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Can Intermitted Fasting help you lose weight ?

Thinking of trying intermittent fasting for weight loss? Well, here are some of my tips to consider for good health and weight loss management.

Intermittent fasting is an alternative to full fast. It involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating. What it is, is restricting your daily eating to a narrow window of time—let’s say six to eight hours.

In any case, we get into an intermittent state of fasting overnight automatically. If you go to bed at around 10.00 pm at night and you don’t eat breakfast until 7.00 or 8.00am in the morning, you are in a fasting state. If you can extend this state by another six to eight hours, then you will be able to see an even better effect. This basically means that if you finish eating your dinner by 7pm, your next meal will be around noon the next day. Personally, this is my favourite form of fasting and very much doable for most of us who don't need breakfast in the morning.

Intermittent fasting for weight loss is more of an instinctive methodology. As and when your body is ready to align with it, you will excel in it. It is also a natural concept to the body. For example, when you feel unwell, it is quite natural to lose your appetite. And considering our ancestors were hunters and gatherers and ate only when they were able to hunt down animals or found fruits and nuts—our body is quite capable or well adapted in handling IF.

Intermittent fasting is an excellent way of losing fat by helping the insulin–

( a fat storage hormone), to function more efficiently by keeping it down and preventing blood sugar spikes and inflammation in the body. Also this method of fasting helps in healing the body by giving a break to digestion and redirecting the blood flow to the parts of the body that needs healing and care.

Tips for maintaining Intermitted fasting

You can consume coffee ( my personal favourite ), tea and other non-caloric drinks while fasting. Avoid adding sugar and too much milk. I personally add a splash of full cream milk to take the edge off my coffee but black coffee and tea is best. Full cream milk has less sugar and more fat. Fat does not spike Insulin levels, sugar does. Skim milk is higher in sugar (lactose) than full cream milk and most nut milks are sweetened. Look for products that are not sweetened. Try adding MCT oil to your morning coffee. Another healthy fat which will release ketones and keep you satiated longer.

Drink a glass of water when you think you may be getting hungry. 9 times out of 10, it was dehydration that makes you feel hungry and watch the hunger go away.

Also, watch: It is important to understand that consuming highly processed foods containing sugars and carbohydrates will spike insulin levels which will make you store fat and prevent you from going into fat burning mode. The best way to get into Ketosis ( fat burning mode ) is to cut down or even eliminate sugars and carbohydrates (not plant ) and include Intermitted fasting as a lifestyle change.

You see when you fast, your body will use ketones which comes from stored fat as fuel for the body. Research suggests that Ketones are the most efficient form of fuel for the body and the brain. If you continue to eat sugars that includes fructose and carbohydrates your body will only burn sugar stores or glycogen stores and not fat stores. It will also spike your Insulin levels again increasing fat absorption by the body and a decrease of energy stored in your cells, making you feel tired and lethargic. It also may increase your chance for becoming insulin resistant. The more the spike of Insulin the more chance you can develop insulin resistance which will in turn may lead to diabetes. A good indicator of being insulin resistant is if you feel significantly tired after a meal. You may not be producing enough insulin so your body is unable to regulate the sugars in your bloodstream which leads to high blood sugars which in turn leads to complications such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and even cancer.

By regulating your insulin levels, you naturally regulate your appetite and hunger levels. You will find that you need less food throughout the day.

I personally eat 2 main meals a day and mainly avoid snacks in between. I find I'm not hungry between meals and I have no sugar cravings. My energy levels are good and I don't have to stop to eat which is perfect for me as I love to pack in as much as I can throughout my days.

To avoid feeling hungry between meals

To keep you fuller for longer between meals :

  • Eat fattier cuts of grass fed meat and protein such as eggs, chicken, fish and pulses.

  • Healthy fats such as coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds

  • High-fibre vegetables and low servings of fruit as fruit is packed with sugars and will spike insulin levels promoting weight gain. If you crave fruit, go for berries as they have less sugar that won't spike your Insulin levels.

  • Staying hydrated. Drink lots of water and calorie-free drinks, such as herbal teas, throughout the day.

  • Avoiding obsessing over food. Plan plenty of distractions on fasting days to avoid thinking about food, such as catching up on paperwork or going to see a movie or go for a walk.

  • Resting and relaxing. Avoid strenuous activities on big fasting days, although light exercise such as yoga may be beneficial.

  • Choosing nutrient-dense foods between fasting will prevent you from feeling hungry for longer. Add good fats to your meal such as olive oil and eat fattier cuts of meat. Add nuts and nut butters to your diet. Eating foods that are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients helps to keep blood sugar levels steady and prevent nutrient deficiencies. A balanced diet will also contribute to weight loss and overall health.

In doing the fast correctly and ensuring that it is aligning with your mind, body and soul–you can expect a good weight loss of anywhere between 2 to 6 kgs a month with excellent inch loss and increase in energy levels and brain function. Having said that it is equally important to keep other factors such as age, physical activity levels, medicals, and stress levels in mind while considering weight loss


There are various methods of intermittent fasting, and people will prefer different styles. Read on to find out about six different ways to do intermittent fasting.

1. 12 HOUR FAST Different styles of intermittent fasting may suit different people. The rules for this diet are simple. A person needs to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day. According to some researchers, fasting for 10–16 hours can causeTrusted Source the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. This should encourage weight loss. This type of intermittent fasting plan may be a good option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day. The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window. For example, a person could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They would need to finish their dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.

2. 16 HOUR FAST Fasting for 16 hours a day, leaving an eating window of 8 hours, is called the 16:8 method or the Leangains diet. During the 16:8 diet, men fast for 16 hours each day, and women fast for 14 hours. This type of intermittent fast may be helpful for someone who has already tried the 12-hour fast but did not see any benefits. On this fast, people usually finish their evening meal by 8 p.m. and then skip breakfast the next day, not eating again until noon. A studyTrusted Source on mice found that limiting the feeding window to 8 hours protected them from obesity, inflammation, diabetes, and liver disease, even when they ate the same total number of calories as mice that ate whenever they wished.

3. 2 DAYS A WEEK FAST People following the 5:2 diet eat standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days. During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories. Typically, people separate their fasting days in the week. For example, they may fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days. There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days. There is limited research on the 5:2 diet, which is also known as the Fast diet. A studyTrusted Source involving 107 overweight or obese women found that restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction both led to similar weight loss. The study also found that this diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants. A small-scale studyTrusted Source looked at the effects of this fasting style in 23 overweight women. Over the course of one menstrual cycle, the women lost 4.8 percent of their body weight and 8.0 percent of their total body fat. However, these measurements returned to normal for most of the women after 5 days of normal eating.

4. ALTERNATE DAY FASTING There are several variations of the alternate day fasting plan, which involves fasting every other day. For some people, alternate day fasting means a complete avoidance of solid foods on fasting days, while other people allow up to 500 calories. On feeding days, people often choose to eat as much as they want. One studyTrusted Source reports that alternate day fasting is effective for weight loss and heart health in both healthy and overweight adults. The researchers found that the 32 participants lost an average of 5.2 kilograms over a 12-week period. Alternate day fasting is quite an extreme form of intermittent fasting, and it may not be suitable for beginners or those with certain medical conditions. It may also be difficult to maintain this type of fasting in the long term.

5. WEEKLY 24 HOUR FAST On a 24-hour diet, a person can have teas and calorie-free drinks. Fasting completely for 1 or 2 days a week, known as the Eat-Stop-Eat diet, involves eating no food for 24 hours at a time. Many people fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch. People on this diet plan can have water, tea, and other calorie-free drinks during the fasting period. People should return to normal eating patterns on the non-fasting days. Eating in this manner reduces a person’s total calorie intake but does not limit the specific foods that the individual consumes. A 24-hour fast can be challenging, and it may cause fatigue, headaches, or irritability. Many people find that these effects become less extreme over time as the body adjusts to this new pattern of eating. People may benefit from trying a 12-hour or 16-hour fast before transitioning to the 24-hour fast.

6. MEAL SKIPPING This flexible approach to intermittent fasting may be good for beginners. It involves occasionally skipping meals. People can decide which meals to skip according to their level of hunger or time restraints. However, it is important to eat healthful foods at each meal. Meal skipping is likely to be most successful when individuals monitor and respond to their body’s hunger signals. Essentially, people using this style of intermittent fasting will eat when they are hungry and skip meals when they are not. This may feel more natural for some people than the other fasting methods. There are many different ways to do intermittent fasting, and there is no single plan that will work for everyone. Individuals will experience the best results if they try out the various styles to see what suits their lifestyle and preferences. Regardless of the type of intermittent fasting, fasting for extended periods when the body is unprepared can be problematic. These forms of dieting may not be suitable for everyone. If a person is prone to disordered eating, these approaches may exacerbate their unhealthy relationship with food. People with health conditions, including diabetes, should speak to a doctor before attempting any form of fasting. For the best results, it is essential to eat a healthful and balanced diet on non-fasting days. If necessary, a person can seek professional help to personalise an intermittent fasting plan and avoid pitfalls.

Overall, Intermitted fasting is not only beneficial for weight management alone but for overall good health and wellbeing.

Q: Are all types of intermittent fasting styles safe? A: People have practiced fasting for thousands of years, but its safety depends more on who is doing the fasting than the style of fasting itself. People who have malabsorption, are at risk of low blood sugar, or have other medical conditions should seek the counsel of their healthcare provider. While most people can practice many fasting styles safely, extreme types of intermittent fasting, can lead to inadequate intake of nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Therefore, people should approach this style of fasting with caution. Written by Evonne Kelly

Nutritionist & Holistic Therapist

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