating hours shorter so that you spend more time eating. Secondly, you can take a day off now and again during which you don’t eat anything.
The basic routine is to eat all your calories within 8 hours. This gives you 16 hours without food in a day, unlike the usual approach which only lets your body rests for 8 hours or so when you sleep.
So if you have your breakfast at 8 am you would stop eating at 4 pm. You still eat exactly what you’d normally eat, except that you eat it within a shorter period of time. Remember, the 8 hours of eating start with your first meal, so start counting from there. And because you get to eat a lot during those 8 hours you won’t be very hungry for the rest of the day.
If you want you can make the eating frame even smaller. For example, you can eat for 6 hours and fast for 18 hours. I find it very hard to eat all my calories within 6 hours so I stick to an 8-hour frame, but if you don’t have to eat as much as I do then go for it if you want. It will give you even better results.
The important thing however is not to make the eating frame larger than 8 hours, because then it loses a lot of its benefits and becomes similar to the standard way of eating. Note that this type of fasting is done every day, and can be easily sustained because you are still eating the necessary calories.
The second approach is to use a full-day fast. This is a simple and very effective strategy. You eat normally through the week – of course still avoiding junk food – but instead of eating every day, you fast once or twice a week. On the days of fasting your body gets to rest from eating and can repair and heal itself as well as start burning the fat storages you posses.
During a fasting day, your body will burn a lot of calories, depending on your metabolic rate. If for example, you need to eat 2000 calories every day, you will lose almost 30 pounds of fat in a year if you fast once a week. And that’s with no exercise and no hard work, just a day without eating. As long as you don’t overeat on the other days you’ll be making great progress with very little effort.
Lastly, you can combine both the 16 hours fast and the full day fast to increase your weight loss even more. I encourage you to experiment freely with those techniques and find a way that works best for you.
Just remember: you still need to eat the proper amount of calories when you’re not fasting. This is very important so that you don’t actually starve yourself!
• You don’t have to start eating in the morning. You can just as well start eating after work and fast during your work. See how your energy levels are affected. Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and that is it, there’s no magical time when you have to eat it. If you break your fast at 6 pm then that is your breakfast!
• The frequency of eating will be quite high when you only have 8 or 6 hours to eat everything, so make sure you are in a place where you can actually eat that often. If you cannot eat much at work then you can move your eating frame so that it begins in the evening.
• If you want to try a full-day fast make sure it’s on a day when you can stay relaxed, as some people tend to get a little edgy at first. Best to fast on a weekend.
• Drink lots of hot drinks when you get hungry.