Previously, I’ve written about how intermittent fasting worked greatly for my weight loss. It has enabled me to drop pounds of weight after a few sessions of fasting which really opened my eyes to its benefits and advantage.
In my opinion, intermittent fasting ranks very high in terms of efficiency for weight loss compared to the other methods. You really can lose weight fast with it!
But how does one exactly do intermittent fasting?
This is one of the common questions that I get. In this post, I’m going to share with you various ways you can do intermittent fasting as well as 4 of my personal tips to get the most of it. Let’s start!
My name is Isaac and I’m the owner of this website. I’ve been a skinny fat (a slim/skinny guy but with a bulging belly) for the most part of my adult life.
It’s only just recently I’ve managed to burn off those belly fats and achieve the slim belly with 6-packs that I desire.
Now, I’m in the process of bulking up and building my muscles (but that’s another story for a different post lol!).
So how did I do it?
From the 2 week diet, I was introduced to the wonders of intermittent fasting. I was so blown away by it that it has now been used regularly by me to keep my weight and fat in check.
First And Foremost, Who Should Not Do Intermittent Fasting?
While it’s a very good weight loss method, not everyone can do it. Below are some of the high-risk individuals that should not do intermittent fasting unless cleared by their doctor and/or certified nutritionist:
1-On Medications : If you’re on medications and you need to take your meds regularly after a meal, then intermittent fasting is not for you.
During intermittent fasting, you’re basically skipping 1 or 2 meals a day, and this can cause problem as some meds need foods in your stomach for it to work effectively.
You might be able to fast provided that you consult your doctor beforehand and work out a dosage around your intended intermittent fasting plan.
2-Pregnant Women : Pregnant woman is another group that should not do intermittent fasting. When you’re pregnant, you’re basically supporting the growth of another human being inside you, and this means you will need all the nutrition that you can get. Fasting is just not a good idea for pregnant women.
How To Do Intermittent Fasting?
To put things into perspective, a fast is a duration when you are not eating anything. You can still drink, but only unsweetened drinks such as plain water, and unsweetened tea, coffee etc.
Juices are kind in the middle, but I’d steer clear from it as the sugars inside it (even though natural sugars) can cause spike in your insulin, hence reducing the effectiveness of your fat mobilization.
How about milk tea/coffee or latte? Same with juices, I’d avoid it due to the sugar content inside the milk. But if you really can’t help it, you can use low fat or skim milk in your lattes.
You won’t be fasting daily but only on certain days (that’s why it’s called “intermittent”). You can start with once per week and move into more frequent fasting if you want faster result.
3 Types of Intermittent Fasting
There are 3 types of intermittent fasting that you can try based on the duration of fast. Of course, the longer you fast, the more your body will be forced to tap into its reserve energy storage hence you can lose much more weight.
These are the 3 types of intermittent fasting that you can do:
1-16 hours (Skip 1 Meal)
The first type of intermittent fasting is the 16 hours fast. It’s one of the commonly done but most of us don’t even realize it. If you had skipped breakfast before, you’ve actually done 16 hours fast.
Suppose your last meal is dinner at 8 pm. You then go to sleep and woke up a bit late the next morning. Due to that, you missed your breakfast and your next meal is during lunchtime at noon.
Guess what, that’s about 16 hours when you didn’t consume any food and can be considered fasting. Just by doing that, about 6 hours or so of your waking time, your body will use the glycogen and fat storage around your body as fuel.
Skipping breakfast is the easiest fasting type to do and what I recommend most people to start with. For lunch and dinner, you will be eating regularly.
If you just cannot live without breakfast, then I’d suggest to slowly shift your breakfast time later and later. With time, you will be able to completely skip breakfast without any negative side effects.
You can also skip other meals such as dinner to get that 16 hours fasting duration. While it’s certainly possible, I feel that skipping breakfast is much easier to do.
Besides, you can still have normal lunch and dinner with your friends and family so your social time won’t be affected.
2-24 hours (1 Day Fast / Skip 2 Meals)
The next type of fasting is the 24 hours or 1 day fast. While this sounds daunting at first, it’s one of the most effective and fast way to lose weight – so you should definitely try it!
Once you’re accustomed with the 16 hours fast, you will notice that you don’t actually need to adhere to the 3-meals daily schedule that have been ingrained into us all our life.
For 16 hours fast, you’re skipping 1 meal. So, with a 24 hours fast, you will only need to skip another meal, not a really hard thing to do eh?
What I like to do is to skip breakfast and lunch. With my last meal the dinner during the previous day, I’ll eat my next meal during dinner the next day, effectively making me fast for 24 hours.
Is it hard?
Not really. As I’ve mentioned above, once you get the hang of 16 hours fast, 24 hours fast will be feasible.
You might, however, want to eat a good meal during the dinner of the previous day so that you’re able to go through the day without any meal.
3-More than 24 hours (More Than 1 Day Fast)
The last type of fasting is the most extreme type, the more than 1 day fast. While there are some people who recommend this type of fast, I’m not really fond of it as it’s too punishing for our body to do.
Besides, I don’t think the benefit outweigh the hardship that we have to face to do the fasting.
But that’s just based on my personal opinion. If you have tried this type of fasting and got a great result from it, do share your experiences by commenting below =)
4 Easy Tips To Get The Most From Intermittent Fast
Here, I’m going to share a few tips that have worked great for me to help me get through the fast and giving the best result from it.
1-Drink Lots Of Water
The first tip is to drink lots of water. But as I’ve mentioned above, you should only drink plain or unsweetened water ONLY.
Drinks with sugar in it will increase blood sugar and insulin levels, reducing the effectiveness of fat mobilization by our body – the very thing that we’re trying to achieve with intermittent fasting.
Drinking lots of water is the main thing that have helped me get through the fast.
It usually takes about 6-7 hours after your last meal for your stomach to be empty. When its empty, your stomach will growl with hunger pangs.
Don’t be fooled by it as it’s only the reaction of your body to the empty stomach and does not mean your body is in any harm. Just drink some water and these hunger pangs will go away, it’s as simple as that =)
In fact, I’m very happy to feel hunger pangs because I know that my fasting works and my body will switch to fat burning mode!
2-Start Slowly By In Terms Of Lengthening The Fasting Duration
The next tip is to start slowly with the fasting duration. While a long fast duration is more beneficial, not everyone can jump in directly into the 24-hours fast.
I’d recommend doing the 16-hours fast first, and then progress into the 24-hours fast once you are accustomed to it.
The next tip is to exercise while fasting. I’m sure most of you will surely raise your eyebrows on this but I can say this is one of the best tips in this list.
The reason why I recommend doing exercise during fasting is to increase your metabolism, causing your body to burn off more fat than just sitting idle.
When to exercise?
I’d say you need to experiment on this. When I first started, I tried doing exercise early in the morning, a few hours after waking up (around 9-10 am) and shortly before lunchtime (11-12 noon).
What I found is most shocking – it seems that I have more energy doing exercise before lunchtime compared to the morning sessions.
In the morning, my body seems to be lethargic and I feel tired easier. I believe my body is just trying to overcome the morning hunger pangs during this time.
I’m not going to recommend this to everyone as I believe everyone’s body react differently, so you need to do a bit of experiment to find the best time for your exercise.
4-Keep The Other Meals Normal
It’s very tempting to eat more after you’ve fasted but my next tip is to keep your other meals normal.
What this will do is to create a huge calorie deficit which will accelerate your weight loss further.
One mistake that I frequently see with people doing intermittent fasting is to “revenge” eat their next meals.
What happens then is your calorie count will remain the same with your normal non-fasting days, or worse, you might be consuming more calories.
And as I’ve written previously, weight loss is all about calorie deficit. Without calorie deficit, your diet will not work.
I hope this post will help you to understand how to do intermittent fasting for weight loss. While it’s a hard method to do, I can say it’s one of the best method if you want to lose weight fast.
Just start slowly, do the tips that I’ve shared above and I’m sure you will be able to do the fast and get a huge weight loss effortlessly.
Till next time! Cheers!