The concept of intermittent fasting has been a part of celebrities’ diet charts since 2018. First, it was Halle Berry, and then it was Jennifer Aniston and the Kardashian sisters who supported this diet strategy. Therefore, you already know about this fasting strategy of eating – stopping – and eating. But what most people still doubt is – how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss. This write-up will document the how’s and when’s for you.
This digital write-up has been documented, taking into account views from multiple nutritionists and health experts. This article will discuss ways to pursue this fasting correctly, the workouts to support the same, and a range of other benefits that this fasting brings forth.
What are the popular approaches for intermittent fasting?
For those who are just starting off in this domain, a process called ketosis occurs when you are fasting for a short time. This is the base of the keto diet, when the body breaks down fat without stored glucose. This increases ketones in the body, and if that is coupled with fewer calories – it leads to automatic weight loss. When this same strategy is followed for alternate days, you will get the query result: how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss?
Some of the popular approaches followed are – alternate-day fasting, time-restricted fasting, and 5-2 fasting mode.
How to do intermittent fasting for weight loss?
Though there are multiple formats for this strategy – here we will discuss 7 types you may follow. Choose any of the following, or you can combine two options and use them accordingly. These formats have been curated keeping in mind both beginners and people who have performed this diet pattern previously.
1. The 5:2 Format of Fasting
This is the first response to how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss. This was introduced mainstream by the book – The FastDiet. Here, for 5 days of the week, you may eat anything (no specific calorie count, try to eat a balanced meal, but you may have junk food as well) but for the rest 2 days – consume only 500-600 calories.
This is suitable for both males and females, and you may choose the cheat days as per your wish. It does not necessarily have to be the weekend, but maybe 1 day each within the week.
2. Alternate Day Fasting
As it is very clear from the name itself – this is fasting alternatively. Pick out the days you want to eat, plan a meal chart to include complex carbs and protein on those days, and fast the next day.
For the record, this format was publicized by Krista Varady, a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
3. Overnight Fasting
This is the easiest answer to how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss. Fix a time and get done with all your eating by that time. Say – you finish your dinner by 9 pm; for the next 11-12 hours, do not eat anything. Again, start with breakfast and finish your meals by 9 pm the next day.
4. Eat – Stop – Eat – Repeat
Brad Pilon put forth this approach and categorically stresses flexibility over everything else. Here, he talks of taking a 24-hour fast per week and pursuing a resistance training program to bring about the desired weight loss. Throughout the week, you eat and follow this program thrice a week. However, for one 24-hour period, fast completely and do not do any hardcore exercise (casual walking is allowed).
5. Time Restricted Fasting
This is an alternative name to – Having a Food Window regularly. Here, you may eat for a specific set of hours and fast for the rest. Also, the fasting window must be within – 14-16 hours maximum (14 hours categorically for women).
Say, for example – you eat between 9 am to 6 pm. Keep it at that, and after that, do not eat anything. Maintain this eating cycle.
Within this domain, you may also try some variations. You could fast for the whole day and then eat as much and whatever you like for a window of 5-6 hours. Say, for example, your eating window is dinner time. Therefore – you eat all that you want from 5 pm to 10 pm, and then the next day, you fast for the whole day.
6. Whole Day Fasting
This is the last approach to how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss. In this, you pick up one time for your meal, or at best two (if your body does not support you). So, if you pick the two-time format – go lunch to lunch or dinner to lunch. Else, you can also choose – Breakfast – Lunch – skip Dinner, and do Breakfast all over again.
How long does it take to work?
If you are still scrolling down, one may assume you have a basic idea about how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss. Once you follow these strategies, you will automatically look for results. So, how long will it take to work?
Before getting to the statistics – understand that – every human body is different. Hence, the metabolism or even the way one body reacts to this change of diet from another is different. Having said that – you are bound to notice some benchmark changes.
Supposedly derived from multiple sources – technically, one loses upto 10 pounds of weight with this pattern in a month. If it is not that effective – even then, it is found that you may lose upto 1 pound per week.
But what if there is no significant change even after a month? Is there something wrong with that? Nutritionists may agree.
- Perhaps you are eating the wrong kind of food. This diet is supposed to be about consuming calories at the right time. But it happens that after a long fasting session, you may get to binge eating. This is harmful and could be the reason you are not losing weight.
- Are you staying hydrated? Before you read further – drink a glass of water. Intermittent fasting reduces food intake and not water.
- You are not following a schedule. Even when you are fasting, there is a pattern you will have to follow. If it is not working, then you will have to check your routine. There could be a glitch there.
- There might also be no significant change because – your fasting window is short, and you keep breaking your fast.
- Finally, you could be consuming little protein. When you are fasting, your protein count must be kept high since – it will keep you full and also help manage your bone health.
The first step to responding to how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss is eating a balanced meal. During this process, your meal must include the following – complex carbs (quinoa, brown rice, ragi, bajra)/ lean protein (chicken, eggs, fish, dals, pulses, seeds, and nuts)/ healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, clarified butter)/ high-fiber vegetables and fruits.
What are the associated workouts?
The correct mode to garner the best results from how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss – is coordinating the same with an exercise routine.
- When you are fasting intermittently, choose low-intensity workouts such as – jogging, walking, yoga, and gentle Pilates. You may add cycling in between.
- If you are prone to high-intensity workouts, it is best to do that during your feeding windows. Your body needs fuel to carry on with these exercises.
- Before your workout – ensure you refuel your body with protein. It is the protein content your body needs the most while working out.
- Drink water. If you are bored of the ‘most essential drink’ for the body – replenish the same with undiluted coconut water and zero-calorie electrolyte drinks.
What other benefits does it offer?
Though you have categorically searched for weight loss benefits that intermittent fasting offers, you can get a range of benefits while following this diet. They are –
- This categorically alters the function of hormones and cells. Since the stored fat is made accessible to the body while functioning, therefore this initiates cellular repair. This regenerates the cells and removes toxins from the same.
- If you are looking to lose visceral fat and improve body metabolism – this is the strategy to follow.
- Following this diet will reduce your insulin resistance and lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes.
- This diet reduces the body’s inflammation and oxidative stress – halting the aging process and reducing the chances of an age-related health scare.
- Studies from multiple sources depict that following this diet reduces brain inflammation and negates the chances of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s diseases, and many others.
Hence, be assured – if you follow this diet well, you will not only cut down on some pounds but also internally heal your body.
Are there any side effects?
Though intermittent fasting can be an easy routine to follow for some, there are some side effects of the same. The most common side effects are – fatigue, irritability, insomnia, hunger, constipation, headaches, and nausea. However, when you categorically know how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss, these symptoms wear off within a month.
Hopefully, now you know how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss. It is suggested – you consult a nutritionist or a dietician first if you wish to derive maximum benefits from this format of fasting. If you do not have access to the same – try fasting for short periods and then move on to more extended periods of fasting. After that – you can move on to intermittent fasting regularly.
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.