Best way to lose weight fast… could it be fasting?

Looking to lose weight safely? what are the benefits of intermittent fasting. This blog entry investigates the best fasting techniques with proven results.

INTERMITTENT FASTING, WEIGHT LOSS, DIET

Colin Henderson

6/28/20237 min read

A Journey Towards Healthy Weight Management: My Experience With Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting will have an impact on the scales very quickly
Intermittent fasting will have an impact on the scales very quickly

I hope my story today serves as a ray of motivation and enlightenment to all those seeking ways to achieve their fitness goals. As a 49-year-old male, fitness and healthy living have become paramount in my life. However, a recent indulgent holiday to Turkey left me a few pounds heavier than I would have liked. Determined to get back on track, I explored various fasting techniques and stumbled upon one that seemed both intriguing and promising.

About a month ago, I decided to give intermittent fasting a try. Intermittent fasting, as the name suggests, involves alternating periods of fasting with periods of eating. It focuses more on when you eat rather than what you eat. Among the different variations of this practice, one technique particularly caught my attention – the 16:8 method.

Choosing the 16:8 method meant that I would abstain from consuming any food until after 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Before embarking on this fasting journey, I didn’t consult with a medical professional as I have a working history as a Paramedic / Nurse and was happy to proceed without further advice. However, if you are thinking of trying intermittent fasting it may be wise to discuss it with your Doctor or dietician first.

I geared up mentally and physically to tackle this transformative challenge. My first day was met with a sense of determination and anticipation. As the morning hours passed, I truly understood the importance of self-discipline. However, as challenging as it was initially, I discovered that the body adapts quickly when given the chance. Over time, my hunger pangs during the fasting window diminished, and I began to feel increasingly energized.

One of the most significant benefits of the 16:8 method was its compatibility with my daily routine. My morning routine became productive and efficient, as I no longer had to allocate time for breakfast preparation and consumption. Time typically spent on breakfast was channeled into activities that nurtured my mind and body. My workouts became more intense, and I noticed a renewed focus during my workday.

What surprised me most was the impact this fasting technique had on my weight management goals. Although I initially sought it as a means to shed a few extra pounds, intermittent fasting proved to be a holistic approach to my well-being. I not only lost weight but also experienced heightened mental clarity and improved digestion. Moreover, as my eating window began at 4 o'clock, I found myself making healthier food choices, ultimately cultivating a more balanced relationship with food.

Now, as I share my journey with you, I hope that my experience serves as a catalyst for those seeking to embark on their own fitness journeys. Intermittent fasting, specifically the 16:8 method, might just be the transformational tool you need. Couple intermittent fasting with a good workout ethic and a healthy diet and you will have the most powerful weight management tool imaginable. Remember, always consult with healthcare professionals before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle, particularly if you have any underlying health problems. I lost a pound a day and ate well and reached my goal quickly. Please don’t loose too much weight if this works for you, which it will. If you reach your desired weight, increase the eating window, perhaps add in a light lunch.

Recognised fasting techniques explained

In recent years, fasting has gained significant attention as a popular method for weight loss and overall health improvement. There are various fasting methods available, each with its own unique approach and benefits. Lets explore them further and see what might appeal to you.

1. The 16/8 Method, also known as the Leangains protocol, involves fasting for 16 hours and restricting you're eating to an 8-hour window each day. This method is straightforward and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. For instance, you may choose to eat between 12 pm and 8 pm, and fast for the remaining 16 hours. During the fasting period, only water, tea, and other non-caloric beverages are allowed. This method is favoured by many people for its simplicity and flexibility.

2. The 5:2 Diet follows a slightly different approach. With this method, you eat normally for five days of the week and restrict your calorie intake to 500-600 calories for two non-consecutive days. These fasting days should be spread throughout the week, allowing for a regular eating pattern during the other days. This approach is believed to promote greater fat burning and improved metabolic balance. However, it is important to focus on healthy food choices during both fasting and non-fasting days to maintain overall nutritional balance.

3. Alternate Day Fasting is another popular fasting method that involves fasting every other day. On fasting days, you typically restrict your calorie intake to 500-600 calories or consume no calories at all. On non-fasting days, you can eat normally. This approach requires more discipline, as you will be alternating between significantly reduced calorie intake and regular eating. However, it has shown promising results in terms of weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and increased resistance to certain diseases

4. Eat-Stop-Eat is a method that involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. For example, you may choose to fast from breakfast one day until breakfast the next day. During the fasting period, only water, tea, and other non-caloric beverages are allowed. This method helps create a significant calorie deficit, leading to weight loss and improved metabolic health. It is important to note that this method might not be suitable for everyone, especially individuals with certain medical conditions or those with a history of disordered eating.

5. OMAD, or One Meal a Day, is a fasting method where you consume all your daily calories within a one-hour window and fast for the remaining 23 hours. This method is known for its simplicity and the potential for greater weight loss. However, it requires careful planning and attention to ensure that all necessary nutrients are included in the single meal. It is crucial to prioritise nutrient-dense foods to ensure adequate nutrition during the limited eating window.

Overall, these fasting methods offer different approaches to achieve weight loss and improve health. It is essential to choose a method that suits your lifestyle, health goals, and personal preferences. Moreover, consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian is advised before starting any fasting regimen, especially if you have underlying health concerns or are taking certain medications. With proper planning and adherence, fasting can be an effective tool for achieving your health and wellness goals.

Each fasting technique has its own unique approach and benefits, and it's important to choose the one that works best for you and aligns with your lifestyle and health goals. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any fasting regimen if you're unsure in anyway, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions.

Based Health Nailed (Logo) Nail Your Health!
Based Health Nailed (Logo) Nail Your Health!

Ways to Distract Yourself from Hunger during Intermittent Fasting

One of the challenges individuals often face during the fasting period is dealing with hunger pangs. Fortunately, there are various ways to distract yourself from hunger and maintain your fasting goals. I found work, exercise and the motivation I gained from both the rapid physical adaptation and the numbers on the scales helped me stick to the plan.

- Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help curb hunger. Additionally, herbal teas or black coffee, without any added sweeteners or creamers, can be consumed during fasting periods to suppress appetite.

- Engage in Physical Activity: Engaging in light to moderate physical activities can distract you from the sensation of hunger. Take a brisk walk, go for a bike ride, or try a low-intensity workout routine. Physical exertion not only diverts your attention but also helps boost your metabolism.

- Keep Busy: Find activities that keep your mind occupied. Whether it's pursuing a hobby, reading a book, solving puzzles, or engaging in stimulating conversations, keeping oneself mentally engaged can help divert the focus from hunger.

- Plan Your Meals Properly: During the non-fasting window, ensure that your meals are well-balanced and provide adequate satiety. Opt for meals rich in proteins, healthy fats, and fibre, which keep you feeling fuller for longer durations

- Introduce Intermittent Fasting Gradually: If you find it difficult to cope with hunger during intermittent fasting, consider gradually extending the fasting window. Start with shorter periods and progressively increase the duration as you become more comfortable.

- Seek Support: Join online communities or find a group of individuals following intermittent fasting. Sharing experiences, tips, and concerns can provide the necessary support and motivation to overcome hunger and stay consistent with your fasting regimen.

- Practice Mindfulness Techniques: Mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga can help control cravings and improve your ability to withstand hunger sensations. Focus on staying present and let go of any anxieties regarding food.

Remember, it is essential to listen to your body's signals and adjust your fasting routine accordingly. If prolonged discomfort or adverse health effects persist, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

Keep in mind that distracting yourself from hunger is a short-term tactic, and it's equally important to ensure you are meeting your nutritional needs during the eating window. Maintaining a balanced diet and incorporating healthy food choices play an instrumental role in supporting your overall well-being while practicing intermittent fasting.

References Pertaining to Fasting Diets

1. 16/8 Method:

Barnosky, A. R., Hoddy, K. K., Unterman, T. G., & Varady, K. A. (2014). Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Translational Research, 164(4), 302-311. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2014.05.013

2. 5:2 Diet:

 Harvie, M., & Howell, A. (2016). Potential benefits and harms of intermittent energy restriction and intermittent fasting amongst obese, overweight and normal weight subjects—a narrative review of human and animal evidence. Behavioral Sciences, 6(3), 22. doi: 10.3390/bs6030022

3. Alternate Day Fasting:

 Trepanowski, J. F., Kroeger, C. M., Barnosky, A., Klempel, M. C., Bhutani, S., Hoddy, K. K., & Varady, K. A. (2017). Effect of alternate-day fasting on weight loss, weight maintenance, and cardioprotection among metabolically healthy obese adults: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, 177(7), 930-938. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0936

4. Eat-Stop-Eat:

 Tinsley, G. M., & La Bounty, P. M. (2015). Effects of intermittent fasting on body composition and clinical health markers in humans. Nutrition Reviews, 73(10), 661-674. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv041

5. OMAD (One Meal a Day):

 Stote, K. S., Baer, D. J., Spears, K., Paul, D. R., Harris, G. K., Rumpler, W. V., ... & Mattson, M. P. (2007). A controlled trial of reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction in healthy, normal-weight, middle-aged adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85(4), 981-988. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/85.4.981

Ultimately, determining which fasting technique is best for achieving weight loss and health depends on your preferences and goals. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian before starting any fasting regimen, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific needs and situation.