Unorthodox Diet Strategies – Intermittent Fasting

Although starving yourself is a terrible way to lose weight, there is one overlooked variation of starvation that can in fact, help you lose weight very safely and effectively.
It’s called intermittent fasting (IF).

IF involves fasting for a particular amount of time per day, usually around 14-16 hours, and eating only during the remaining 8 hours of the day. Note that this does not call for an extremely drastic reduction in calories.

IF has many benefits, some of which include-
1. Fasting is necessary for the body to induce autophaggy. Autophaggy is the body’s natural detox process.
2. It’s not easy to eat a large chunk of calories within a span of 8 hours. This makes weight loss easier as your food quantities are easier to manage.
3. It saves time –Cooking and eating can take up hours of your day.
4. Most people are able to focus much better while fasting, and report higher work efficiency and productivity.

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It’s important to be counting calories and micronutrients and not have a calorie intake that’s too less than your BMR, as that could potentially result in Muscle loss, tissue wastage, and hormonal imbalances. The body is adaptable. It will change its cycles to better deal with hunger if it has to. And so the first step to fasting is adopting the right mindset. This is kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy. William Thomas, a now deceased sociologist, has his own theorem that says: If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences. If you’re one minute into a fast, suffering from hunger, convincing yourself of impossibility, and obsessing over food, you’re not going to get very far. Just try to relax and tell yourself that eating isn’t a big deal and that you won’t starve to death.

Types of Intermittent Fasting –

  1. The traditional 16/8 approach.

This technique involves fasting for 16 hours a day and eating for 8 hours. For most people, this means eating dinner and then starting the 16 hour-fasting count, going to bed, waking up, and fasting for barely 3-6 hours before eating their first meal of the day.

For those who are used to eating too frequently or eating a heavy breakfast, IF may not be easy, but it certainly is a flexible approach. For a breakfast eater who wakes up and eats at 7am, your eating period ends at 3pm. Since most people find it difficult to go to bed hungry, it’s best if you try to reverse it – skipping breakfast and/or lunch, and enjoying a full dinner.

  1. The 24+ hour fast.

Most advocates and pioneers of intermittent fasting will often fast for 24-48 hour stretches once every week. This period of fasting helps maximizing growth hormone output, and detoxifies the body to a greater degree.

After adapting to the 16/8 fasting method, pushing your hunger boundaries is easier. For a first ever 24 hour fast, eat a bigger “cheat-y” meal the day prior. Not only will you be fuller longer, but you will give yourself some psychological backing to justify your fast. For example, “I ate slop yesterday, so I’m fasting today.” It’s an admittedly unhealthy mindset, but a healthy approach to fat loss and it works.

Although there are other variations to fasting, these 2 methods cover the basics.

Pro Tip: Stock up on coffee and tea. Although a splash of milk is acceptable, avoid adding anything beyond that to your black coffee or green tea. Caffeine is a major proponent of any advanced lifter’s intermittent fasting regime, because caffeine is a powerful appetite suppressant.

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Most Frequently Asked Questions:

Will I lose muscle on intermittent fasting?

Answer: NO. As long as you get enough protein and vital nutrients, you are not

The benefits and results outnumber the difficulties of fasting.

going to increase your chances of muscle wastage by using intermittent fasting as compared to normal diet. It is also important to make sure that your calorie deficit is not too extreme; normally a 300-500 kcal deficit per day is sufficient.

When is the best time to train while fasting?

There are no rules or restrictions on this, although most people prefer to train at the end of their fast, around an hour or two before eating their first meal.

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