We all know that one person who is super on-point with their diet, stays consistent, and never strays. Do you not? That's right; it's because nobody has a will of steel to restrict food intake forever. Having down days and quitting has become expected when dieting, but there's one thing I encourage you to try: intermittent fasting. And before you envision depriving yourself, let me tell you that not eating all the time (or as often as we do nowadays) is actually natural for our bodies.
See, back when we humans were hunter-gatherers, we only ate as the food was available, and it could be a week before the next catch came around. Naturally, our bodies adapted to storing energy in the form of fat, as we never knew when the next meal would be. Taking it back to the present day, we have yet to adapt to resources not being scarce, and that's the core idea of intermittent fasting.
And this is not just empty words. The Obesity Reviews journal published a study proving that intermittent fasting is more effective for weight loss than restricting calories (who knew?!). Besides, fasting provides additional health benefits:
- Reduced insulin levels that aid fat burning, and even go as far as preventing type 2 diabetes, Dr. Adrienne R.Barnosky found;
- According to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, fasting increases growth hormone numbers that speed up metabolism (and make you lose weight even faster!)
- Not to mention that you're essentially cutting out a meal a day, thus efficiently decreasing the number of daily calories.
Now, how would you go about fasting? There are a few ways:
- 16/8. This is by far the most popular method, as, I think, it's the easiest to maintain, and it includes fasting for 16 hours out of the day and eating the other 8. I found that eating from noon to 8 pm works best for me, as I don't get hungry the minute I wake up, but you can pick any 8-hour window.
- 5/2. This technique includes eating as you usually would for five days, and restricting to 500 calories for two days. The days should be apart, a Tuesday and a Friday, for example.
- The Eat-stop-eat approach implies fasting for 24 hours. For instance, eat dinner, and fast until dinner the next day.
Intermittent fasting is honestly one of the best discoveries I made on my weight-loss journey, and my favorite thing about it is that I can still have all the foods I love. Try the methods mentioned above, and see which one works best for you!