Intermittent fasting is a dietary lifestyle that has recently gained attention for its weight loss benefits.
It involves periods of eating and fasting for specific lengths, such as consuming all meals within an eight-hour window every day.
But how effective is it, and can intermittent fasting cause weight loss?
Yes, it can. Early research suggests it can support fat burning, lower insulin levels, and maintain muscle mass.
My initial main goal of the intermittent fast was weight loss, which has been proven countless times to be relatively effective.
With careful planning and medical guidance, intermittent fasting can be an effective tool to help you reach your weight loss goals.
Intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular dietary trend that offers many potential benefits.
By structuring your meals into specific windows of time, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight, boost your energy levels, and even improve your overall health.
There are many different types of intermittent fasting, each with its own set of rules and regulations.
Before you get started, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the various methods so that you can decide which one best suits your lifestyle and goals.
Some popular types of intermittent fasting include the 16/8 method.
This method is fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours.
Then there’s alternate-day fasting, which is alternating between days when you eat and days when you don’t.
Lastly, the 5:2 diet means eating normally five days a week and limiting calories to 500-600 on two nonconsecutive days.
When beginning any new diet or exercise program, it’s important to start slow.
Don’t jump in headfirst!
Instead, gradually work your way up as you get more comfortable with the process.
Start by picking a few days out of the week to fast for 12 or 14 hours instead of 16 or 18.
Once you feel comfortable with this routine, increase the length of your fasts until you reach your desired level.
In addition, if you find that occasional hunger pangs are causing too much discomfort during your fasts, try adding in short snacks like nuts or fruit throughout the day to help curb cravings without breaking the fast completely.
Staying hydrated is always important no matter what type of diet or lifestyle plan you’re following—and this especially holds when it comes to intermittent fasting.
Not only does staying hydrated help keep hunger pangs at bay while also promoting better digestion and overall health, but it can also make all the difference when it comes to sticking with your new routine.
Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day while also avoiding sugary drinks like juice and soda as much as possible.
All in all, starting an intermittent fasting routine doesn’t have to be overwhelming—it just takes a bit of planning and trial-and-error along the way.
By familiarizing yourself with different types of intermittent fasting plans, easing into things slowly, drinking plenty of liquids throughout the day, and making sure not to overdo things too quickly, anyone can incorporate this healthy habit into their lives.
Can You Eat Anything While Intermittent Fasting And Still Lose Weight?
A common mistake people make is thinking that they can eat anything within the eating period and still lose weight.
If you binge on junk food during your eating window and eat more than the calories you consume when you are NOT intermittent fasting, you will not lose weight.
Overeating during your eating window defeats the purpose of intermittent fasting.
When fasting, an ideal number of calories to consume each day is about 500 if you are on a 5:2 fast and about half the usual calories if you are on a 16/8 fast.
Just be sure that you are getting enough calories and not feeling fatigued or having any side effects.
If you’re in doubt, speak to a qualified nutritionist or physician.
In addition, during your eating window, be careful not to overeat and consume more calories than ever.
Stick to wholesome, nutritious food and avoid processed or sugary foods with tons of unhealthy fat.
What Should I Eat During Intermittent Fasting To Lose Weight?
During your fasting window, you’ll still need to watch what you are eating, or your weight loss effects might not be as effective.
Fortunately, there are quite a few options available.
Oatmeal with fresh berries, boiled eggs with a side salad, overnight oats or chia pudding, and roasted vegetables with whole grain quinoa or brown rice all make delicious and nutritious meals.
Adding extras such as nuts or seeds will give you extra protein and healthy fats.
Plus, adding spices like cinnamon makes the food tastier while still being helpful for your fast.
Don’t forget to drink loads of water! It’s crucial to stay hydrated, and water will help you feel full for longer.
To keep your body in the optimal fasting mode, avoid sugary drinks and processed, high-calorie snacks such as candy bars or chips.
Bread and starches are definitely out as well since these can easily be converted into sugar by your body to gain quick energy.
Eating any of these foods will shift the body from a fat-burning state to that of a sugar burner, which counteracts the purpose of intermittent fasting and will negate any benefit gained from the practice.
Instead, focus on high-protein, high-fiber foods to give you the nutrients you need and help you feel fuller for longer.
Which Meal Is Best To Skip For Weight Loss In Intermittent Fasting?
The best meal to skip for weight loss depends on the individual and the type of intermittent fasting you are following.
For example, doing what is known as a 16/8 fast may be best to skip dinner instead of breakfast.
An early meal will give you loads of energy throughout the day, and you’ll need way less after dinner.
If this doesn’t suit your lifestyle, consider reducing caloric intake at other meals or opting for lighter versions of your go-to dishes.
Whatever option you choose, just remember that consistency is the only way to see results.
Focus on incorporating healthy habits into your day-to-day life and allow yourself time to adjust to this new lifestyle.
Can I Eat Pizza While Intermittent Fasting?
While having some pizza every once in a while is fine, you might want to keep your pizza eating to a minimum if you are intermittent fasting for weight loss.
Pizza is a calorie bomb, and a single slice could cost over 400 calories.
A large 16” pizza with cheese could be a whopping 2,000 calories!
Pizza is one of the unhealthiest foods due to its high-calorie count, saturated fat content, and large amounts of sodium.
It contains very few essential vitamins or minerals, but rather it consists mostly of refined grains, cheese, and a potentially high-fat meat topping.
In addition, most pizza restaurants offer deep-dish pizzas loaded with calories from the oil used in the crust preparation.
A single serving can contain up to 400 calories or more depending on the ingredients – this is approximately equivalent to eating four servings of pasta!
For those looking to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, pizza should generally be avoided or consumed very sparingly.
How Can I Speed Up Weight Loss On Intermittent Fasting?
Start slow and work your way up to get the most out of your fasting.
Expecting results and fasting too much, in the beginning could be detrimental to your health and set you back in your weight loss effects.
Building up gradually to longer periods of fasting will help you achieve your goals faster and more safely.
While intermittent fasting on its own may have some beneficial effects, combining it with a healthier diet based on whole foods will increase the rate of weight loss significantly.
For example, choosing lower-calorie food groups such as fruits and vegetables or avoiding processed foods can support an overall healthful diet.
Additionally, regular exercise can create an ideal environment to maximize results while minimizing effort.
Choose high-protein and high-fiber foods like legumes, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains.
These foods make you feel fuller for longer and will help curb the hunger pangs that might make you want to overeat during your eating window.
Stay away from calorie-laden sugary drinks and opt for plain ol’ water or unsweetened tea instead.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.