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Fasting for beginners



Fasting is the recent trend in weight loss where individuals refrain from eating for designated periods of time.

Intermittent fasting is the latest buzz word in the weight loss industry.

It will work for some but not for all. It’s always advisable to try a new diet for at least six to eight weeks before deciding whether it works for you or not. So let’s take a moment to understand the basics of what intermittent fasting is about.

What is intermittent fasting?

Firstly, lets look at what fasting is. Fasting is a set period were you completely stop eating or limit eating. Many people fast for religious reasons or for weight loss reasons. Intermittent fasting, which is done for weight loss, is a variety of meal timing schedules that alternate between fasting and non-fasting periods over a set time.

The three easiest ways of doing intermittent fasting for beginners:

Fast for 12 hours

This is the easiest one because the majority of the 12 hours can be while you are sleeping and the balance of the hours either before or afterwards.

So for example, the 12-hour fasting period can be from 7pm to 7am. This means you need to finish dinner before 7pm and only have your next meal at 7am the following morning. This means you have a 12-hour window to consume the meals you plan to have for the day.

16:8 method

The next easiest method is one where you fast for 16 hours and you only have an eight-hour window within which to eat.

This is called the 16:8 method or the Leangains diet. On this diet, most people eat their supper by 8pm. Then they skip breakfast and eat again at 12pm the next day. This method is often the second method that people go for after they have tried the 12-hour intermittent fasting method.

5:2 method

The next method of intermittent fasting is called the 5:2 method. This is when people eat a standard number of calories on five days in the week and a reduced amount of calories on the reamining two days of the week. Hence it’s called the 5:2 method.

The reduced number of calories can be as little as 500-600 calories, which is considerably small. It is suggested that the fasting days be separated and not back to back. So a person on this diet can fast on Tuesday and Friday, for example, and the other days eat normally. There are a few other methods of intermittent fasting, but these three are the easiest ones to start with when you are new to it.

My suggestion would be to try the 12-hour method first then move onto the 16:8 method and finally onto the 5:2 method if need be. Also, take body measurements with a measuring tape before and after. Spend at least six to eight weeks on each method before moving onto the next. Remember to watch your food portions. You don’t have to restrict or eliminate any food groups during your eating windows but eat mindfully and choose healthier food to help you on your weight loss journey. Good luck!

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