So you’ve heard of this thing called “intermittent fasting”. Supposedly it’s going to help you lose weight, but what exactly is it? How does it work? Why should you do it? Well, read on to find out!
Intermittent fasting is the term used when describing a designated period of eating and then non-eating. This doesn’t encompass what you should eat, but rather when you should eat. The hope of intermittent fasting is that you ultimately eat less calories and therefore create a caloric deficit, which causes you to lose weight.
When you intermittently fast, you opt to cut out one meal a day. The easiest meal to cut out would be breakfast since you are already in a fasted state from sleeping. Then, you’d eat your first meal around noon and then stop your last meal around 8pm. This would put you at a 16/8 time period with 16 hours fasted and then 8 hours of eating. Some choose other time frames depending on their schedules which is something you need to determine for yourself. Do you work third shift? If so, your time frame of eating would be different, but still maintaining that 16 fasted and 8 hour eating pattern.
Which meal should you cut out? That depends on you; however, it is easiest to eliminate breakfast since you’re waking up fasted. Attempting to eliminate a meal like dinner may set you up for failure since no one likes to go to bed hungry and then you run the risk of binging or not sticking to it. Maybe you enjoy breakfast, but aren’t a big lunch person, then you might skip lunch instead and opt to have dinner. When it comes to intermittent fasting, you need to find what works for you time wise.
While this is a good option for some, the whole purpose of intermittent fasting is to create a caloric deficit, meaning less calories than you’d need to maintain your weight. A problem with trying intermittent fasting is that people think they can still consume the same amount of food, just in a smaller amount of time. If you need to eat 2000 calories in order to maintain your weight, that means you should eat less than 2000, but, if you consume those 2000 calories within your 8 hour eating window, you’re still consuming 2000 calories. “Skipping breakfast” but still eating the same amount of calories won’t do you any favors in your weight loss endeavor.
The moral of this is that if you’re choosing to try intermittent fasting, you still need to eat less calories in order to lose weight. Make sure you aren’t over eating in that eating window because then all of your hard work will be pointless. No matter what though, the fact that you’re choosing to get healthy is a win, and you should be proud!