Can we lose weight by means of intermittent fasting? Is it good for our body and our health? How do we do this and where do we start?
Don’t worry, we’ll share the key points if you want to get started.
What is intermittent fasting?
Simply put, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between two periods:
- Food intake period
- Fasting period
It is imperative to understand that fasting does not mean “eating less” but “eating over defined periods.”
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
According to research, a greater period of rest for the digestive system allows one to:
- decrease blood glucose (sugar) and insulin levels,
- reduce digestive inflammation and
- make the elimination of toxins more effective.
Intermittent fasting therefore has health benefits – for some people. And we emphasize the latter. Indeed, while intermittent fasting is a true elixir of health for some, others will see no benefit in practicing this eating pattern.
Why is that so? It’s because each individual has their own way of working. What is true for one does not always hold true for the other.
3 main methods of fasting
For many, intermittent fasting means “skipping a meal during the day.” In reality, it’s a bit more complex than that. It is also recommended for supervision by a health and nutrition professional.
The most popular method is the “16/8″ intermittent fasting.
This fasting is the easiest to implement. It is the one we recommended to you, if you are tempted to try this experience. Breakfast or dinner is usually skipped. This results, for example, in an eating period between 12 am and 8 pm, or between 9 am and 5 pm.
A more difficult method is the “20/4” intermittent fasting.
Fasting period lasts for 20 hours.
Food intake period covers 4 hours.
The food intake window is much narrower: Usually people opt for the time slot from 1 pm to 5 pm.
The “24-hour” fasting day
This amounts to not eating anything for a maximum of one to two non-consecutive days per week.
How does one know what type of intermittent fasting is for them?
The type of fasting that will suit you the most is the one that best adapts to your way of life.
You must pay close attention to your feelings. If you do not feel any sense of well-being, it may be that this eating pattern is simply not for you.
On the other hand, it is very important to be supervised by a nutrition professional so as not to risk causing dietary deficiency or imbalance. Many people consider it enough to skip a meal and maintain other eating habits, but it is necessary to ensure that you eat sufficient, balanced and healthy food.
Is it possible to lose weight through intermittent fasting?
People who want to practice an intermittent fasting method are often motivated by the desire to lose weight.
Indeed, with this eating pattern, calorie intake is reduced a bit, in particular by removing excess food intake such as snacking, as there are fewer periods to eat.
Be careful, however: fasting should not be considered a form of diet. Fasting is a way of life, while a diet should just be temporary. Besides, we do not recommend that you go on a diet if you are looking to lose weight.
Unlike in a diet, no food category is removed in fasting, and one should not reduce their total daily calorie intake. Calculate your daily calorie needs on the Nutri Coach app. Humans cannot afford to reduce their nutritional needs in the long term without taking great risks to their health.
Moreover, instead of losing weight, it is the guaranteed Yo-yo effect (weight instability) resulting from the vicious “restriction-binge” cycle that will kick off.
Intermittent fasting must be practiced without any feeling of restriction, hunger or deprivation.
The weight loss achieved through intermittent fasting is extremely variable: between 0 and 11 lb less for the most fortunate ones.
Contraindications to intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone.
It is not recommended that you embark on this lifestyle if you are:
- a child or teenager (growth period),
- an elderly person (higher risk of undernourishment),
- a pregnant or breastfeeding woman (greater nutritional needs),
- a sportsperson (greater nutritional needs), or
- a person who has or has had eating disorders (at risk of exacerbating or causing these eating disorders to reappear).
Intermittent Fasting : Conclusion
Intermittent fasting has some advantages as well as disadvantages. It’s only you who can tell if this method is right for you or not.
The possible disadvantages of intermittent fasting are:
- a form of bodily stress,
- a yo-yo effect on one’s balance,
- an impacted social life, and
- eating disorders.
Nutritional monitoring and the quality and balance of meals are paramount.
Lastly, don’t forget to break free from fasting if this method doesn’t suit you!