Choosing not to eat for extended periods of time -- called intermittent fasting -- sounds like torture, or some kind of crash diet that's doomed to fail. Aren't you supposed to eat small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism going? Won't you get so hungry that you'll inhale an entire box of pizza rolls and maybe an actual pizza at your next meal? But intermittent fasting may actually be an effective strategy for weight loss, among other benefits -- research suggests it helps extend life, decreases fasting insulin levels, and increases metabolic rate. As a bonus, some people have been able to lose weight on intermittent fasting plans while still eating their favorite foods.
There are three basic ways to do itLean gains, UpDayDownDay, and the Warrior diet are the three main intermittent fasting strategies, with infinite variations possible. Lean gains is the most popular form of intermittent fasting, requiring you to eat during an eight-hour window and fast the other 16 each day. People typically eat their last meal before 8 or 9pm, and won't eat again until 12 or 1pm the next afternoon.
The UpDayDownDay plan is based more on a weekly schedule. People may eat normally for five or six days, then fast the other one or two. On fasting days, people usually cut their calories to 500 or less, and still reap the benefits of intermittent fasting. Dr. warns this may be difficult for people to stick to since your body is used to getting food at regular intervals, so on fasting days you may experience mood swings and hunger pangs.
The Warrior diet is the most extreme, as suggested by its name. WARRIORS don't need to eat. On this plan, you eat during a 4-hour window, and fast the other 20 hours. It's the most difficult to stick to, since you have to do it every day, and still designed for you to to eat your daily calories within that small window.
It's important on any IF plan to make sure that the calories you eat during the feeding times -- sounds like the zoo! -- don't exceed your daily recommended amount.
In general, common sense prevails; maintaining healthy meals during feeding times is still important, and daily calories can add up. So don't reward yourself for making it through a fast by gorging at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.
It’s also not great for super-active people"[For] someone who is consistently very active, a diet like this may be detrimental because you will break down muscle," Dr. explains. People who are incredibly active -- think serious athletes, extreme Crossfitters, etc. -- need extra protein, carbs, and fat to actively build muscle, which they may not get with intermittent fasting. The long stretches of time without eating could also combat the gains you're getting at the gym. So Its not for me :-).
Check with your doctor firstAh, the caveat that follows any diet change! It's especially true here -- before embarking on an intermittent fasting plan, it's best to check with your doctor first to see if this type of eating will work with your body type and lifestyle. IF isn't ideal for people with diabetes, a history of disordered eating, or other health complications, so make sure you get the go-ahead from your doc before taking the plunge. feel free to let me know what you think ? XOXO PAULA FORREST
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