You’ve probably heard about Intermittent Fasting or Alternate Day Fasting and how it’s supposed to help you lose weight effectively and sustainably. The latter part is the most challenging part of any weight-loss regime.
The program is pretty straight-forward, you only have a certain number of hours in a day when you can take in calories and then go on hunger strike for the rest. Or you fast for a day and feast on the next.
The Magic Sauce
Unfortunately, for those of you who think that fasting triggers some body-altering dynamo in your metabolic system – it does not. Dr. Krista Varady co-authored one of the research studies, published by the Journal of American Medicine / Internal Medicine, which indicates that fasting (Intermittent or Alternate Day) doesn’t trigger anything abnormal in how your body processes calories. But it doesn’t mean it’s not effective. In fact, the research shows weight loss for all of the participants.
Is it Safe?
Fasting has been around for ages. Aside from being part of religious acts, medicine has also advised fasting for various reasons including before you undergo a medical procedure.
Why does it work?
There is a simple explanation for why fasting works – at the end of the day, the calorie deficit results in fat loss when fasting. The only advantage is that it’s easy to manage and maintain calorie deficit because the time you’re allowed to eat is restricted. This allows you to take more satisfying meals that keep you feel full even when you’re in a deficit.
How often do you do it?
People who are used to their fasting schedules are already doing it every day. But for starters, you can fast for a couple of days a week and gradually increase the number of days until it’s normal for you. It normally takes your body two weeks to get acclimatized with your eating patterns.
Let’s talk about Energy Levels
One of the primary concerns for people thinking about trying fasting is – won’t it affect your energy level throughout the day? The answer is: only in the beginning. It’s not actually the lack of calories that makes you lose focus and become weak. It’s your sugar level.
Your body already has stored energy, which it can use and is using when you’re fasting. It’s actually the sugar that your body is used to having at arm’s reach. When you wean yourself from that craving, you won’t even feel that it’s been hours since your last meal.
Workouts and Work
You can workout at your preferred time, either within your eating window or just before it. It doesn’t matter as long you get the right calories to get you through the next fasting period. Many people say that working out on an empty stomach is better, because your body will produce hormones to burn fats to fuel your workout.
You can also time your eating window during working hours, that way you feel you’re starving yourself at work. You will be able to ease into your schedule as it won’t change much your eating schedule.
It’s relatively easy to shed off weight but keeping them from coming back is a whole new challenge. Hence, an effective weight-loss program must be sustainable and would be easily integrated into your normal life.