When you’re looking to lose weight, it can be hard to know what works and what doesn’t.
Fasting isn’t new, people have been doing it for hundreds of years, and over the last few years, intermittent fasting has become a popular trend in the dieting world.
But is it safe and effective? Or just another yo-yo diet?
We’ve gone through the research to find out if intermittent fasting actually works, and this is what we found.
What is intermittent fasting and how does it work?
Intermittent fasting is a style of dieting that swaps between periods of eating normally and periods of not eating, known as fasting.
Unlike other diets, intermittent fasting doesn’t focus on counting calories or what you eat, but rather when you eat.
Timing is everything with intermittent fasting, and there are many different ways of doing it. The two most popular are the 16/8 method and the 5:2 diet.
In the 16/8 method, you don’t eat for 16 hours of the day and eat normally for the other 8.
For most people, this usually means skipping breakfast and only eating between 12 pm and 8 pm.
You can choose an eating window that works for you, but it’s important to stick to that window, so choose wisely!
The 5:2 method involves eating a healthy, balanced diet for 5 days a week, and fasting for 2 non-consecutive days. On the fasting days, you either cut out calories entirely or only have one small meal per day, roughly around 500 calories (600 calories for men).
Experts say that intermittent fasting is a natural approach to dieting, and it makes sense.
When we were hunter-gatherers, we went for hours or even days without food, so in a way, our bodies have evolved to deal with fasting.
The theory behind it is that after roughly 12 hours of not eating, your body starts using up your fat stores for energy instead of sugars from carbohydrates.
This means that when you fast, your body is encouraged to burn fat, helping you lose weight faster.
There are a few important points before you go jumping straight into intermittent fasting.
First, it’s important to be consistent with your fasting.
To get the metabolic benefits of fasting, like improved physical performance and heart health, you need to make sure that you are sticking to a strict routine.
If you decide to eat between 12 and 8 pm one day, you need to stick to that eating window, and can’t change it to 9 am-3 pm the next day.
This is to make sure that you’re leaving a 16-hour window, so your body enters the fat-burning state, and also because having a routine makes it that bit easier for your body to adapt.
This is because your body needs to adjust to your fasting pattern before you see any metabolic benefits, and also because eating schedules are pretty important for both sleep and weight loss.
Secondly, it’s vital that you try and eat normally during your ‘eating windows’.
One common side effect of intermittent fasting can be overeating during the times you’re allowed to eat, so we suggest you eat a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated fats and sugars.
We understand that you’ll be hungry after fasting (who wouldn’t?), but try to plan your meals so you don’t end up undoing all of your hard work with a high-calorie impulse feast.
The aim of the game is to cut out some of your weekly calories by fasting so that you burn more than you eat and get yourself on track to smash your weight loss goals.
Does intermittent fasting work?
As long as you stick to a balanced diet in your eating windows, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight.
Studies show that it can help people lose as much weight as more traditional diets, such as calorie restriction, and is easier to follow.
The key things to remember are to be consistent and to try and eat a healthy diet during your eating windows.
Although experts agree that we need more studies, the information that we do have shows that intermittent fasting can be effective and help you lose weight.
So yes, intermittent fasting does work by restricting the number of calories that you eat.
Is intermittent fasting safe?
On the whole, intermittent fasting is considered safe for healthy people.
However, it’s not for everyone and you should avoid this dieting technique if you are:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Under 18.
- Diabetic or have blood sugar problems.
- Suffering from an eating disorder.
If you have any underlying health condition it’s really important that you talk with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting can help with weight loss
So far, it looks like intermittent fasting can help you lose weight.
It can be an easier alternative to having to calorie count all of your meals and snacks.
As long as you don’t overeat in your eating windows, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight.
To really succeed in losing weight and keeping it off for good, you have to know what works for you.
That’s why the Miboko app is the ultimate weight loss tool.
Get expert advice and support and create long-lasting, healthy lifestyle changes to smash your weight loss goals for good.