There’s a lot of information on “the best diet for fat loss” if you do a google search.
Intermitted Fasting (IF) is not a diet, but instead a timed restriction of your feeding window.
There are many fasting protocols you can follow, but for the sake of this article IF will be 16:8, meaning you fast for 16 hours and then you have a window of 8 hours to eat your meals before you go back into a fast.
Some people don’t believe that they are capable of fasting, but it’s important to realise that we all fast every day when we sleep.
So implementing IF could really just mean skipping breakfast or having an early dinner.
You also don’t need to follow the 16:8 protocol, but can make it a 14:10 or a 12:12 protocol if that feels more manageable to start with.
While IF is not a diet, it can help you in your fat loss journey as it gives you structure to your day and brings in another level of awareness to your eating patterns.
With this structure you can start reading your hunger signs and eliminate the risk of boredom hunger where you eat “just because”. So even if you are not following a strict diet, this will potentially reduce your overall caloric intake across the day.
If you are following a calorie counting diet, IF still works really well as you will be able to have larger meals during the feeding window, which will result in you feeling fuller after each meal whilst still getting the same results.
Another positive reason to implement IF into your week is that you free up more time to be productive, and a lot of people perceive having more focus if they skip having breakfast and only have a black coffee before going to work.
Example a regular eating day:
7.00am – meal 1 (breakfast)
12pm – meal 2 (lunch)
4pm – meal 3 (snack)
7.30pm – meal 4 (dinner)
9pm – meal 5 (snack)
Total hours of fasting: 11
Example of IF eating day:
7.00am – black coffee
12pm – meal 1 (brunch)
4pm – meal 2 (snack)
7.30pm – meal 3 (dinner)
Total hours of fasting: 16
So there are endless befits to IF and creating a feeding schedule into your days and weeks, especially because it brings awareness to your eating pattern and overall hunger signs. It is not something that is very hard to implement, you just need to sit down and decide two things:
- How many hours will you fast for?
- Between what hours will you have your feeding window?
The only time I would advice against a prolonged fasting period is if you suffer from hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), as this can result in you feeling really unwell. In this case creating a feeding schedule with more intervals and ensuring that you don’t skip these will be important.