Intermittent Fasting has been a very popular trend recently, as more health and fitness influencers are starting to talk about this topic. The diet claims that it can cause major weight loss, improve metabolic health, and cause body transformations in many cases.
In this guide, we will explain to you what Intermittent Fasting is and explore how you can get started on it.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern that involves periods of abstinence from food and drink.
It is a powerful dietary intervention that has been practiced from early-ages by people all around the world and is now become a popular trend for weight loss.
Our metabolic activities change when we start fasting. In a well-fed state, our body cells turn into ‘growth mode’. In this mode, the body turns off genes related to stress resistance, fat metabolism, and damage repair.
When we start fasting, some of our fat storage gets metabolized into ketone bodies as a replacement of glucose to fuel energy. In a nutshell, Intermittent Fasting allows the body to use its energy storage and burn off excess fat.
Do keep in mind that there is not a strict rule to Intermittent Fasting. There are numerous different ways of how people practice this eating pattern depending on their preference. Each person needs to find a method that works best for them.
Most Popular Methods of Intermittent Fasting
1. The 16/8 Method
This method involves eating only in an 8–10 hour window and fasting each day for around 14-16 hours. In the eating window, you can eat around two, three, or more meals depending on your energy requirement.
To start off with this method, you can simply start skipping your breakfast and having an early dinner.
You can set up your own eating window. For example, start eating at 12pm and finish your last meal at 8pm. Don’t eat anything after dinner. It might be a harder method for people that eats breakfast early in the morning. However, you can try to transition slowly.
This method also doesn’t mean that you get to eat whatever you want during the eating window. You still need to be careful of what you eat, focusing primarily on healthy foods.
2. Eat, Stop, Eat
The alternate fasting day involves fasting for a full 24 hours once or twice per week. For example, you can start fasting from 12 pm today and only have a meal at 12 pm the next day. You can pick when you would like to start fasting, and the results would be the same.
Throughout the fasting period, you are allowed to drink water, tea, coffee, or other zero-calorie drinks. Although, solid foods are strictly prohibited. We also recommend you to eat normally during the non-fasting days to ensure that you are still getting proper nutrition.
This method is relatively hard for most people. To start off, maybe try fasting in a smaller timeframe, such as 15 hours.
3. The 5:2 Fast
This 5:2 diet allows you to eat normally in 5 days a week while restricting your calorie intake in 2 of the days. This calorie restriction can range from 500-600 each day.
For example, you can choose to restrict calories on Monday and Wednesdays, while eating normally for the rest of the week. For the two days that you choose, you can eat two meals of 250-300 calories per day.
4. Alternate Fasting
In the Alternate Fasting method, you can alternate between fasting and eating normally. In the days where you fast, you should limit your calorie intake to a certain amount, for example, 500 calories.
If you are a beginner, we do not recommend to go straight to full fasting mode in those days, as it might be too extreme and you can go to bed very hungry. Instead, try to limit your meals at first.
Body Metabolism Changes our Body Experiences during Fasting
As we mentioned earlier, our body goes through several metabolic changes when we start our intermittent fasting journey. Here are some of the changes our body goes through fasting:
After fasting for 12 hours, our body goes through a metabolic state called ketosis. At this stage, our body starts to burn off excess fat.
Within 24 hours, the rate of which our cells break down and recycle old components increases. Studies also show that this includes the degradation of misfolded proteins linked to Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
Tips to Maintain Intermittent Fasting
Starting out intermittent fasting can be a challenging and difficult journey. However, this diet can be a great lifestyle that can bring out a lot of health benefits. Here, we have some tips for you to keep up with the eating plan.
- Stay Hydrated. Drinking water can help by giving a sense of fullness during the fasting period. You can drink lots of water, tea, or any other calorie-free drink.
- Eat high-volume foods. high-volume, low-calorie foods can help you feel fuller while restricting your calorie intake.
- Enhancing taste calorie-free. Using herbs and spices can be a great low-calorie taste enhancer that can make your food more delicious while restricting your diet. Try to avoid high-calorie taste enhancers such as sauces.
- Eat nutrient-dense foods. It is also important to ensure that you are getting sufficient micro and macronutrients from your diet even during fasting periods. It will make sure that you stay fit and healthy.
Our Guides to Healthy Food Choices
How do you choose food that are nutrient dense and rich in vitamins and minerals? Check out some of our other articles to find out!
I hope these tips helped you with your intermittent fasting journey. Let us know what you think of our guide!
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