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Intermittent Fasting Basics: Can Fasting Help You Lose Weight?

By: Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1,

C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

intermittent fasting basics
Let’s face it you’ve already changed your eating habits dramatically; why would you suddenly want to start cutting out food altogether? Fortunately this guide to intermittent fasting basics will show you how you can do it properly, without feeling hungry.

We'll also show you why fasting may be a good idea.

But, as with any change to your eating habits it best to ensure you have appropriate support. Join the Fit Father Program today to gain all the support and information you need to achieve your fitness goals!

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

man looking at empty plate intermittent fasting basicsThe first thing to understand is that intermittent fasting does not mean changing what you eat.

It simply means that you change your pattern of eating.

Fasting means to go without. Intermittent means to do this for short periods of time.

In fact, there are several different approaches to intermittent fasting basics:

  • The 16/8

Under this approach you fast for 16 hours a day, although half of this is while you are sleeping. You can eat 2 or 3 meals during the 8 hours you’re not intermittently fasting.

  • 5/2

This intermittent fasting approach can work well when you work all week. Simply eat normally for 5 days and then restrict your calories to approximately 600 for the other 2 days.

  • 24 Hours

If you're new to intermittent fasting, 24 hours can be a difficult starting point. Effectively you stop eating for 24 hours and then continue as normal. Ideally you should do this twice a week.

  • Alternating

This is a more advanced version of the 24 hours intermittent fasting. All you need to do is fast every other day. This is definitely not an approach you should take as a beginner, and is man checking watch the basics of intermittent fastingnot likely to be a method which can be sustained in the long term.

  • Day Fasting

This approach ensures you fast all day, and then eat during a 4 hour window in the evening. Effectively this means you don’t eat for 20 hours a day.

In fact there are numerous other ways in which you can start intermittent fasting. The important factor is to abstain from food as a pattern of life; not just a one-off.

As a beginner, learning the intermittent fasting basics, you can limit calories instead of eliminating them during fasting periods. Experts recommend approximately 600. However, this will mean you need to watch your calorie count during the eating periods!

It is also essential that you stay hydrated while not eating.

How It Works – Intermittent Fasting Basics            

piece of fat intermittent fasting basicsIntermittent fasting helps you to burn fat and can even increase muscle size. The support of the Fit Fathers and a good muscle building program will help!

Every action you make involves muscle movement. This requires energy which s usually created from the sugar you consume.

Sugar gets converted into glucose, which is energy for your muscles. However, when you run out of glucose, your body still creates energy in the form of ketones. The process is known as ketosis.

In short your body converts fat into ketones!

But it’s not just this process that burns your fat stores!

When your body is in a state of ketosis it doesn’t need to deal with blood sugar by producing insulin. Insulin levels drop and your body becomes a fat burning machine!

Entering ketosis is relatively simply:

  • Eliminate carbohydrates from your diet and load up on fats.

Unfortunately this means monitoring your diet and depriving yourself of some of your favorite foods.

  • Intermittent fasting

Approximately 8 hours after eating your body will enter its fasting state. This is a natural reaction which assumes food is scarce.

Your body reacts by lowering insulin levels and converting fat to energy.

There are no restrictions on food during the eating period which makes this is a lot easier to adhere to than eliminating carbohydrates!

The Advantages & Disadvantages

Unsurprisingly there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to adopting intermittent fasting basics.

The Advantages

  • It’s Simple!

The basics of intermittent fasting allows you to eat the foods you enjoy. More importantly, you don’t need to think about intermittent fasting! You simply don’t eat for the period you have decided.

Removing your need to make food related decisions will allow you to focus on making more important decisions. Take a look at our free 1 day meal plan for even more help with achieving your weight loss goals.

  • Boosts Weight Loss

Your body enters the fasting state and starts to convert your fat into ketones. This means you are losing body fat without even having to do a fat burning workout!

In addition you’re less likely to snack, because you’re fasting!

  • Lowers Insulin Levels

As you have fewer carbohydrates coming into your body you will not need to produce insulin. This will not only boost your fat burning capabilities it will also reduce the likelihood of your contracting diabetes.

  • Decreases Hunger

Leptin is known as the hunger inhibiting hormone and increases when you’re sleeping. This is because it tells your body you are full. It is also produced by the fat cells. Intermittent fasting decreases the number of fat cells and lowers the amount of leptin in your body.

This is actually a good thing as studies have shown overweight people often have excessively high levels of leptin. Constant high levels leads to leptin resistance, which means you are unable to turn your hunger off!

Intermittent fasting can help you to control your hunger again.

man binge eating intermittent fasting basicsThe Disadvantages

  • Binge Eating

One complaint that many people have is that they feel the urge to binge eat while they can; effectively stocking up reserves for their fasting period.

Unfortunately this does nothing to improve weight loss and can even place your health at risk.

Binge eating increases blood sugar and insulin levels dramatically.

  • Energy

Long periods of fasting can drain energy levels and make you feel slugish. This can be a greater negative for anyone who isn’t naturally a morning person.

  • Hunger

Most people take a few weeks to get over the feeling of being hungry during their fasting period. However, some people struggle to adjust.

This will leave you counting the minutes until you eat again and can make the whole experience miserable.

Summing It Up

Now that you know the intermittent fasting basics you can start the process. In fact it takes nothing more than a little will power and setting your schedule.

But to maintain your schedule and maximize your weight loss you need our support. Join the Fit Fathers today and benefit from support and advice in every aspect of your weight loss and muscle building goals.

Intermittent fasting isn’t the right approach for everyone but it does illustrate the importance of changing your approach to food.

In fact the only real way to lose weight is through controlling your eating habits.

You can choose to use this intermittent fasting basics guide or adopt one of our meal plans. You can even use the various exercise techniques on our site.

The important thing is that you take your first step towards a better you and a brighter future.

Join us and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Your new friend & health coach,

Stuart Carter Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1

C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

Brotherhood Nickname: The Fit Brit
Bragging Rights: 18 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide', Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.

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