If ever you’ve been curious about losing weight, you’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting, or IF. Basically, IF is a series of cycles between eating and fasting. This diet is not about what food to eat but when you should eat. If done right, it can help you lose weight.
There are different ways to do IF, but they are all grounded on the same principle: choosing a regular time to eat and fast. The most popular IF method is the Leangains Protocol, or the 16/8 method. This means restricting your eating time for eight hours and fasting for 16. For example, you can choose to eat between 12NN to 8PM, and fast from 8PM to 12NN the following day. The way it works is that you reduce the calories you ingest, which may lead to weight loss. In the hours that you’re fasting, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. This process is called “metabolic switching.”
So how do you do it?
You start off by picking the window you can eat. You can start with the 16/8 method since a lot of people find it easy to commit to. Eat as you normally would, but it’s important that you shouldn’t eat too much. Eat healthy and nutritious food. Stick to fruits and vegetables, fiber, and healthy protein and fats. Avoid sugar, refined grains, and processed food.
Of course, one of the biggest side effects of IF is hunger. You may feel weak, but this may be temporary as the body adjusts to the new eating pattern. As always, it’s important to consult a doctor if you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, problems with blood sugar regulation, low blood pressure, or more. Consult a doctor if you are taking medications, are pregnant, or breastfeeding.
If you get the go signal to try IF, know that there are other benefits aside from burning fat. Studies have shown that IF can improve working memory and blood pressure, as well as reduced tissue damage.
Feel free to try intermittent fasting but always remember that results may vary from person to person. The best diet is one that incorporates healthy food and one that you can commit to in the long run.
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