There are many ways to lose weight some more extreme than others. One great way to lose weight and keep it off long term is to fast intermittently.
Fasting has increasingly become more common in recent years.
Most people who start fasting practice the 16:8 protocol. This style of fasting is called Leangains popularized by fitness guru Martin Berkhan.
16:8 fasting means that you water fast for 16 hours a day and have an 8-hour eating window.
Most people simply skip breakfast and eat their first meal later in the day.
16:8 allows for consistent weight loss and maintenance
Most who start 16:8 report rapid weight loss in the beginning.
This is due to numerous factors but one of the biggest reasons is by omitting breakfast you reduce your daily caloric intake.
Breakfast is a notoriously unhealthy meal period in Western culture. By skipping breakfast you’ll allow excess weight to fall off rapidly.
One fasting study tracked the long-term effects of healthy middle-aged men and women over a 4- month period (with a one-week break in between.)
In the study:
- Some participants ate 3 meals a day while others ate only one.
- Everyone ate the same amount of calories regardless of meal frequency.
- All participant's water fasted overnight briefly at 20:00.
Interestingly the participants who ate one meal a day showed greater insulin resistance and poorer glucose tolerance than the 3 meals a day participants.
This is primarily due to all participants eating the same amount of calories.
Fasting usually means that you restrict calories automatically. If you eat the same amount of calories that you’ve been eating not fasting you won't lose weight.
The study also talks about research done with rodents who experienced a 10–30% decrease in calories due to fasting.
The results of that study showed the benefits of fasting along with the reduction of calories.
These benefits included:
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Reduced blood pressure
- Weight loss
As long as you don't make up the calories lost not eating breakfast you too can reap the rewards of fasting.
Don't follow a fad diet
Positive results while fasting won't be attained if your diet is filled with highly processed foods filled with salt, sugar, and chemicals.
But you don't have to follow a fad diet like Keto or Paleo to get the results you want.
We’re all different and our diets should be too.
Use fad diets for inspiration but eat what works for you personally.
Low carb high-fat diets (LCHF) are all the rage now but the long-term compliance rate is low.
Many practitioners of LCHF will experience rapid short-term weight loss only to gain most of it back in a few months.
Create a diet with foods like:
- Grass-fed meats-Bison and lamb are popular alternatives to beef.
- Root vegetables- Sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, and rutabaga are filled with necessary vitamins and minerals. Fall and winter are best for eating them.
- Leafy greens- Greens like arugula and dandelion have phytonutrients that you won't find in other foods. Arugula is high in magnesium which can help with anxiety.
- Legumes- Red beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, and beyond. There are so many options. Beans fill you up fast and give you long-lasting energy. Plus they are usually inexpensive.
- Fruit- Eating fruit can be a great alternative for a sweet tooth. Plus if you aren't worried about carbs they’re a great gluten-free option.
- Nuts and seeds- can help get rid of the urge to munch on chips and other junk foods.
- Healthy drinks- Organic teas and coffee (without sugar or cream) in moderation can help keep you energized. Kambocua is also a great alternative to soda if you’re a soda drinker.
Use fasting as your secret weapon along with the diet you create.
Keep in mind your diet will change as you go through your weight loss journey.
Take one step at a time
If you're new to leading a healthier lifestyle start with creating your whole foods diet.
The last thing you want to do is to burn out before you start seeing amazing progress.
Once you're solid in your diet then you can start to incorporate a fasting protocol.
Naturally, you’ll want to be active as well.
If there was effective one tip that could help you lose weight and change your life forever...it's fasting.
You don’t need to eat 3 or more meals a day to lead a long, healthy, and happy life.