Take a look at your makeup kit and you’ll find makeup products of different kinds for different purposes. Each has a specific use, but you wouldn’t necessarily use all of them all at the same time, (unless you’re that extra.) Some makeup products also suit a certain skin tone or skin type better than others.
Weight loss diet plans are a lot like that. There are a lot of these diet strategies being marketed as “the best,” but not necessarily “the best” for you, your body, and your lifestyle. So, it is important to understand your needs and the tools available and accessible to you to help you keep your eating on track.
A popular diet plan that has gained popularity recently is intermittent fasting (IF). You’ve probably read a lot about it online or have heard enough testimonies from friends and family who have significantly benefitted from intermittent fasting. Maybe you’ve been wanting to try it after being on so many fad diets and just yoyo-ing on the weighing scale, but don’t know if it’s the right weight-loss program for you.
Should you try IF? Here’s a brief guide to help you out:
What is intermittent fasting?
Basically, intermittent fasting is intentionally extending your normal overnight ‘fasting time’ to periods lasting anywhere between 12 to 24 hours.
One approach suggests the baseline of a 16-hour fast. If you start eating at 10 am, for example, you have to finish eating for the day at 6 pm, then fast for the rest of the day, and start eating again at 10 am the following day.
Another approach takes it up a notch by going on a 20-hour fast coupled with a 4-hour eating window. Hardcore fasters can even go as far as one full 24-hour break from eating at least one day per week. But then you can eat whatever you want for the rest of the week.
Does intermittent fasting work?
The short answer is: YES. The logic behind this is pretty straightforward: intermittent fasting provides an easy-to-follow daily eating plan that naturally creates habits that make it harder to overeat. Fewer hours during the day to eat means fewer calories, compared to when you eat anytime you want.
All the intermittent fasting schedules mentioned above create an energy deficit and lead to weight and fat loss. While it is still important to take note of the nutritional value of what you consume during the eating window, it’s the simplified approach to eating less that made intermittent fasting popular around dieters.
The Life-Changing Question: Will intermittent fasting work for you?
Now there is no one-size-fits-all answer for this but there are a few scientifically proven facts you can consider.
Research suggests that IF works best for men. For women, however, it’s a lot more complicated. While intermittent fasting helps restrict our daily caloric intake, it has been found that women tend to experience more unwanted side effects from fasting, especially if you go beyond the basic 16-hour fasting window, because of our hormonal structure.
Doctors warn that women who are on prolonged fasting windows may notice adverse hormonal changes such as menopausal-like effects as well as intense cravings. They also warn women who have histories or tendency towards disordered eating to steer clear of intermittent fasting.
Consider how you feel and how much you stress out while following an intermittent fasting protocol. Try it for a week and observe how your body responds then decide from there if it’s a lifestyle worth switching to.
If you need more help deciding which intermittent fasting schedule to follow, what you can consume without “breaking the fast” and a few other questions, read the original article by Born Fitness here.
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