One less popular but incredibly effective diet is known as intermittent fasting. Like other lifestyles (e.g., paleo), this takes its roots from our primitive ancestors, for whom food was never guaranteed. They would spend their days looking for food and—if they were successful—their evenings feasting on the bounty. Intermittent fasting suggests adopting the same strategy of feast and famine. Of course, it's better to focus your energy on the first part, the eating portion of this diet strategy, because fasting is easy, eating right is much harder.
I don’t suggest traditional fasting. You should never feel like you are suffering or starving yourself. Everyone is different—some people can fast all day without even noticing, while others get grumpy if they don’t eat every three hours. The intermittent feasting strategy is designed to help anyone fast without ever feeling like they are starving.
This diet strategy works because it targets both of the obesity culprits. Most important, it decreases the amount of time per day that you spend eating, which often decreases overall calorie intake. Additionally, the long breaks between feasts will likely result in lower blood insulin levels.
If you choose to adopt this strategy there are two common myths we should quickly bust.
Myth: If you chose not to eat, your body goes into “starvation mode” and decreases the calories you burn at rest, making it impossible to lose weight.
Truth: If you eat fewer calories, you’ll lose weight. If “starvation mode” was a real thing, anorexia would be impossible.
Myth: You have to eat many small meals a day to “stoke your metabolism.”
Truth: Your metabolism isn’t like a campfire that needs to be tended. Think of it more like a gas tank: You can put a few bucks of gas in at every station or fill up all at once. Either way, your car gets the same miles per gallon.
This strategy is great for people who:
· Have high levels of self-discipline
· Don’t feel hungry in the morning
· Are NOT diabetic or prediabetic
· Prefer big meals
How do you do it?
1) Consume nothing but water, coffee, or tea until noon.
2) Eat your food for the day in an 8- to 10-hour window. (Most people go from noon until 10 p.m. and build up to noon to 8 p.m., but any window works.)
If fasting until noon becomes too challenging, feel free to eat leafy green veggies during that time. Again: at no point should you ever be in extreme discomfort.
Finally, remember you still have to feast on healthy foods. Do not use 16 hours of fasting as an excuse to eat junk. Aim to cut out processed foods and you’ll have no trouble finding success with this strategy.
Tips for success
1. Drink coffee or green tea.
Having trouble making it through your fast? Coffee and tea are here to help. Caffeine is an appetite suppressant.
2. Break your fast with a big salad (and some protein).
We still want 50 percent of your diet to consist of vegetables, and this is an easy way to not overeat high-calorie foods immediately following your fast.
3. Don’t binge.
Think of this strategy as forced portion control. If you try to eat the same amount of calories in one sitting as you normally eat in a day, you probably won’t feel too great.
4. Keep it in perspective.
Remember, half a day without food isn’t really the big thing people make it out to be. Don’t stuff your face to prepare for your fast. You’ll be fine.
5. Don’t eat crap.
Just because you fasted for 14 to 16 hours, that doesn’t give you an excuse to binge on junk food. If you fast and then eat crap, you render the fast meaningless
Are you struggling to find the best diet for you? Send me an email email@example.com, I am happy to help :)