Ramp up fat loss using intermittent fasting? What does that mean?
Hold on a second and take a look at this scenario:
You spent countless pennies on diet books, weight loss programs, and those magical tactics that promise to deliver results, only to find out the weighing scale was still not moving. You’re frustrated. You became desperate so you tried going to the extreme of eating zero food at all. And since crash diets don’t work, you felt more defeated. Finally, with great pride trying out everything, you waved the white flag.
Does this scene look familiar to you?
I know some of you have a similar experience to this — some are a little milder, and some are as intense.
And since we already know what causes weight loss and weight gain as discussed in this article, the question now would be, “How can I maintain a caloric deficit state in a much more enjoyable way?”
You see, going on a “diet” is difficult, because it means that you have to deprive yourself of something, which isn’t really good for the soul. Anything you do that creates more pain rarely does work — that’s one of the main reasons most diets fail.
So if you could just find a way to be in a caloric deficit state and maintain it while eating the foods you love, would you be confident that you can achieve your weight loss goal faster and keep it? I’m sure you can.
Ramp Up Fat Loss Using Intermittent Fasting – Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!
One of the most effective and most enjoyable eating approaches that I’ve tried that is not only for sustainable fat loss, but also for increasing productivity, is intermittent fasting (IF).
Intermittent fasting is an eating strategy, not a diet, where you cycle between periods of eating, and not eating. Others call this, Feast and Fast.
Years ago, when I was browsing the internet, I stumbled upon this website called eatstopit.com. This is the site where I learned about the basics of intermittent fasting. And since I was taught differently, that I should be eating 4-6 meals a day and shouldn’t skip breakfast, I was so dubious and skeptical about its content. But seeing plenty of weight loss testimonials and reading good feedback online, I was convinced to try it out. I ventured out to see if the hype’s all worth it.
It’s been a good 4-5 years now and I’ve never gone back to my old eating habits. I fast each day, eating only 2-3 meals a day.
Now you might think this is a terrible idea, and I completely understand you. I was also terrified at first whenever I read and hear something about “fasting“; I felt it was just for religious people who need to seek a closer intimacy with their Creator. Fortunately, all of us are allowed to do it, too. And in this article, I’m going to show you how this method of eating have changed my eating habits and how the way I’ve approached my diet — for the better.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
Let’s get real. We know that losing weight is just a matter of eating less calories than we burn and maintaining it. But let’s admit, being in a caloric deficit state is no fun at all for the simple reason that most of the time, we have to stop eating before we even get full and satisfied. That sucks.
This is where the beauty of intermittent fasting shines. Intermittent fasting makes losing weight incredibly easy and fun.
In the previous article, I showed you the kinds of food I eat on a regular basis — fast food, McDonalds, and burgers. To be able to eat those foods without messing up, I have to employ the strategy of intermittent fasting where I fast for 14-16 hours, then eat two meals in the 8-10 hour window, every single day.
By doing that, I am able to consume more food in a single meal and feel really full and satisfied. Since I only eat two meals a day, I am allowed to devour a whole pig in each meal without the fear of getting fat–because I know that I am not crossing the line and going overboard on my calories. This is more fun than eating more frequently but holding back in each of those meals.
So my typical day would go like this:
10am – wake up
11am – workout
1pm – 1st huge meal(around 1000-1500 calories in one sitting)
5pm or 6pm – 2nd huge meal(around 1000-1500 calories, depending on the 1st meal)
The rest of the day – fast
Snacks – optional
I know some of you are reacting already, telling themselves that they can’t even hold their hunger for 3 hours, much more go for 16 hours without food. I understand. Hear me out first.
Why is Intermittent Fasting so effective?
Reason #1: Because it allows people to create and sustain a caloric-deficit lifestyle almost effortlessly (when you’re past the getting-used-to-fasting stage), and enjoyably!
Reason #2: Because eating larger meals rather than the popular 4-6 smaller meals, allows our body to produce the hormone Leptin — a satiety hormone that blunts your appetite for an extended period of time. Eating smaller meals doesn’t trigger the production of this hormone, that’s why you’re much more likely to eat a lot when you’re eating less each meal.
Reason #3: Because it gives people the freedom and control to eat whenever they want. This lessens catabolism by lowering stress levels.
Reason #4: For many people (including me), IF taught them discipline. This was their start. It taught them how to be in control and how to commit to something. It created a snowball effect that affected other areas of their lives. I mean, if you can withhold eating for over 16 hours, what else can’t you do?
Reason #5: Because it enhances focus. My morning has been the most productive ever since doing IF. I could train, write, read, and do other important stuff than preparing oatmeal or cracking eggs just because I had to.
At first, of course, you will find it difficult, especially if you belong in the breakfast-is-the-most-important-meal-of-the-day club. Due to this hormone called ghrelin, a hunger hormone which makes us get used to eating at the same time each day, it would take you about a week to adjust. After that, you will not only wake up hunger-free, but you will experience a much more productive morning.
Intermittent Fasting and Fasted Training Misconceptions
You may have heard a lot of people praising IF for its ability to burn fat while building muscle, but is it true?
Based on many research and studies that were currently done, IF doesn’t actually boost fat loss per se, it’s the caloric deficit that was created during IF that’s responsible for weight loss.
I know, I know. I was also a believer that IF does many wonders when it comes to fat loss and even advocated it and fasted cardio as superior methods for burning fat. But as of now, I can no longer say that they’re accurate based on the current evidence.
With that said, it’s good news for us!
Why is it a good news? Because:
- We no longer have the need to be strict about our fasting schedule (16:8)
- We can just eat whenever we want provided that we track our calories for the whole day
- We can now forget fasted workouts if that’s difficult for us because it doesn’t make any difference
- We don’t have to feel guilty anymore if we break our fast early on
Alongside the benefits that IF brings to the table (see the above section), accelerating fat loss is not one of them. Let me be clear on that.
The big question now is, is IF right for you?
Only you can answer that. For that, you just have to remember these things:
- IF is not a requirement for fat loss
- IF’s purpose is to compress your eating time so you can eat more per meal, and that’s it. Maybe add productivity to your day as well
- It’s not true that when you do IF, you can just eat whatever you want without tracking your caloric intake. Tracking calories and macros is mandatory.
- IF will not burn fat and build muscle at the same time
- The best eating strategy and meal frequency for you is the one you can stick with and adhere to. It’s the total calories for the day that counts, not the meal timing
So, is IF right for you?
There are other numerous studies out there about the beneficial effects of intermittent fasting when it comes to boosting growth hormone, increasing sensitivity to insulin, and enhancing nutrient partitioning. I won’t go into those details anymore because there are also a lot of debates and conflicting theories concerning those things. Let’s leave that to them.
Eating less calories than you burn is the not-so-secret way to fat loss, but combining it with intermittent fasting is a surefire way to make it more sustainable and enjoyable.
In closing, don’t let the word “fasting” scare you. I encourage all of you to experiment with it and see what happens. If you don’t like it, then drop it.
Sure, it’s not the universal answer to weight loss. But the important thing about knowing this stuff is that it gives you more freedom to find an eating pattern based on your own preference, rather than the dogma.
Give it a try and I’m sure it will give wonders to your life as well.
If you want to learn more about Intermittent Fasting and the different strategies on how to apply it, check Eat Stop It and Leangains. They’re the ones that got me started, and it is the only guide that I still follow until now especially when I’m chasing those rock-hard abs. I’m sure you will all like it.
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