A Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting - How Effective is It & 9 Tips to Follow

By Reniel

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Last Updated: December 13, 2021

Are you looking for an effective way to lose weight? 

Before you stop eating for good and go on these crazy diets that allow you to only eat raw onions, let us remind you that there is another way through which you can lose weight. 

This method is not a strict diet plan, however, a timed approach to achieve your goal. It is known as intermittent fasting. By far, it is one of the most effective ways to get rid of extra fat without starving yourself. 

Why should you try this method?

  • It allows body fat loss
  • It is a healthy approach to eating
  • It improves metabolism rate
  • It consists of a well-nourished eating pattern

If you have considered shifting to this efficient method of losing weight, then read on to find out necessary information to become successful at this. 

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Your body stores food energy in the form of fat in your body. When we are constantly providing our bodies with more food and calories (By eating 3 meals and snacking throughout the day.), we never get a chance to burn off anything BUT those daily calories. 

"Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat." - Johns Hopkins Medicine.org

Intermittent fasting works on the concept that your body will naturally start burning other stores of energy once it takes care of the food we ate that day. By fasting, we are allowing our system to take over, giving it more time to burn off excess fat.

When you eat less, your body utilizes the energy stored by burning off extra fat. It is a very effective technique with no adverse effects.  It, rather, nourishes and cleanses your body while losing weight and body fat.  

Initial Phase of Intermittent Fasting 

The initial phase of intermittent fasting seems difficult because you are not used to such a disciplined eating lifestyle.

There is no restriction on the source via which you are gaining calories. However, there is a limitation on the time frame when you are ingesting those calories. Therefore, it takes some time to adjust to the new eating pattern. 

According to Healthline.com, there are 3 popular ways to approach intermittent fasting

  • The 16/8 method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
  • The 5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500–600 calories on two nonconsecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.

One thing to keep in mind though, you will not lose weight if you are still only consuming high calorie, fatty and sugary foods. Calories still count, even if you are eating one less meal a day. This is not a magic cure! You will still need to be mindful of how many calories you are eating. 

 

Is Intermittent Fasting The Same As Starvation?

Intermittent fasting is not starvation, in any way. In starvation, you voluntarily stop the intake of food and forcefully restrain yourself from eating for several days. However, in intermittent fasting, the eating time is scheduled, some look at it as an eating pattern

This type of fasting does not promote any loss of essential minerals from your body, whereas other diets that eventually lead to starvation affect your body’s functioning both physically and mentally. This is one of the many reasons why you should opt for this as a safer alternative if you’re planning to lose weight. 

4 Scientific Reasons Why Moving Your Body Boosts Your Mental State

 

Additional Benefits

Besides promoting weight and fat loss, there are additional benefits which are offered by this particular method. According to everydayhealth.com, Intermittent fasting helps in:

  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced insulin resistance
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular issues
  • Elevated brain function
  • Reduction of inflammation
  • Reduced blood pressure 

 

Restrictions of Intermittent Fasting

Even though intermittent fasting does not consist of any harmful means of losing weight, it surely is not for everyone; especially:  

  • Pregnant women
  • Women who are breastfeeding
  • Girls and boys who are under 18 years old
  • People who are underweight
  • People who have any sort of eating disorder
  • People who are on medication 

***You should consult with your doctor before attempting this type of change in your meal planning and caloric intake. 

 

9 Intermittent Fasting Tips

IT can be an authentic and safe method to achieve your desired, optimum weight. However, as mentioned above there are certain types of people whose best interest lies in avoiding this and any type of weight loss technique. 

There are certain tips that you should follow if you aim to benefit from this method. Here is a guide for you:

  • Do not let this routine affect your exercise in anyway (Unless you feel faint or dizzy - you may need to exercise within a few hours of when you eat to ensure you have enough energy to do so.)
  • Consult your doctor if you are on medication or have any medical history 
  • If you feel sick or weak, immediately stop fasting and consult your doctor
  • Choose food which consists of higher nutrients as that will be more beneficial to your health
  • Avoid junk food intake as much as possible
  • Avoid compulsive or impulsive eating at all times
  • You can adjust the time of fast according to your schedule
  • It is advised to fast during weekdays when you are busy and won’t have many variables bothering you

The most important tip of all is to: Let yourself have failed attempts. Forgive yourself if you have any setbacks during intermittent fasting. It is completely fine because it takes time to adjust to this new reality. 

Even though this particular method of losing weight can be easier as compared to other techniques, it still requires some time to get used to it.

 

How Effective is Intermittent Fasting?

Apart from losing weight and burning body fat, intermittent fasting has been proven beneficial for the following mentioned reasons. 

  • Insulin level rises when we consume food which promotes more food storage. However, with the reduction of levels of insulin, the body starts utilizing stored fat.
  • Due to the reduction of insulin resistance, stored sugar is burned and blood glucose is absorbed more effectively. This, in turn, reduces the levels of blood sugar. 
  • Due to fasting, the hormone level of your body goes up. This triggers damaged cellular repair and promotes longevity as the gene expression of cells begins to change. This occurs when cells remove dysfunctional proteins that build up over time. 

There you have it. Intermittent fasting is basically a more structured approach to a healthy eating lifestyle. Even though this particular method does not demand any food to be restricted, it does help to consume balanced, nutritional food every time you eat and avoid junk, sugary and dairy food as much as possible.  

Photo by Robin Stickel from Pexels

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One comment on “A Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting - How Effective is It & 9 Tips to Follow”

  1. interesting article but i would strongly question the choice of photo used as dismembered body parts are not food-they are the butchered corpse of a once living, breathing, sentient being who died violently.

    “There will come a time in the future where we look back in shame at how we ate and used other animals for our pleasure. We will recoil at the violence we sowed upon them for our selfish desires. Just like all forms of oppression and exploitation that have come before us, animal exploitation will end. Which side of history will you be on when the history books have been written?”

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