Have you ever heard of Intermittent Fasting (IF)? Some might be surprised and shocked when they first heard about this fasting method, but when you understand the concept and scientific reasons behind the diet method, you might be impressed with its effectiveness and convenience!
The concept of 16:8 Intermittent Fasting is very simple: you can eat anything during feasting period of 8 hours in a day, and fasting for 16 hours straight. You are only allowed to drink plain water, black coffee, tea, or anything with 0 calorie during the fasting window. If you wonder, is it hard to implement? Not really, because you are already spending 8 hours to sleep within the 16 hours. The most chosen feasting window is between 12pm to 8pm, because you may consume a cup of 0 calorie black coffee in the morning to freshen your mind, and eat your first meal at 12pm, of course, this is not a recommended time, it's totally up to your preference according to your lifestyle and habit. When you have adapted to 16:8 diet, you may upgrade to 18:6 or even 20:4 to achieve greater result! You must have many questions about IF diet right now, let's clear your doubts with more information below!
The premise of IF: Insulin
Our pancreas releases insulin to breakdown the foods when we eat and help to store the glucose in our body for future use. When our insulin levels go down far enough and for long enough during fasting, it will cause the cells to release the stored glucose as energy, hence, it can lead to weight loss when our body starts to burn fats for energy when the glucose stored earlier has been used up. Human body usually start burning fats after 12 hours of fasting averagely, therefore, 16 hours of fasting is an ideal period for our body to burn fats.
Do I need to strictly stick to IF diet once I started?: Not really
There are few different types of IF diet plan, including daily IF and weekly IF (6 days with normal diet and 1 day fasting, or 5 days with normal diet and only consume 500 calories on the other 2 days). 16:8 is the easiest IF diet plan among them.
One of the factors that makes IF diet a popular diet plan is definitely its flexibility, you can alter the feasting window you have chosen at your convenience. For instance, you have a breakfast date during weekend, or you are going to a 2-day food trip, you can freely adjust your feasting window accordingly because there will not be any strong impact reflected on the result. However, it will be a different story if you change your fasting period frequently.
Is there any food that I should avoid during IF diet?: No
During the feasting window, you can eat anything you want but to lose weight healthily and effectively, you should manage your calorie intake as well, and a balanced diet should always be maintained. Do also keep in mind that you should ensure you consume sufficient nutrients during feasting window and try to avoid excessive processed food.
During the 16 hours of fasting, you can only consume zero-calorie drinks such as black coffee and plain water. Do avoid canned drinks even though they are stated with zero-calorie because some are added with sweetener and may trigger the release of insulin in body, that will eventually interrupt your fasting.
What to do if I am hungry while fasting?: Try your best!
If you are someone who eats a lot or already get used to more than 3 meals per day, it might be very challenging for you. However, some are already telling themselves that "I am going to be very hungry" before they start the diet plan, therefore, it's important to convince yourself before the kicking off of the plan, and try to distract yourself by doing interesting but not so energy-consuming activities in order to get rid of the hunger that you feel. You can also drink more water when you feel hungry.
Although Intermittent Fasting can bring many other health benefits to us such as improve skin condition and freshen breath, but certain people are not recommended to execute the plan including pregnant women, people who live stressful life, lack of nutrition and suffer from bad sleep. If you encounter certain health issues such as hair fall, emotional, skin problem, debility and more, you should also stop the IF diet plan immediately. If you want to give IF diet plan a try but you have the history of gastric or any other chronic disease, do consult doctor before the execution!