Intermittent fasting is a pattern or plan that includes portions of 24 hours fasting (consuming only liquids or nothing) and eating food for other periods of the day. Also known as using “Meal timing schedules.”
Fasting has been around for centuries. Intermittent fasting changed things from fasting in the old days and added a timing schedule and eating window to this fasting. Sporadic fasting is done with the goal of improved health and weight loss. The father of intermittent fasting is said to be Martin Berkhan of leangains.com.
This method went viral and has picked up many followers over the past several years. Let’s dig into how intermittent fasting works and learn how to start with this diet style.
Why should you get into intermittent fasting? Most people do it to lose weight or maintain a particular physique. Some fast for long-term health benefits. Many report weight loss gains and reversal or improvement of many health conditions. Others also report increased mental clarity and greater productivity in their day.
The 16:8 method is currently the most popular form of intermittent fasting. leangains.com popularized this method. This method entails fasting for 16 hours of the day and eating during an eight-hour “window.”
Many find it relatively easy and the eating window a generous amount of time. Also – remember to eat healthy, nutritious food during your eating window and do not binge on junk foods.
Rules for this method include:
- Men should fast for sixteen hours and eat all food in the other eight hours of the day. Women should fast for fourteen hours and eat food in the remaining ten hours.
- The fast starts after you’ve eaten your last meal of the day and ends with your first meal of the day.
- No food or drinks, such as coffee (coffee without sugar or creamers is okay), diet soda, or sugar-free gum during the fasting duration.
Do not fast for extended periods of days without eating when using this method, or you risk experiencing malnutrition. Use caution if choosing to try out intermittent fasting. Always talk to your doctor before trying a new nutrition or fitness program.
Who should avoid intermittent fasting?
- History of low blood pressure
- Difficulties regulating blood sugar or diabetes.
- Breastfeeding women
- Pregnant women
- History of eating disorders
- Taking medications that require you to take them with food
Steps To Get Started
- Choose the protocol you want to follow.
- Calculate your calories. (https://www.calculator.net/macro-calculator.html)
- Calculate your macronutrients.
- Choose a meal program that works for you.
- Train while fasting (optional) or follow a structured training plan to enhance fitness gains while utilizing intermittent fasting.
Adding intermittent fasting to your health and fitness program can help you reach weight loss goals, improve your health, and increase productivity in your day. Remember to start slow and gradually make changes to your diet. You will slowly adjust to the meal timing schedule as you practice this eating pattern.
Remember to listen to your body as you begin utilizing intermittent fasting. Also, remember that remaining hydrated throughout your day and eating the right nutrient-dense foods during your eating window is vital to how this plan works.