It is pretty natural for anyone to be concerned about excessive fat as it not only affects confidence but leads to several diseases. You must be trying or considering trying every possible weight loss tip and weight loss product, and there is nothing wrong with doing so. Technically, obesity is a positive energy balance, leading to the storage of energy surplus within adipocytes. Experts believe controlling the supply of energy, i.e. daily calorie intake, is one of the most effective ways to control weight. Albeit, there are a plethora of studies that suggest that intermittent fasting—an eating plan with extended periods, say 16 to 48 hours, with little or no energy intake—has a very limited impact on weight loss and people regain weight once s/he returns to normal eating pattern. A weight loss plan works best in combination with energy intake control and effective burning, so intermittent fasting with comfortable zero-energy periods could work wonders.
Not What but When
Your nutritionist will give you a very detailed chart explaining what to eat and what to avoid so that you can eat healthy with the minimum possible energy intake without affecting your normal functioning. When you start practicing intermittent fasting (IMF) you will have to work on your “when to eat” factor, which could be 6 to 48 hours of gap between your meals. The frequency will depend on your body mass index (BMI), eating behavior, and of course, your own urge to get quality weight loss results in a short period. IMF practitioners claim one can feel the benefits from the first week itself. You can get in touch with your nutritionist and ask him to recommend a diet plan with a 30-40% energy intake reduction and possible IMF gap. For a beginner, it is recommended to start with 16 hours and increase accordingly as per comfort and work-life balance.
Obesity is linked with a changing lifestyle, so you have to recalibrate your lifestyle by focusing on low-calorie intake and excessive calorie-burning activities. The scientific community thinks that intermittent fasting along with a few lifestyle modifications could reverse the trend of obesity, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and other related diseases.
It is natural for an overweight person to go aggressive and expect quick weight loss results. But one need to be smart as changing eating behaviors or patterns is not easy for everyone. The more you burn fat the more you want, so it is better to consult your nutritionist and plan accordingly. Once you are mentally prepared for IMF, you can start with a 16-8 plan, i.e. 16 hours of no-energy intake period and an 8-hour window of one or two meals. The 8-hour eating window doesn’t give you the full freedom to eat as much as you want, but keep it within the 30% daily energy intake regimen to get quality results over time.
One popular IMF plan is the “5:2” rule, meaning you eat regular natural 2 meals a day for five days and 2 days of restricted intake within the range of 500-600 calories. You should choose fasting days as per your convenience, as it is not advisable to continue doing high-calorie burning activities during fasting days.
According to research, the human body takes 3-4 weeks to get accustomed to a changed eating regimen, meaning in just 3 weeks you will start seeing a waning of hunger pain. Once you overcome this period, you will start seeing results. It is not advisable to go aggressive with a longer period of IMF, as it could cause side effects and even high-fat storage in response to starvation.
The metabolic switch caused by IMF positively affects the body and mind. Be it your memory, heart, blood, productivity, and mental health, IMF practicing could help you gain on all fronts. It is easy and within your control, so it is better to start early and start burning fats naturally.