A year ago, I weighed 10 kilos more than what my BMI should be. I was eager to lose weight. I could feel that it was getting harder for me to move, compared to when I was still physically fit. This got me to try various methods to live a healthier life. I started with the most common diet techniques such as consuming less carbohydrates and counting the calories that I had. I also tried to have an active life by walking at least five kilometers on a daily basis. However, despite trying all of these, it seems that there was still something missing that could help me lose weight.
Then through online research, I learned about intermittent fasting. I learned that this method could help people who are determined to lose weight. Unlike the other traditional techniques, this weight loss method is innovative. It helps us maintain a muscular and lean body without depriving ourselves of delicious foods. True enough after a quarter of practicing this method, I lost weight and hit my normal weight. A study conducted through the partnership of researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Yale University School Medicine has proven the claim that intermittent fasting is effective in triggering weight loss.
For those interested in exploring and trying this weight loss plan, here are some important things you should know.
A Quick Background of Intermittent Fasting
Despite its increasing popularity, many people are still not aware of the truth about intermittent fasting. This innovative method works when a person extends the time of intaking calories. During this period, the only thing that you can have aside from plain water is either tea or black coffee.
Commonly called IF, the fasting could run for eight hours at the minimum and 16 hours at most. During that time foods and drinks, especially those with artificial sweeteners are discouraged. These could result in an insulin response.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting works as, during this period of time, the body will have more time to burn fat. This is why an insulin response is not helpful as this one will halt the body from burning fat which is the main point of this technique. What’s good about this method is you are allowed to eat all the nutrients and protein that you need after the fasting period. During the feeding window, you should provide all the energy that your body needs to survive the activities that you will have for the entire day. For this method to be more effective, I combined this technique with calorie counting, which means that during my feeding window, I make sure that I only eat healthy foods within my calorie count.
Can Intermittent Fasting Be Done At Night?
The answer is a big YES. I can personally testify to this as this was the strategy that I have implemented when I tried this method. Especially for those who are new to this technique, I believe that doing the IF with your night sleeping hours counted in is the best shot. This is good as during your six or eight hours of sleep, you have already fasted and you will only need to add for a little more hours before your feeding window starts.
What Do We Get From Intermittent Fasting?
Among the health benefits that we can get from practicing this is increased burning of body fat. Studies found that despite maintaining the total daily calorie intake, extending your fasting time will accelerate body fat loss. This is why when IF is being put into works, we can still have additional time to eat our cheat foods.
What Is the Best First Food to Eat During Your Feeding Window?
To offset and supply the energy that you need, it is best to start your feeding window with foods that are high in protein content as compared to a high carbohydrate one. This is because researchers found that our genes will continue the fat burning activity in our body if we start with a low-carbohydrate meal. Some good examples of food that are rich in protein but with low carbohydrate content are the protein shake and eggs.
Intermittent Fasting and Amino Acids: How Do They Work?
Some people think that in taking food with the branched-chain amino acids while they are in the fasting period will preserve the mass of their muscles. However, if we look closely, this is in contrast to what the true point of intermittent fasting is. When this happens, it appears that you are not really fasting as we know that amino acids are important to build protein. So if you had any of the amino acids, including lysine histidine, tyrosine, and others, then you are really not fasting as you are having small protein intake in your body.
However, if you are really eager to intake the branched-chain amino acids while in fasting, it is important to be sure that you had a workout session or you exercise during this period. This is for the reason that amino acids will provide the energy that you need during the physical training and the benefits from the workout will be better than the benefits that you can get from practicing the IF. To also support your IF, be sure to take the unproteinogenic types of amino acids as technically they are not considered as amino acids but instead they are either creatine or carnitine.
These are just some pointers to guide us when we are just starting with practicing intermittent fasting. Remember not to push your body too much as eventually, you will feel bad about not being able to enjoy the foods that you like. What is important when living a healthy life is we try and explore the different techniques as one’s benefits vary from one person to another, which means that one dieting method can be helpful to you but can be harmful to others.